Friday, June 19, 2009

Conservatives embrace political correctness, stupidity

One of the more profoundly annoying things to come up in recent weeks has been the whole manufactroversy about David Letterman (a comedian) making a joke. If you're not familiar with it, consider yourself lucky.

If you're one of those people and want to maintain your blissful ignorance, please stop reading now.

See, I would have happily avoided writing about this if it weren't for yet another neuron-apoptosing editorial by (unbylined, but presumably) Jeff McMenemy, wittily titled Liberal media slow to scold Letterman for Palin comments.

Okay, let's get this over with...
If you don't believe a double standard exists in much of the mainstream media when it comes to how inappropriate or tasteless comments are treated, just consider the case of late-night talk show host David Letterman.

Letterman, before referring to what he described as Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's "slutty flight-attendant look," made a truly tasteless and classless joke early last week about the governor's 14-year-old daughter, saying she had been "knocked up" by Alex Rodriguez during a trip to watch a New York Yankees game.
Wow, lies right off the bat. That didn't take long.

Let's look at the actual joke, delivered as part of a top-10 list about Sarah Palin's trip to New York:
One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game. During the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.

I don't know about you, but when I first heard about that I assumed it was about Bristol Palin, who is Sarah Palin's famously knocked-up daughter. That is, in fact, who the joke was about, according to Letterman.

Clearly, it's also about a baseball player that I know little about, but I guess he's sort of sleazy? Arguably, the joke is more at his expense than Palin's. I wonder why nobody is coming to his defense.

But since Palin was at the game with her 14-year old daughter Willow (a fact that wasn't exactly common knowledge), all the deeply politically correct conservatives decided that Letterman was actually making a joke about statutory rape. Even though he wasn't. But when has the truth ever stood in the way of manufactured outrage?

Anyway, Letterman apologized and made clear his intentions, but Bible Spice was more interested in using her 14-year-old daughter as a political tool (which is totally not unethical) than accepting that it was a joke that went a little wrong and moving on.

So there's the background. It pretty much invalidates McMenemy's entire rant, but let's just check out what he has to say anyway. I'm sure it's enlightening.
Palin called the liberal-leaning Letterman "pathetic," and her husband quite rightly said that "any jokes about raping my 14-year-old are despicable."
Well yeah, that would be despicable. Not really relevant though, since Letterman didn't make any such joke.

And if you think such a joke is harmless, please take a moment to consider how you would react if someone made a joke about "knocking up" your teenage daughter.
I suppose that would depend. If it was about my very knocked-up 18 year old daughter, I don't think I'd have a whole lot to complain about. But I'm not desperate to keep my name in the news for a 2012 presidential run, so maybe that would change things.
But while other less liberal talk-show hosts, like Don Imus for example, have been summarily fired from their job and attacked by the liberal media when they made tasteless comments, many were slow to respond correctly to Letterman's tasteless joke and basic lack of decency.
Here, McMenemy is whining about not enough people whining. About a joke on a late-night comedy show. Which didn't mean what he has decided it means.

I wonder how quickly McMenemy condemned Bill O'Reilly when he said this:
And if Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.
... and then later dismissed it as a "satirical riff."

I bet Pope McMenemy, scourge of tasteless jokes, was right on top of that!

It hurts to go on...
But as slow as much of the mainstream media was to respond to the incident, Letterman was even slower, waiting a full week before he apologized for a "bad joke" that couldn't be defended.

But when he apologized on Monday night, Letterman still insisted he was making the joke about Palin's 18-year-old daughter.
Well, yeah. Of course he was. That's why people laughed (jokes about raping 14 year olds don't get a lot of laughs). That's how it was intended, and that's how it was taken by virtually everyone who heard it. The manufactroversy came later.

Also, it's worth noting that the apology a week after the joke was the second apology. The first came pretty quickly, but I guess Palin wasn't ready to stop exploiting her daughter for political points yet.
We find that claim to be unbelievable, but even if it is true, does that really make things any better?
"Unbelievable" is used in a nonstandard way in this sentence. It doesn't mean something that can't be believed, it means something that McMenemy chooses not to believe. Because he's a dipshit.

Anyway, yes it makes it better! Bristol Palin was knocked up! That's widely-known, and is the reason she goes on tv advocating... ummm... abstinence. Because it worked so well for her!

I'm also pretty sure that 18 is the age of adulthood (and consent, many places) in this country. That makes a huge difference. It's not a joke about a girl having sex, it's a joke about a woman getting knocked up. Even though she actually became pregnant before she was 18. Hmm... Levi has some 'splaining to do!

Enough of the intentionally-misrepresented comedy bits though, let's get to intentionally-misrepresented media response.
The big issue here is not whether Letterman should be fired -- that's up to his advertisers and his viewers -- but why so many in the media think it's OK to cross all lines of decency and verbally attack 14-year-old girls, as long as they're the daughters of Republicans.
Oh, there was still some intentionally-misrepresented comedy bit in there. Oh well.

Regardless, nobody in the media thinks that! Even this joke, which wasn't about a 14 year old, has gotten all kinds of media attention. Far, far more than it should have.
We're glad that Letterman has finally apologized, but we find it troubling that the same liberal pundits who have gleefully attacked conservatives when they make tasteless comments, remained silent after Letterman's comments.
Damn right! Those faggy liberal pundits should recognize the difference between a late-night comedian making a joke that went wrong, and prominent conservative pundits using eliminationist rhetoric that they later dismiss as "satire."

See, when Ann Coulter includes a line like like "I think our motto should be, post-9-11, 'raghead talks tough, raghead faces consequences.'" in a speech to CPAC, and then follows it up with "You know, ok. I made a few jokes — and they killed 3000 Americans. Fair trade." that's an hilarious joke! Ha ha ha!

But when David Letterman (an actual comedian) makes a joke that right-wingers interpret incorrectly, that's a terrible affront to civility. People should be outraged!

Stupid liberals, don't they know that the only funny jokes are ones that denigrate Muslims or feature some sort of violent rhetoric? Jokes about celebrities having sex are just wrong!

Of course, no McMenemy piece is complete without an appeal to "civility":
And we hope that all political discourse, whether it's a serious political debate or just late-night jokes, will remain civil above all else.
Yay, civility!

Here are McMenemy's allies in the fight for civility. Enjoy.

Now that's funny!