Saturday, June 13, 2009

Thanks but No Thanks: Palin Is Still Scary

The Letterman Joke Deception, Smears and Cynicism of Sarah Palin
by Stephen Crockett

Sarah Palin owes the American people of very sincere apology. She owes David Letterman an apology. She owes her own children an apology. Her actions and statements have been dangerous, exploitive, divisive and deceptive

I am disappointed that the media pundits commenting on this case did not point out that Sarah Palin conveniently used a 6 second joke by a non-political figure to divert the discussion away from the role Palin’s recent political rhetoric has played in creating a hostile and dangerous political climate in America over the past year. Palin’s outrageous comments falsely connecting Obama to socialism, falsely creating a completely unfounded fear of Big Brother government and stoking up political paranoia on the Right is dangerous and in poor taste. Her kind of rhetoric can directly be connected to the recent murders by Right-Wing extremists at the Holocaust museum in DC and in Kansas. She stoked the paranoia and inflamed their misguided passions and twisted political world view.

The Palin-type of extreme political rhetoric from the Republican Right has been feeding a growing domestic terrorist problem in America. This kind of dangerous rhetoric routinely comes not only from Palin herself, but also, from Right-Wing talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage, extremist Right-Wing websites like Free and, unfortunately, from many, many Republican Party officials and activists. Examples of Right-Wing political hate speech on talk radio are legion. Free has thousands of posted comments of the most extreme nature. At about the same time that Palin was making her most recent inflammatory comments, the Republican Party held a political fundraiser that raised over $15 million dollars where a second rate actor called Obama “dangerous” and made many other hate-filled comments about our President.

We all remember the Sarah Palin rallies during the 2008 Presidential campaign where the crowd contained numerous Right-Wing nut jobs who shouted “kill him” when Obama’s name was mentioned. We all know about the Right-Wing conspiracy theories that contend Obama is a secret Muslim and/or not really an American citizen. We saw hundred if not thousands of signs to this effect at the McCain-Palin rallies in 2008 and at the Fox News/Republican sponsored anti-tax “tea parties” earlier this year. The man who committed the political murders at the Holocaust museum in DC wrote in support of these whack-job Right-Wing conspiracy theories on the Free web site!

I have personal reasons to believe that the Anthrax Mail killer of 2001 was in part inspired by Right Wing talk radio shows like Neal Boortz and/or Right-Wing nut job websites like Free Sarah Palin intentionally taps into this political paranoia and Right-Wing political extremism with her over the top rhetoric. Her political career in Alaska has always been connected with extremist and political fringe groups. No other major political figure in America is as closely connected to political extremist groups as Sarah Palin.

Palin was certainly going to face a firestorm of political criticism over her rhetoric and extremist political connections in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust Right-Wing political murder! The criticism had just started when Palin made a huge political controversy over a 6 second David Letterman joke! It was an effective, intentional and cynical political move on her part.

Letterman apologized but Sarah Palin refused to accept the apology and let the matter drop. Doing so would not have helped her divert public attention from her rhetorical role in promoting Right-Wing extremism. It would have been the best outcome for her daughters but not for the political career of Sarah Palin. She placed her political ambition first over the emotional well-being of her daughters.

David Letterman did tell a rather crude joke, obviously referencing the 18 daughter of Sarah Palin, who is an unwed mother. It was in poor taste. Yes, it was a cheap shot. Comedians do that kind of thing every day to people in the public arena. Comedians go for the funny without regard to political correctness.

However, it is clear that Sarah Palin victimized her own daughter by putting her daughter in the public limelight just to advance Sarah Palin’s political ambitions without considering the possibility of the inevitable public humiliation that her daughter would face. Sarah Palin made her daughter’s unwed mother status and difficult relationship with her baby’s father front page news. This was done by Sarah Palin, not David Letterman. It was done for political reasons.

The controversial joke would never have been told if Sarah Palin had followed the example of President and Michelle Obama in how they insisted the media treat their daughters. The Obamas did not routinely exploit their daughters during the political campaign the way the Palin children were blatantly exploited by their mother. The Obamas continued to try to shield their daughters from excessive media attention once elected.

Comedians are not political operatives. They are not and should not be held to the same political standards of behavior as journalists, officeholders, candidates or political spokespersons. Behaving badly and pushing the envelope of social acceptability are the norms when it comes to comedians. Nearly all comedians tell less than politically correct jokes. While the jokes told by political figures should meet at least some minimum standards of political correctness, the same certainly does not hold true for comedians.

It is obvious that the remarks made by the Palins that strongly implied that a teenage girl would not be safe in the company of David Letterman were absolutely in poor taste and blatantly false. Using words like “perverted” were uncalled for by Sarah Palin. She used and continues to use them in reference to Letterman. Falsely stating that Letterman advocated underage sex and “rape” were beyond acceptable under any circumstances. Sarah Palin is smearing a popular comedian to drawn attention away from her role in creating a climate that promotes political violence by Right-Wing extremists.

Palin must know that late night talk show hosts are highly unlikely to write their own jokes. She knows the jokes are not meant to defame anyone. She must know the only goal is to draw laughter. Misconstruing the actions and motives of David Letterman tells us a great deal about the motives and character of Sarah Palin. While Palin clearly demonstrated that she has no sense of humor, media pundits should be connecting the dots concerning the clearly manipulative and political nature of the Palin-Letterman joke controversy.

Palin should apologize. If she does not apologize, we should all call for her resignation over this matter. Sarah Palin will seemingly do anything to promote her political ambitions including using her children, making false statements, engaging in character assassination and promoting a dangerous strain of political Right-Wing extremism. American political life and the Republican Party would be better off if Palin would retire from the public arena

Written by Stephen Crockett (Host of Democratic Talk Radio). Mail: 698 Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, Delaware 19702.
Feel free to publish without prior approval.


  1. Who is Sarah Palin? And who is Obama? Anybody know these people? And Rush who? I've been living in a pine box just waiting to die ever since my medical insurance quit 17 years ago.

  2. First of all, politicians need to quit whining about their families being off limits. They put themselves out there, the families go with them. They either need to get over it, or get out of public life.

    That said:

    A six-second joke? How long does it have to be to be offensive?

    I dare you to answer this question. What would your commentary be if Letterman had talked about Michelle's "Sleeveless Slutty Look," or used the Imus description for the two Obama rugrats?

    You'd want him fired.

    Have some intellectual honesty, for once, and admit it.
    Have some intellectual honesty, and admit it.

  3. I would think it would be out of line, but I wouldn't use it (as Palin has) as a launching pad to talk about how the Hollywood types need to "get a clue" about "real America," and continue to spout basically dangerous rhetoric that is feeding crazies.

    Handgun sales are way up in Rapid City, partly because of fears that Palin has planted that Obama is a Manchurian Candidate and a left-wing takeover has happened.

    (BTW nothing could be further than the truth: the huge banks and corporations are doing just fine, thank you.)

  4. Rhetoric that feeds crazies?

    Does that include Olbermann, the most hateful, vitriol-spewing commentator on television? Could he have spurred the wacko Muslim to assassinate an Army recruiter (a hate crime that virtually no one in the liberal media has reported on very much -- yet an anti-Semite/anti-Israel nutcase, which is more of a left-wong characteristic these days, is labeled as a product of right-wing rage).

    Obama WAS the Manchurian candidate. And the radicals HAVE taken over. (PS. I am not a gun person. I happen to support most gun-control measures.)

  5. The tragedy in Missouri has been covered well on MSNBC, if you watched it you'd know that. Both Rachel and Keith have cited the Missouri tragedy as anther case of domestic terrorism that we are facing.

    You can't be serious that the right-wing meme of our government as a nefarious force isn't doing harm.

    I don't care if you are a gun person, but talk like that does no good.

    Radicals taken over? When the Senate wouldn't even consider single-payer before the massive outcry that it wasn't even on the table?


  6. The "tragedy" was in Arkansas. I don't know which "tragedy" you are talking about. And I do watch MSNBC, probably more than you watch FOX. They did not give the recruiter assassination as much coverage as Tiller or the Holocaust Museum. Not by a long shot.

    That said...I didn't say that right-wing crazies aren't doing harm. They are. Just as much as left-wing crazies.

    And the radicals have taken over. Not 100 percent. But enough. Why else would the Justice Department drop charges against a New Black Panther who, according to an excellent witness who was a '60s civil-rights advocate, intimidated voters in Philadelphia? Why is the Justice Department and the liberal media and liberal politicians ignoring taxpayer-and Obama-funded ACORN, whose tentacles are mind-boggling and which is in trouble in at last a dozen states? Why is it OK (even championed) for busloads of agitators to harrass AIG families who had nothing to do with the miscreants at the top? If any other these examples had been about a conservative organization, believe me, things would be happening. And justifiably so.

    I could go on. But I won't.

  7. MSNBC and the Left in America are not connected in any way to Muslim extremist terrorism. They do not by action or word promote, incite, provide a propaganda outlet for, condone or foster political violence or Muslim fundamental extremism.

    The same cannot be said about Right Wing talk radio, some Fox News shows and guests nor factions at Right Wing web sites like Free when it comes to Right Wing extremists and domeestic terrorists.

    Letterman is not a political leader. He has no political agenda or following. His comments are not even meant to be taken seriously. The concept is called "comedy." His comments do not put anyone in danger. They were in poor taste as everyone including Letterman agrees but they will not incite violence. He apologized!

    Palin's language is meant to be taken seriously. She is an important elected and spokesperson for Republicanism. Her language is over the top and could easily push unstable Right Wing extremist to commit acts of violence including murder as recent events have demonstrated.

    Her false descriptions of his joke and motivations contained in her verbal attacks on Letterman could put him in physical danger.

  8. I guess what irks me most about MustBeKidding is that he suggests an equivalence between Rachel and Keith's explication of the facts (with some vitriol where things like the Constitution is at stake) with the almost incoherent rants of innuendo and insinuation we hear from the likes of Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly, and yes, Sarah Palin.

    I'm sorry, facts trump conjecture as far as I'm concerned.

    So who is more credible to you -- the New York Times or the Washington Times? Rachel Maddow or Michelle Malkin? The Heritage Foundation or the National Academy of Sciences?

    Left-right equivalence my ever-growing butt.