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Movement to get David Letterman fired?

Apparently, there are some people who want to go Imus on Letterman. Read about it here.

For those who don't remember the Imus incident, click here.

Comments (28)

All in defense of the purity of the Palin's? I'd rather die on a different hill.

Badger, it can be arranged.

On the other hand imagine Letterman, I think it's called dissing, taking off on the President's children in a similar fashion. Or any other prominent Democrat's children. If you respond , please some caution, but similarity in the examples you chose will be appreciated.

Amazing how taste and the permissive vary depending on one's politics. It should be obvious that civilized people would be circumspect in the insults they choose in their efforts to degrade children, though we have fallen a long ways down since the golden days of the early middle ages.

Fired! Letterman would be an instant historical sink hole but for his safe choice as target for his depravity.
A life sentence to a pig farm would would be an act of charity, were charity allowed in the age of compulsion.

I know everybody's probably sick of me, and I don't want to get into a whole big thing here, but I had a couple of points.

1. The butts of the jokes were prominent NY-area aduterers Alex Rodriguez and Elliot Spitzer. Though the daughter features prominently, she doesn't seem to me to be a target. Although I could see a case with respect to the ARod joke, the Spitzer joke is clearly about what a letch he is. I find it easy to see the ARod joke in that light, too. (Sarah Palin herself was, of course, the butt of the "slutty flight attendant" joke.)

2. Obama deliberately kept his daughters out of the campaign. Palin used her daughters, particularly Bristol and Trigg, as campaign props. She made them public figures.

3. Compare Letterman's jokes with Rush Limbaugh's "dog" joke, which was directly about how sexually unattractive he found a then 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton. Democratic politicians's daughters take their lumps, too.

4. Apparently, Letterman's ratings have gotten a huge boost from this. I heard he's beating the Tonight Show for the first time in 15 years. There's no way he gets fired.

Mr. Zero, you are defending the indefensible.

Imagine if Letterman had referred to Obama's distinctive strut as his "pimp walk."

Something does not become good for a liberal to do simply because a conservative did it, and vice versa.

Limbaugh was shameful, and so was Letterman.

I consider firing someone a nuclear option.

Getting Letterman fired is unlikely to be achievable, considering TV execs' investment in him.

Even if a move to fire him is successful, it's likely to result in nasty retaliations and the further hardening of Letterman's heart.

Why can't one take the more moderate tactic of calling for a week's suspension?

There are probably contractual issues, I know. And "Suspend Letterman!" doesn't yet get attention like "Fire Letterman!" does.

But losing a job makes a man a martyr in his own mind and those of others. Going on suspension makes him look like a misbehaving teenager.

While I would LOVE to see David Letterman dumped, I don't think it likely.
What I would like to see is Letterman publicly and sincerely apologize to the Palin's and state WHY what he said was so very wrong.
I can't imagine how these young girls must feel to be publicly humiliated in this manner.
Shame on you David Letterman.

Mr Zero. it is a mark of the imbalance in partisan abuse that after, what, 16/18 years the Limbaugh example should once more be dug from it's grave, putting aside the difference in types of abuse, itself a gymnastic exercise. This should be a signal to you but in my experience people make the strangest comparisons as a means of defense and self justification.

Maybe Palin will follow your advice and lock her children up in the closet for future campaigns. It is hardly unusual for a candidate to have their family with then for some appearances but you see free to deny Palin even the emotion of love for her children, knowing as you do that they are only "props" for her cynical self.

I do wonder how Obama, who you could not call Hussein during the campaign,[ now he advertises the name, I wonder why?]would have handled the flood of vitriol directed at Palin? Please note an example of this in your post.
Nothing left to say, or there is but what's the use.

Professor Beckwith,

I didn’t defend anything. I think we can have a discussion about how wrong the jokes were, and what, precisely, was wrong with them, without either of us defending the jokes or the jokester. I do think you’re wrong about how offensive the jokes are, because you follow Palin in misinterpreting them. It’s her daughters, so she can be excused.

“Pimpwalk” might be kind of funny; whether it crossed a line would depend on setup and execution. I never noticed any distinctive strut though. Maybe I have been paying attention to the wrong things. If it's as distinctive as you say, by all means.

I never said it did. Step2 suggested that the fallout would be worse if the target had been a liberal. I was pointing out that it had been done--in that case, the joke was really just Limbaugh calling her a dog--so the comparison could be made. I apologize for not thinking of a more recent example; I just going off the top of my head without doing any real research. However, if the comparison strikes you as "gymnastic," I would suggest that it's merely the same partisan bias you accuse others of. (This last sentence is directed at Step2, not you, Prof. Beckwith.) Perhaps the recent NR cover featuring Sotomayor as the Wise Latina, which, is clearly racist in a couple of different ways though its editor defends it as a joke, would be a more timely example.

Agreed. Though I thought Letterman crossed the line with the "slutty flight attendant" joke.

And Step2, Palin is free to be any kind of parent she wishes. I'm just saying that realistically, when you exploit your kids for political advantage, they're going to be mentioned on late night TV. And when you're as unpopular as Palin is, some of those references are going to be unflattering. I'm not saying it's all her fault, but partly it is. Nor am I defending Letterman.

Johnt, I accidentally addressed you as 'step2.' Sorry, I was being careless.

Mr Zero, On being careless it's safe to say you can't help yourself. I understand.
You resolutely refuse to make distinctions,when I do you call it partisan bias, you refuse to recognize the flood of hatred aimed at Palin and despite my comments persist in hewing to the child exploitation crap, denying the possibility of love and not knowing an iota of the woman's reasons or affections. You proceed further into a form of bizarre reasoning; NR's cover racist, not Sotomayor,the 'a Latino woman" comment which manages to be both racist and sexist at the same time. OK with you but not the NR cover?

Your last paragraph is a masterpiece of vulgarity. Palin is not wholly at fault for Letterman's obscenity,a tad twisted I'd say, "unflattering", try defamatory and filthy. Big of you to inform us of your non-defense of DL, sure you're not sticking your neck out.

Allow me to close with a name, Joe Biden. Hold on to that when next you hear about Palin's faults. This will require thought.
Please Zero, please, no more !

"“Pimpwalk” might be kind of funny; whether it crossed a line would depend on setup and execution."

Time to shake the dust off of my feet.

As Dylan would put it, you need a "shot of love."

Mr. Zero,

I haven't made any comments at all on this matter. Kindly stop referring to me as if I had. Thanks.


Thanks for accepting my apology in good faith. I appreciate that even though we disagree, we can still have a civil discussion.

I'm not sure where I denied the possibility that Palin loves her kids. I also don't see how Sotomayor's comments were racist. She says that, when ruling on cases specifically involving racism, the fact that someone's background includes exposure to racism might help that person have a greater level of wisdom (specifically with respect to such cases) than someone whose background didn't include such experiences. But even if it is racist, I don't see how that bears on the issue of whether the NR cover was racist. Why couldn't the NR have responded to a racist comment with further racism?

And if you think it's ok to call one politician's daughter a dog, but that to suggest that another politician keep her daughter away from Elliot Spitzer is beyond the pale, then I think partisan bias is as good an explanation as any.

Please read the last paragraph again. I explicitly deny that Palin is "wholly at fault" for Letterman's obscenity. But she's got to accept some of the responsibility. Unlike Obama, she made her kids into public figures. Public figures get talked about on late-night TV. And again, I think you're wrong about who the jokes were attacking--in each case, the target is clearly the adult. Does that let him off the hook or imply that they were not in poor taste? No.

Look. I think there's an interesting issue about what was wrong with those jokes, how wrong they are, and what the consequences will likely be. If you don't think it's an interesting issue, there's no reason why you should feel compelled to enter the discussion.

I mentioned that I wasn't defending Letterman because Beckwith thought I was. I don't see what the big deal is.


My apologies. I don't know why I did that.

Zero, so how are things on the planet Pluto ? There is really no sense in going on. You are of a different breed and speak a different language.
Nowhere do I even hint that it is ok to call the Clinton child a dog, a distinction of type may be made was my very clear point.

Nowhere do I say you accuse Palin of being wholly at fault. I am responding to your almost as idiotic "I'm not saying it's all her fault". Again, how big of you. The insulted shares responsibility for the insult with the insulter, and of course because she's unpopular, never mind why, with who, and for what reasons.

Your Sotomayor thing doesn't even offer a glimmer of an intelligible response after your initial sortie into race relations.

Really, I'm not strong on inter-galactic communications so you will understand why I must retire to other pursuits and, at the risk of seeming brusque, avoid you like the plague.
This will afford you the chance at the last word and your inevitable conclusion that a triumph is at hand, but that's probably the way it goes on Pluto.

I am a conservative guy and I watched as Letterman made the jokes and I thought he was referring to Bristol, because Bristol was the one in the news about being pregnant. I don't believe for a second he meant the 14 year old. I am so sick of the extreme ways of taking these things. I don't believe Obama was calling Palin a pig with his lipstick comment and I don't believe McCain would have been a G.W. Bush 3rd term. If people jump on the extreme on either side, it makes them as unbelievable as those that started it. If you cannot see the reasoning of the other side and shut off to anything but the vile reason the extreme right or left has detailed, you are blind or a bully, just needing to be right. Everyone needs to take it down a notch. The partisan stuff is getting worst daily that each side is making up their own answers and insisting it is what the other side is doing. Disagreeing is one thing, what is going on now is over the top. Fire Letterman? He has reflected the news in his jokes for 30 years (I have watched him for all 30), not attacking untouched minors. He also has told more jokes at the expense of Bill and Hillary Clinton than at the expense of anyone else over the years. It is not like being a pedophile and it is not like making up something about other children. Bristol was in the news and the liberals attacked Palin's platform with a pregnant child. Stop putting your hands over your ears and insisting that Letterman followed her itinerary and focused a premeditated attack on the 14 your old. The more you insist on it, doesn't make it more true.

Of course Letterman was referring to Bristol, not Willow. And, tasteless though the joke was, it was more about Eliot Spitzer and "A-Rod" than about the Palins.

I think David Letterman making fun of a14 or 18 year old girl is disgusting. Palin is in the publics eye so it comes with the territory. Her children should be left alone. Her 18 year old daughter made a mistake and should be commended for taking her responsibility seriously and taking care of her child not ridiculed by a 60 year old man. he should be responsible on TV to know who he is talking about also I believe he did know and now that it back fired he is back pedaling. He should not be on the air.

Her 18 year old daughter made a mistake and should be commended for taking her responsibility seriously and taking care of her child not ridiculed by a 60 year old man.

For whatever reason there are a number of conservatives that believe this. There is very little commendable in her affairs. She quite frankly should be ridiculed by her community, so that others aren't tempted to follow her path.


I can't believe anyone defending Letterman. He has been mean for years. I guess that's why he is getting away with it again. His limp apology was full of anger. As if mistaking the 14 year old daughter for the 18 year old daughter made it okay. I am so sick of the so-called "funny" men on TV and the way they continue to talk so disrespectfully about women. What gets me is that these men, Leno, Imus, Stern, and Letterman get paid millions for making crude remarks about women.

David letterman makes a fortune being a jackass. I don't watch him, he is an elitist. I think someone should turn the tables on all these comedians and so-called news commentators and start making fun of them and their families for public consumption, give them a taste of their own medicine, let them see how it feels for them and their loved ones to be publicly humiliated. I don't think they would particularly care for it.

I agree with lee h. abraham. I don't think firing the "pig" is the answer.
Give it back to these so-called funny people.
I know ... I know.... two wrongs don't make a right but letting people walk all over other people and to tolerate these people isn't good either.
If people like David Letterman love to dish it then they should be prepared to take it as well.
I'm sure he knows this now. I'm sure he has received lots and lots of hate mail.
I wouldn't doubt his ratings have or will go down. Conan is already taking care of that. Letterman just made it worse for himself.
Come 'on Letterman. That old age is really starting to sneak up on you. Gotta be more careful with that mouth. Think before you speak. Think. Think. Think.

It seems the media is the one pitting everybody against each other, it is just the idiot box feeding the idiots, that would be me and you. Television, radio and newspaper all have an agenda.
come on people do we still have minds of our own or do they belong to pundits, commentators etc. God has given us each a mind and free will to chose our own personal beliefs. Just because we have an opinion doesn't make it true, God forbid we could be wrong. It is of the utmost importance that we respect each other, we don't have to agree. Let's love one another,don't be so judgemental, It's the least we can do. Help me, it starts with me and you.

Okay, Letterman finally gave a heartfelt apology. I think big ego people have a hard time coming down to earth. This, I'm sure was a humbling experience for him, and well it should've been. Chalk it up to lessons learned, don't do it again, all is forgiven.

What is the big deal with what Letterman said. He thought it was the daughter who Palin paraded around as an unwed, teenage girl who was/is pregnant. Sarah Palin opened the door for these type of cheap shots when she got in front of the Nation and acted like it is ok for a teenager to have a child. Instead of going after David Letterman who is a comedian why not go after the Parents that encourage teenagers to have what is more than likely an unwanted child. Her daughter is loose. Her teenage daughter not only got pregnant, but due to her sexual behaviors put herself at risk of getting HIV or any other number of STD's. So where is the conversation around that topic. Did Sarah Palins daughter practice safe behaviors by having her boyfriend tested for STD's including HIV. I doubt it. So while we are so consumed about David Letterman lets not forget about the big picture and that is that these teenagers are running around infecting each other and people like Sarah Palin are part of the problem when they say how proud they are of their children for beign irresponsible.

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