NOW Sanctions Letterman Over Palin Jokes

Statement: ‘NOW hopes that all the conservatives who are fired up about sexism in the media lately will join us in calling out sexism when it is directed at women who aren’t professed conservatives’

Poor David Letterman. He’s finding out the hard way that going up against Sarah Palin can be a very, very unpleasant experience. And now, even, um NOW (the National Organization for Women) is against him.

It all started when Alaska’s governor came to New York to participate in a tribute to William Seward in Auburn, N.Y. on the 50th anniversary of Alaska statehood. After that, she and the fam, who as we know from the 2008 campaign, like to soak up all the freebies they can, attended a Yankees game before heading to Washington for a Republican fund raising dinner. Palin’s 14-year-old daughter, Willow, was at the game. Her more notorious daughter, the 18-year-old Bristol, who recently bore a son without benefit of marriage, was not.

So began Letterman’s troubles.

And if that wasn’t bad enough…

Letterman no doubt had his Willows and Bristols confused. He apologized in typical Letterman style after the mistake was pointed out by saying the joke was one of many tasteless ones he’s made that he wishes he could take back.

Palin, of course, has been milking it for all it’s worth, which seems to be more than the last time she was righteously indignant. That was when Pres. Obama made a joke about his own ability to bowl by comparing it to the Special Olympics. Palin, whose son Trig is a Down syndrome child, tried to make herself the victim but it didn’t take. With Letterman’s comments more targeted, Palin had all she needed to exploit the situation. And even NOW agrees with her.

“The sexualization of girls and women in the media is reaching new lows these days — it is exploitative and has a negative effect on how all women and girls are perceived and how they view themselves,” the group writes on its website, pointing to Letterman’s jokes as an example.

But to their credit, NOW didn’t stop there.

“NOW hopes that all the conservatives who are fired up about sexism in the media lately will join us in calling out sexism when it is directed at women who aren’t professed conservatives,” NOW writes.


  • Allen
    June 12, 2009 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    Who really cares what pail-in or NOW thinks or does. They are BOTH in the same boat regarding intellegence. All pail-in cares about is getting her name and face on TV no matter what it takes. NOW should just step back and REALIZE Letterman is a comedian, and making jokes is his JOB. If this is all that pail-in and NOW has to do is whine about a few jokes from a comedian, this country would be in GREAT shape. Typical far-right conservative whiners, moaning, cause they CAN’T get over they lost power in D.C.!!!

  • CatBallou
    June 12, 2009 - 1:57 pm | Permalink

    NOW is hardly a “far-right conservative” organization, Allen. Get your facts straight. And while it’s absolutely true that the country would be in great shape if whining about jokes were all ANYONE had to do, NOW has done and is doing much more than that.

    And BTW, it’s “National Organization FOR Women.”

  • June 12, 2009 - 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Thanks CatBallou, for the correction. And I couldn’t agree more about NOW.

  • Dave
    June 12, 2009 - 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Any guy (Allen) who thinks it’s OK for an old comedian to make sex jokes about someone’s teenage daughter obviously isn’t a father of one himself. Doesn’t matter if its Letterman’s “job”. Doesn’t matter if she’s 14 or whatever. Doesn’t matter if you don’t like her parents.

  • Lugh
    June 13, 2009 - 3:21 am | Permalink

    I think it might be possible that some people missed that the joke had more to do with a certain ball-player’s propensity for going after young women than the young woman (whichever daughter was referred to!) herself. Yeah, the tastefulness of the joke was questionable. And the humor value was equally low. If it weren’t for a certain lipstick-wearing pit bull (?), the joke would’ve passed relatively unnoticed and uncared about. It had no power to influence. It would’ve just faded away. But no, desperate to keep her face in the spotlight, Gov. Palin spun the incident into a big brouhaha which had conservatives everywhere spasming all over themselves to appear “righteously indignant” In the meantime, Gov. Palin has gone on record reviling Letterman, insinuating that he would be a danger to young women. I’m sorry. I find this whole “incident” stupid. I find Gov. Palin’s part in it classless and self-serving. And I find that the only people who reacted with class was NOW, who though I thought they over-reacted with issuing a statement on the joke, put it all in perspective with their parting shot of hoping that the Right will join them in the future in decrying sexism when it is directed at women who aren’t professed conservatives. Nice job, NOW! Those same conservatives probably said, “Where’s your sense of humor?” when Rush Limbaugh referred to Chelsea Clinton as “the White House dog.” Sauce for the goose? I wonder?

  • william brown
    June 13, 2009 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    Initial author of article could not help take a “dig” at Sarah Palin.{advantage of freebies}! Reminds me of when she was running for vice presidents office. Newspapers, cnn, and most everyone except Fox was saying negative things about her.
    Her trouble. Nice looking woman, nice family,a Govener, a husband, with better looks than most males in Hollywood.

    • June 13, 2009 - 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Her looks are irrelevant — and obviously a matter of taste. Her main problem is, she’s dumber than a fence post.

  • June 14, 2009 - 1:13 am | Permalink

    Yeah, all those freebies? Like flying Air Force One around for photo ops or for a date? And yeah that Sarah is a killer, all the liberals she has slain and talked trash about. I don’t understand why liberals are not celebrating Bristol getting pregnant out of wedlock, after all isn’t that expected? Certainly your movies celebrate such behavior. O, I forgot, she didn’t kill the baby in the womb, same as her mom, now I understand the rage.

    • June 14, 2009 - 7:57 am | Permalink

      Poor, poor Sarah Palin — the biggest victim on the planet.

      And I don’t remember right-wingers complaining when Bush flew Air Force One back to Texas every other week. That’s easily four times as far from Washington as New York, and Bush took more vacation time than any president since Calvin Coolidge.

  • June 14, 2009 - 8:46 am | Permalink

    Hey william brown, my mistake if it seemed I was trying to resist taking shots at Palin. Nothing could be further from the truth, I assure you. BTW, did you notice you mentioned she’s good looking twice? In the same sentence? What is it you REALLY admire about Palin? And Jehu, why are you reading this blog? Operation Rescue must have one of their own, unless it’s on the FBI Watch List.

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