As we've noted before, the challenge for Sarah Palin over these next few years of exile in Alaska is staying in the national consciousness despite having no discernible reason to be there. Which might explain why she's decided to take some off-color jokes from a comedian and try to twist them into an outrageous affront to civilized society. Over the weekend Palin visited Auburn, New York, for a commemoration of Alaska-purchaser William Seward, received an award on Long Island, and took in a Yankees game with the Giulianis. On Monday, David Letterman dedicated a particularly tasteless Top 10 list to Palin's visit, referring to her as a "slutty flight attendant" and joking that "her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez." On Tuesday, Palin, understandably insulted, told a radio host that Letterman was "pathetic." The comment was noticed, but not enough. So Palin's diabolically genius PR team (her and Todd and Greta van Susteren, probably) decided they needed to ratchet up this burgeoning spat. And how better to do it than to call Letterman a pedophile who promotes the rape of children.
To that end, here's the statement she released yesterday:
Laughter incited by sexually-perverted comments made by a 62-year-old male celebrity aimed at a 14-year-old girl is not only disgusting, but it reminds us some Hollywood/NY entertainers have a long way to go in understanding what the rest of America understands — that acceptance of inappropriate sexual comments about an underage girl, who could be anyone's daughter, contributes to the atrociously high rate of sexual exploitation of minors by older men who use and abuse others.
And here's a companion statement released by Todd:
Any "jokes" about raping my 14-year-old are despicable. Alaskans know it and I believe the rest of the world knows it, too.
WHOA. See what they did there (besides the nod to the culture war that Palin promotes at every opportunity)? It was pretty obvious that when Letterman made his crass joke about Palin's daughter getting knocked up by A-Rod that he was referring to 18-year-old Bristol you know, the one that was actually recently knocked up. But that's not outrageous enough, so the Palins decided to assume he was talking about a 14-year-old. Letterman would obviously have to respond to these accusations, and he spent seven minutes doing so last night. Here he is admitting that some of his jokes were "ugly" and in "poor taste," but explaining that he was indeed talking about Bristol.
And, of course, Dave also invited Palin on the show. Whether she accepts or not, the feud has now become newsworthy enough to be covered by cable TV, newspapers, and, of course, every blog (us included). Score another point for extreme umbrage and the Palin PR strategy.