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David Letterman Inducted Into NOW Hall of Shame

June 15, 2009
By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

When David Letterman let loose with some sexist and crude cheap shots about the daughter of Sarah Palin, a lot of folks were asking, ”Where are the feminists?

Well, it looks like even the National Organization of Women (NOW) can’t keep quiet any longer.

In a move that pretty much has conservatives floored, NOW has placed Letterman in its Hall of Shame as an offender.

After joking about a “slutty flight attendant look” and using Palin’s daughter, Alex Rodriguez and “knocked up” in the same ugly sentence, the very next night Letterman made another remark about the governor’s daughter and Eliot Spitzer.

NOW Communications Director Lisa Bennett issued a statement citing Letterman's attempt at humor and dismissing Dave’s so-called apology.

“On his June 10 show, Letterman said he was referring to Palin's 18-year-old daughter, Bristol — not the 14-year-old daughter who actually accompanied Palin on her New York trip,” the spokesperson said.

When Letterman acknowledged that his jokes were “ugly” NOW agreed.

“Comedians in search of a laugh should really know better than to snicker about men having sex with teenage girls (or young women) less than half their age,” Bennett stated.

“Someone of Letterman's stature, who appears on what used to be known as ‘the Tiffany Network’ [CBS], should be above wallowing in the juvenile, sexist mud that other comedians and broadcasters seem to prefer,” Bennett added.

She even urged people to write to CBS and share their opinions.

But when it comes to television, letters whisper but ratings scream.

Meanwhile a lot of people are screaming about Letterman's reluctance to apologize to Palin and her family and the minimal degree of damage control that he’s willing to engage in.

Could it be that a recent statement given to The Hill by RNC Chairman Michael Steele is calling for a boycott of CBS's “Late Night with David Letterman”?

“Letterman's joke about Sarah and Todd Palin's daughter was thoughtless and tacky. I saw his explanation for the joke, but sometimes the easiest thing to do is simply say 'I'm sorry,'” Steele said.

The late-night comedy host doesn’t seem to be in the mood to offer a full-fledged mea culpa.

“When Letterman starts making tasteless jokes about kids, it's time to turn the channel,” Steele added.

I bet both Palin and Steele have moved way up on Conan O'Brien's Christmas list.

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James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
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