David Letterman’s sexually offensive jokes about Sarah Palin’s daughters (and herself) were distinctly bereft of class. Sarah Palin’s immediate acceptance of his apology was, on the other hand, quite classy. (Of course, Letterman didn’t apologize for the line comparing her to a “slutty flight-attendant,” but merely for the joke about Alex Rodriguez having sex with her daughter.)

Personally, I’m not fond of these scenes where an entertainer or a public figure is ganged-up-upon and put through the mill for making a poor joke or a politically-incorrect remark. Of-course, when the public figure making the remark is a conservative, or is even perceived (rightly or wrongly) as being one on some level, a blow-up of this sort rarely ends without heavy consequences, like a firing or the end of a public career. It is, as ever, the double-standard in these matters that infuriates. David Letterman’s remarks were literally drops in the bucket; Governor Palin and her family have endured a level of personal attack, of brutal and sometimes outright bizarre vindictiveness that would never be tolerated were it focused on a liberal female politician and her family.

Palin would be more aware of this than anyone, and her decision to immediately accept Letterman’s rather self-serving speech as an adequate apology—so almost certainly sparing him further grief over the matter—is all the more classy for that.

Articles by Sean Curnyn

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