The past few days the main news media has been dominated by the Palin-Letterman controversy.  Sarah Palin being the governor of Alaska, and former vice presidential candidate.  Dave Letterman being a long-time late night television host.
Listening to Sarah Palin making speeches on the campaign trail last year, she’s the only candidate I heard using the word “Freedom.”  It seemed to be taboo for the others to mention the word.  As politicians go, she seemed to me to be a cut above the crowd when it comes to core American values, expression of family values, and caring about individual Freedom.
I have rarely watched David Letterman.  The  few times I have, he came across to me as a very sarcastic, below-the-belt joke teller.  Unlike Jay Leno and Johnny Carson, who could tell jokes with an air of common-decency coming across, not hateful and sardonic.
The news storm erupted when Letterman stood on stage before millions, trying to make something funny about a New York ball-player “knocking up” Sara Palin’s teenage daughter. Now anyone with one eye and half sense knows that’s crossing the line of common decency.  And Letterman being a long-time pro of poking fun at others very well knew it when he did it.  He deliberately picked this fight with a loving mother over her children.  Hitting below the belt.  That was out of the ballpark nastiness.
Obviously Letterman is quite leftist and Liberal.  His group won the election, so what was his pay-off for such hurtful, mean-spirited verbiage?  Apparently for ratings and hammering away at her popularity with talk of 2012 elections.  He knew he would get a rise out of Palin, and publicity.  Having instigated this, he then gave some babbling nonsensical retort to her objections.  Generating more attention from his backhanded remarks.  Adding insult to injury by inviting her on his show.
A sort of, “walk into my parlor said the spider to the fly” mentality.  A come-closer-so-I can-heap-more-abuse-on-you game play.
Then Sara Palin shot back stronger objections over his verbiage and attitude, and should have. Things got so hot and heavy, I did stay up late to hear what happened next in the cooked-up war of words. Groups organized, calling for Letterman to be fired.
When the blows reached a pitch, nipping at his paycheck, he probably recalled what happened to Imus.  Consequently he immediately went from a stand-up, sarcastic, mean-spirited comic, to a sit-down crawler.  He abjectly humbled himself and groveled with an apology.  Palin graciously accepted.
David Letterman is a professional talk show host.  He’s been doing this a very long time.  And my opinion, the route all this took was probably projected from the outset.  Words are power and the damage was done.  An apology, but what amends were made?  Was this shock and awe? Was there collateral damage to these young children?  Did these children cry themselves to sleep after hearing this verbal abuse?
I personally only understand Right and Wrong, from two things –  thievery and violation of Natural Law.
This is a situation of hurtful damage, but no thievery involved, because none of us “own” our reputation.  Our reputation is what others think and say about us.  It has no boundaries, therefore we do not own, nor control.  However there is an area of morality as expressed in such great moral guides as the Ten Commandments, which says, “thou shalt not bear false witness.”
Because the Letterman show is probably scripted, his remarks were deliberately casting aspersions on innocent children.  No excuse for his behavior, and no apology can fix it.  Despite the fact it was directed to others, it winds up being a blight on who he is, as a man, and a father, and a public spokesman.
Admittedly, I stayed up and tuned in to his show two nights in a row; I have no plans to continue watching his show.  And the American people can express their objection to his distasteful rhetoric by tuning him out via a flip of the switch.
One of my very favorite writers, Frederic Bastiat, wrote: “Society is composed of men, and every man is a free agent.  Since man is free, he can choose, he can err, he can suffer.  I go further:  He must err, and he must suffer:  for his starting point is ignorance, and in his ignorance he sees before him an infinite number of unknown roads, all of which save one lead to error.”
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