Sarah Palin is Lying: Letterman Never Joked About Rape
David Letterman joked that Sarah Palin's "daughter" (he never said 14-year-old or her name) was "knocked up by Alex Rodriguez". The joke was in poor taste, clearly, but that might be why comedians don't carry the title "reverend" before their names. The joke was (let's all be honest here) about A-Rod's alleged promiscuity and about the famous case of Sarah Palin's older daughter who had a baby out of wedlock.
Letterman himself has said the joke was "ugly" and that he regrets telling it. And I think most people agree that it's better when politicians' children are not attacked in efforts to mock the politicians themselves. Children should not be brought into it. But the fact is, Sarah Palin is making a specific allegation against the comic, and he never specified which daughter (the Palins fabricated that "attack" on their 14-year-old by saying she was the only one at the baseball game, nevermind whether Letterman knew that or not), and he never recommended or joked about "statutory rape", as Gov. Palin is so fond of saying.
So it's instructive to think about why is it that Sarah Palin finds herself time and again in these hostile confrontations on the national stage over her family life. The media is not lusting after a chance to attack her family; it is Sarah Palin who has repeatedly sought to use her family in order to score political points. Instead of just appearing with her family in public as other candidates have done, or praising their individual qualities, she sought to use her daughter Bristol as an "example" of a young woman who had to face the choice of aborting a baby or carrying it to term.
It is Sarah Palin who has leapt at the chance to inflate a random comment about a baseball player and extramarital relations into an accusation of crimes against underage women. It is Sarah Palin who is now exploiting the second of her own daughters, in a light specifically related to sexuality, in order to gain attention. She deserves the benefit of the doubt, at least to the degree that we can assume she does not intend to exploit her daughters' sexuality; but she deserves less of it when she abjectly lies about David Letterman, accusing him of promoting "rape".
Are we to believe that Sarah Palin is really so delusional as to believe that the intent of Mr. Letterman's comment was to belittle child rape or to attack "young women across this country", which she says with the same wry smile she used last fall when she would accuse then-Senator Obama of hating America or of "palling around with terrorists". Sarah Palin is lying, and she is exploiting her own daughter, by way of a fabricated scandal, in order to get attention for herself.
It is a disgrace to the value of family and honest and forthright public service as virtues in our society that she would do this. It is a disgrace to conservatism that she so willingly props herself up by lying about other people. And it is a disgrace to Alaska that its governor has nothing better to do than to spend her days on talk shows fanning the flames of hatred against one or another person whom she has deemed to be fodder for her endless quest to grab the spotlight.