Shire Network News #165 has been released. The feature interview is with Israeli historian Yaacov Lozowick, author of "Right to Exist: A Moral Defense of Israel’s Wars" and a former peace activist who found himself voting for (gulp) Sharon. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News, asking you to "Consider This!"

What do Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, G. Gordon Liddy and David Letterman all have in common?  They’re all on NOW’s Hall of Shame.  When the ladies in the Left wing calls a fellow liberal "sexist", it must be way beyond the pale.

And it was.

(The YouTube video is no longer available – CBS took it down – so here’s a blog post on the subject.  Essentially he said that there was an embarrassing moment at a Yankees game that Sarah Palin attended; during the 7th inning her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.)

Yes, others like Leno and Saturday Night Live have done similar jokes and the Palins have had to laugh it off.  But the campaign’s been over for 8 months now, and Letterman’s still doing teen pregnancy jokes?  Guess he must be all out of vicious Obama jokes.

When I was asked if, for my segment on SNN, I’d like to take a crack at Letterman, I said "Yes … and I’d like to talk about him, too."  >cue rim shot<  Well the fact is, I tried to come up with a Top 9 list that could both have 9 items and yet say what I wanted to say about this.

The Top 9 Other Topics David Letterman Also Thinks Are Funny

9 – Hit and run drivers (as long as they hit a Republican)


How about The Top 9 Topics David Letterman Thinks Aren’t Funny

9 – Jokes about President Obama’s daughters.


The Top 9 Ways to Make the Joke Funnier

9 – Add a minister, a priest and a Rabbi walking into a bar.

8 – Toss in a few lines from "Who’s on First?"

Eh.  I just couldn’t come up with 9 things that fit those categories without winding up in the same cesspool that Letterman jumped into.  And I won’t go there.

In his first "apology", he said he meant to make the joke about Bristol, age 18, not Willow, age 14.

So he meant to ignore the 14-year-old daughter that was really there at the game, and instead say that the 18-year-old daughter she left home somehow wound up in New York and got … yeah, well, see, that extra 4 years of age takes (what passes for) a "joke" from "inappropriate" to "comedic genius".  I mean, if he’d actually said "Bristol", why then we’d all be laughing. 

Well, about a week went by, and he came to the conclusion that the "joke" was tasteless and the "apology" was inadequate; a conclusion that should’ve taken 7 milliseconds rather than 7 days.  He finally took personal responsibility for the content, and the Palins accepted.

So what are the lessons we should all learn from this?

Lesson 1: If you’re going to tell a joke about statutory rape, don’t.  Just don’t.  It’s one of the cheapest of cheap laughs. 

Lesson 2: If you haven’t learned lesson 1, then at least be sure you know what you’re talking about.  If you’re going to attack someone’s reputation, at least get your facts straight.

And lesson 3:  If you find yourself listening to someone who hasn’t learned lesson 1, laughter & applause is not the appropriate response.  Hey, audience; consider this.

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