Politics is a rough and tumble affair. Elected officials are going to be attacked and often unfairly.
They will be the subject of crude jokes as exhibited by David Letterman against Sarah Palin.
Palin was the subject of his Top 10 list on Monday's show after she attended a New York Yankees game with former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani over the weekend. In the top 10 list, Letterman referred to Palin as having "a slutty flight attendant look."
Not particularly flattering but Palin might have let it slip by had Letterman not decided to go after her 14-year-old daughter Willow Palin, who was in attendance at the game. Letterman said, "One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game, during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez."
Letterman replied that he was directing the joke at 18-year-old Bristol Palin. Oh, as if that makes it any better. And to think that Letterman used to be funny.
As Palin points out Letterman wouldn't "dare make" a comment about anyone's else daughter. How far would Letterman have got with Hillary Clinton had he made remarks about Chelsea Clinton getting knocked up? Not very far whether as a 14-year-old or as an almost 30-year-old. Remember that NBC suspended David Shuster for two weeks when he quipped that Chelsea Clinton was being "pimped out" during her mother's campaign in February 2008. In fact, Shuster would have been fired for the incident if Tim Russert hadn't intervened just months before his death.
But since Sarah Palin's daughter is involved don't expect CBS to suspend much less reprimand Letterman.
In fact, Letterman now has the audacity to invite Palin and her husband Todd on the show. I'm sure if Todd Palin were to see David Letterman he would punch him in the nose. Then again he could always get Crispin Glover to kick Letterman's head.
If Conan O'Brien were smart he'd invite Palin onto his version of The Tonight Show. It would be in his interest in light of the fact that he has fallen behind Letterman in the ratings scarcely two weeks into his run as its new host. But that would probably offend the brass at NBC who should rename their network Obama Central.