Over the past week, a controversial debate has been occurring between David Letterman and Sarah Palin. David Letterman is the late night talk show host that is viewed by hundreds of fans each weeknight (http://lateshow.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/show_info/pants/). He is known for his witty character and off-the-cuff humor that may seem hilarious to some and degrading to others. On the other hand is Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska (http://gov.state.ak.us/), who was a recent candidate for vice-president of the United States. On the campaign trail, she was either noted as lacking political knowledge or a mother who could relate to “soccer moms” all over the country. Well, what has brought these two distinctly different personalities together into a verbal exchange of contrasting views?
On one of David Letterman’s late night shows, he made comments about Sarah Palin’s daughter’s involvement with men. The men were sports figures who were older than the daughter. Yet, the difficulty comes in regarding the way in which the comments portrayed the character of the daughter. Yes, Sarah Palin does have a daughter who was pregnant as a teenager who currently speaks out about teenage pregnancy. Yet, should she have been portrayed in such a way as Letterman’s comments deemed. For example, did the comments portray her as a promiscuous young female? Was she portrayed as a teenage female who was in a relationship with a young man and they developed a baby together? Should a young female, or any individual for that matter, be described in a way that conflicts with his or her character for the sake of comedy? Where is the line drawn between comedy and degradation? Has there ever been a line drawn in this area…one wonders?
In a Friday morning interview with Matt Lauer of the Today Show (http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/3079110/), Sarah Palin was asked some very direct questions regarding this issue. She poignantly stated that she is not seeking an apology from Letterman, but he should more so make an apology to females who may have been affected. She further addressed the issues of self-esteem that females in the United States tend to face and how using comedy in such a negative manner contributes to this issue. She was further able to state how women’s advocates have noted their disappointment in Letterman’s comments and people should begin to speak out against it. Furthermore, men should speak out against such comments as well and be a voice for their daughters.
Well, as you weigh both sides of the issue…self-esteem…portrayal…female image versus comedic freedom, which side do you weigh on?