All Apologies
06-12-2009
The current dust-up between Sarah Palin and David Letterman is starting to take on the feel of a classic political mini-drama, the kind typically fought in weekly pitched battles during a presidential campaign. In fact, for a brief moment earlier this week, I felt like I was back watching the McCain-Palin campaign respond to the latest attack leveled by the Obama-Biden folks. You can decide for yourself whether Letterman went too far; the “flight attendant” comment is here, and the “daughter” comments are here.
 
Don’t get me wrong, the Palins have every right to defend themselves and their family. But over the past week, their approach to the whole episode has started to take on the familiar trappings of a campaign-style rebuttal, including a tailoring of the message to fit the news cycle, the selective use of high-profile media outlets, and an attempt by supporters to put the conflict to broader political use.
 
Better for the Palins to strongly register their displeasure once or twice and move on, rather than attempt to set this up as a bigger flashpoint in the culture wars. If anything, these kinds of comedy monologue-driven public spats mainly provide late night comedians with addition fodder for their shows, usually to the continued frustration of the aggrieved politician.
 
Update (6/16/09): Under increasing pressure to apologize from a variety of quarters, Letterman has finally thrown in the towel. Chock one up for the Palins.


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