David Letterman sure stepped in it when he cracked some jokes about the family of Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, former VP candidate, and current heroine and idol of the Religious Right. He took on the wrong person, and clearly, the R.R. isn’t going to give up until he’s off the air.

This is in spite of the fact that Letterman made an apology (not just once, but twice), and Ms Palin accepted the second of them (as reported by CBS News):

Sarah Palin has accepted the olive branch handed to her by David Letterman, following his jokes about Palin’s daughter getting “knocked up” by a professional baseball player.

That Palin ultimately accepted Letterman’s apology, however, appears to mean absolutely nothing to the armies of the R.R. who are arrayed against him, as reported by a USA Today blog:

According to New York’s Daily News, Anna Barone, an official with FireDavidLetterman.com, says the apology is not enough. “An apology is a first step, but it’s not accountablity [sic] to me. CBS should at least suspend him for a little while.” The group is still planning to protest outside the show this afternoon.

Hold on a minute. You’ve named your group and its Web site “Fire David Letterman,” yet you claim you will be satisfied only with a suspension? Either Barone is lying when she says she’ll be happy with a suspension, or the name of her group is itself a lie. Ah, disingenuity … a hallmark of the religionazis! More lying liars for Jesus. They never met a lie they wouldn’t tell, in defense of their religion and their presumed right to impose it on the universe.

A blog entry at Time elaborates on the unwillingness of people — in the face of a moral victory — to accept that victory:

But really this controversy doesn’t belong to Palin and Letterman anymore, and both of them only have so much power to end it. That distinction belongs to the army of cable-news and online commenters using it as a proxy for every dispute under the sun, and they are too well invested in keeping it going. Yea, verily, it has been written down in The Holy Book of Partisan Grievance, and it shall be cited henceforth in culture wars to come.

You know how that works. A controversy like this comes up, and suddenly there’s a mad dash to the history books to cherrypick decontextualized examples and catch the other side in an act of hypocritical defense of / outrage against humor. Well, what about when Jay Leno made essentially the same joke last year!, Letterman’s defenders cried. But what about Imus!, Palin’s partisans countered. CBS fired Imus for his remarks! Well, what about all the jokes people made about Chelsea Clinton? Yes, but what about the ones about the Bush daughters? You’re a hypocrite! No, you are!

On and on it goes, the grievance and counter-grievance, the gotcha and counter-gotcha. And thus the discussion over a freaking tacky late-night joke becomes like adjudicating an ethnic conflict in the Balkans, where yesterday’s atrocity is rationalized by a massacre during World War I, which in turn was righteous payback for some atrocity in 1484, which in turn… Good Lord.

This article pefectly explains the tit-for-tat, schoolyard-style juvenile sniping involved in this case and many others like it. Isn’t it time for people to grow the hell up and move on?

Note to R.R.: GOP presidential candidate John McCain said as much, himself, as USA Today relates in an update:

David Gregory on the Today show asked Sen. John McCain about Letterman’s apology this morning and he said he appreciated that Letterman was sorry and said, “Now we need to move on.”

I doubt this will be enough for the R.R., however, since they do not consider McCain “one of them” … even if he did everything in his power to pander to their ferocious, relentless, and unforgiving hyperreligiosity, last year. They will ignore him, and rage on in their unending bellicose sanctimony.

P.S. I consider Letterman’s jokes about Palin and her family to have been in very poor taste. They included slurs about flight attendants and Alex Rodriguez, in addition to the Palins. His “jokes” were just not funny. But even with that concession, his apology and Palin’s own acceptance of it, means the controversy is over. The children in the R.R. need to let go and grow the fuck up, for once in their lives. Raging and fuming over bad jokes is just a waste of time and energy.

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