Ok I have to weigh in on this Sarah Palin/Dave Letterman controversy.
The only reason why is that it appears to be over, so I wanted to go through a little “lessons learned”.
The first lesson is a question. Do any of you think that this was an accident? Those of you who think it was an accident can stop reading because you are also likely to learn that there is no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny.
This was a manufactured crisis which served the purposes of both people.
It served Letterman’s purpose because his main ratings competitor, The Tonight Show, was changing hosts. There was an opportunity to steal the spotlight and some ratings points. It worked.
It served Palin’s purpose because she had just come off a badly fumbled Republican speaking engagement. This is the one where she was invited to speak, declined because the group was unwilling to make concessions, then when Newt Gingrich agreed to speak in her place, decided to show up after all and make an awkward cameo appearance. It put her back in the limelight in the role of an outraged mother fiercely defending her child in particular and women young and old in general. It worked.
When both parties determined that they had squeezed about as much publicity out of the stunt as they could, they both agreed to end it.
The second lesson is a little more subtle. It was a litmus test of political correctness on the right and left. What it proved is that when the right feels as though one of its own have been the victim of “hate speech”, they fall right in line saying all of the same things as the left does when it feels that one of its own has been treated unfairly. So at the end of the day, you have the curious juxtaposition of Fox News commending Sarah Palin for her gracious acceptance of David Letterman’s apology for “inciting men to rape underage girls”, while at the same time defending itself for inciting murder by calling Dr. Tiller a “baby killer”.
The last lesson is a word to the wise. The human can only aspire to the divine, it can never duplicate it. As a result, nothing is completely black or white. Those who describe it as such have another purpose for doing so. They have another agenda that you may or may not be aware of. You have passed the first test for wisdom when you hold your favorite sources of information up to the same scrutiny that they bring to bear on the those they disagree with.