Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Family Thing

Can anyone explain why the Republican National Committee thought the song "Barack the Magic Negro" was knee-slapping hilarity and anyone who cried racism was just a "hypersensitive" PC-obsessed pansy, but that same committee's esteemed chairman, who himself enjoyed the parody, joined Governor Palin in eviscerating a comedian for telling a crude sex joke (one that everyone would have laughed at had they watched the original clip and not seen the rerun of it over and over again in the context of "offensive" "tasteless" or "degrading" on Good Morning America) about a legal (don't believe for a second he made the joke about the 14 year old) adult? And how is it acceptable for Governor Palin to suggest that her daughter may not be safe around Mr. Letterman, implying the 62 year old man just might harbor the same sick pedophilic statutory rape fantasy that he (didn't) joke about?

There are no answers. Just the deafening silence left in the wake of indefensible hypocrisy borne from an attempt to capitalize politically by dusting off the old, tarnished shield of Family Values and conceiving Jokegate not as the story of a brilliant, beloved comedian making (another) off-color quip, but as the saga of an outraged and indignant mother fighting not only for her daughters' but for America's daughters' dignity and self-respect in the face of corrosive and degrading male chauvinism.

It's surely the same sort of hypocritical righteous "lay-off-my-family" crusade to protect one's own that led to this, this, this, this, and this.

If you want your family off-limits, establishing a barrier between them and the rest of the world begins, and stays, in the home.

For those of you keeping score (so, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, ABC, CBS, Newseek, Yahoo!, HuffPost, NY Daily News, People, The Hill, Politico, Perez Hilton, and probably, though not confirmed, The Juneau Empire), Mr. Letterman has now apologized, again, without qualifiers of any sort, for his joke, making him, paradoxically, the bigger person in this whole drama.

Just for fun, imagine me as a well-known celebrity and father of a beautiful and bright 18 year old girl named Tootsie. Now imagine that a late night jokester known for making crude jokes for giggles on his little show made a funny about sweet Tootsie getting "knocked up" by Sean Avery at a Rangers-Capitals game in Washington. The following would be the appropriate way for me, as a father, to respond:

[Chump-Ass Late Night Host]: Hello?
[Me]: Hi, [Chump-Ass Late Night Host]?
[CLNH]: Yes this is he.
[Me]: Hi, it's [Me], I just wanted to let you know that I heard your joke about young Tootsie during last night's Celebrity Kid Pregnancies segment and was horribly offended that you would drag my young daughter into the spotlight to make a crude and tasteless joke about her being impregnated by a mediocre asswipe of a hockey player.
[CLNH]: Oh...yeah...you heard that, eh?
[Me]: Yes, I did, and I did not in the least appreciate it. As a father, it's my duty to protect my little Tootsie from words like yours, and I most certainly expect an apology to me and my daughter for your insensitivity. Now, as star of the hit television sitcom "The Weatherman," (Thursdays at 8 on NBC) I could easily use my celebrity and starshine to publicly deride you for your lack of consideration for my family and its privacy, not to mention for my daughter's self-respect.
[CLNH]: Uh huh.
[Me]: But that sort of stunt would only serve to grant your senseless words more airtime, a greater audience, and give this whole story more legs and lead to more teasing of my pretty Tootsie, and that is something that, as a father who values his family's well-being over my petty and pathetic need to grab the media's attention for my own personal gain because I may or may not be considering a serious career move in 2012, I simply cannot allow.
[CLNH]: Of course.
[Me]: So Mr. [CLNH] I would greatly appreciate a sincere apology for the harm you have caused my daughter and my family, and I would hope we could then put this behind us so we might maintain a healthy relationship in the future that would be beneficial to your and my career, especially if one of us were to say be considering a serious career move in 2012.
[CLNH]: Well, Mr. [Me], I have to say I appreciate your phone call and I want to let you know that after speaking with you I do feel immense shame in my telling of that thoughtless joke, and I do offer my sincerest apologies to you and your family, including joyous Tootsie. I assure you I will try to do better in the future.
[Me]: I appreciate that Mr. [CLNH].
[CLNH]: I'm glad we could settle this. And I would love to have you on the show sometime to discuss your work, and maybe even to talk about a potential seriously serious possible career move in 2012.
[Me]: I would like that very much. I gotta say though, that line about Rudy Guliani wearing the cherry red lipstick and Carrot Top riding naked on a Vespa was comedic gold.
[CLNH]: (Laughs). Thank you, I thought it was pretty good too.
[Me]: Gold.

Step into the rain: secondrain.blogspot.com

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