Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that Letterman’s classless, crude, and downright ugly comments about the juvernile daughter of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin really angered me.
BUT – should he be fired for it? My first impulse, because of the sheer stupid and vulgar nature of what passes for “comedy” these days and the clear double standards of the media, was to say, yes, he should. Get rid of him. He deserves it.
We don’t have to look too far back to see what happened to Don Imus when he made an off color remark on his radio show. He was given the boot in short order. So…..why not Letterman? And a New York lawmaker agrees with that point:
New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, a Republican, is calling on the CEO of CBS to fire David Letterman for crude comments he made about Sarah Palin and her daughter.
[…] “As the proud father of a daughter, and as a husband, I wanted Mr. Moonves to hear from me directly about Mr. Letterman’s disparaging remarks,” Kolb said in a written statement.
“Firing Mr. Letterman would send a clear message that CBS will not tolerate any of its employees — even an established media figure like Mr. Letterman — making demeaning and degrading comments about women.”
I understand the emotion behind the statement but, reluctantly, I have to disagree.
Should he be fired? No. Should he be sanctioned or suspended? Absolutely. So…why do I think he shouldn’t be given the heave-ho over his stupid and ugly comments?
Simple, and it’s the same argument I used during the Imus issue.
We simply cannot start taking away people’s livelihoods because they say something, no matter how stupid it is, that we find distasteful. That, of course, does not include threats or things of that nature. I hate the term “slippery slope” because it’s an overused phrase that ranks right up there with “hero” and “diva’. It’s used so much that it’s essentially void, just empty words that really don’t describe anything and belittle those who really deserve the honor of the terms.
But in this case – and I really, really hate defending the creepy Letterman, it is applicable.
Let’s take care in how people who say things are punished. Fire him? No. Let him suffer the derision he so richly deserves for thinking his forum gave him a degree of invulnerability and that he could say what he wants, no matter how ugly.
But don’t take away his job. That is indeed a slippery slope, and one that could eventually affect us all.