I was happy to find that David Letterman has joined the woman hating bigots such as Rush Limbaugh and Gordon Liddy in the NOW Hall of Shame.

Comedians in search of a laugh should really know better than to snicker about men having sex with teenage girls (or young women) less than half their age. The sexualization of girls and women in the media is reaching new lows these days… Letterman also joked about what he called Palin’s “slutty flight attendant look” — yet another example of how the media love to focus on a woman politician’s appearance, especially as it relates to her sexual appeal to men.

The children of politicians should not be ridiculed unless they too are public figures, but to ridicule a fourteen year old is beyond the pale.

Yet, as I pointed out in a previous essay, the problem is not just political, but there is a resurgence of class bigotry behind the attacks against working class girls who make it in the world, such as Michelle Obama, Judge Sotomyer, or Governor Palin.

Take Letterman’s “Slutty Flight attendant” joke.

One of my nieces is a Flight attendant, and personally I wouldn’t be one. People are nasty to you, and you are on your feet for hours. Their “real” job, by the way, is not serving food, but to keep you alive: in case of a crash landing. It is the Flight Attendant who has to direct the panicky passengers how to get out, and is the last person out the door in an emergency.

But the most pathetic thing about Letterman’s jokes is that they are thirty years out of date.

Nowadays, your flight attendant could easily be a man, and your pilot a lady, just as your doctor could be a woman and your nurse could be an ex coal-miner who got “retrained” by union money when his coalmine was shut down.

Rush Limbaugh once said that Feminism was the way that “ugly women” could succeed. I doubt that he meant this as a compliment, but there is a lot of truth behind that statement.Feminism is about equality: allowing a woman whose work or test scores make her eligible for a job should mean she gets the job.The same goes for those of a different race, religion, or national origin.

But equality also works against the “good old boy” system, where the news media hires the child of a famous parent as a reporter, instead of finding new talent.

Perhaps this is why there is so much ridicule in the press against the uppity working class man or woman who has been successful, from Bill Clinton to Joe Biden to Sarah Palin.

This snobbery is nothing new.Some years back, the elite media, not satisfied by routinely ridiculing one “hack politician”  decided to go after his only child by ridiculing her singing debut, and the politician replied in a letter so eloquent in expressing the anger of press ridicule that President Clinton used to keep a copy of it in his desk:

It seems to me that you are a frustrated old man who wishes he could have been successful. When you write such poppy-cock as was in the back section of the paper you work for it shows conclusively that you’re off the beam and at least four of your ulcers are at work.

Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supportergivem hell harry below!

…. I hope you’ll accept that statement as a worse insult than a reflection on your ancestry.

So perhaps Letterman should be glad he only has to face a gentleman like Todd Palin instead of an angry father like “Give’m Hell” Harry Truman.]


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her webpage is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

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