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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 06/17/2009

Reader Poll: Who Nails the Palin/Letterman Brouhaha Best?

By Michael Cavna

An Alaska politician who still has one serious "Q" rating. A TV host who remains America's favorite late-night curmudgeon. And a national controversy involving family and taste and sexuality that refuses to ebb. It's all too tantalizing for some cartoonists to refuse.

Yesterday, Sarah Palin accepted David Letterman's apology -- a day after the host said he was sorry over joking that Palin's daughter had been "knocked up" by Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez. Whether Dave's comments were in poor taste has been debated -- and his show was still drawing a band of protesters outside the studio last night -- but it's interesting to note: Most of the nation's cartoonists who chose to comment on the Big Comedy Kerfuffle did call Dave's taste into question.

Here are four of the more eye-catching Palin-v.-Letterman cartoons to appear in recent days. Comic Riffs invites you to vote for your fave:



'STEVE BENSON' (courtesy of cagle.com)



'BRIAN DUFFY' (cagle.com)




'JOE HELLER' (cagle.com)




'GLENN McCOY' (cagle.com)


By Michael Cavna  | June 17, 2009; 8:00 AM ET
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Comments

Regarding McCoy's cartoon, I'd much rather associate with Uncle Fester there in the audience, rather than Aunt Bea and her stuffed shirt compatriots. Is that a Letterman audience, or an Arthur Godfrey audience?

Posted by: hitpoints | June 17, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Were all the cartoons available only from the Right's perspective? While I agree that the joke was in questionable taste (if only because the referenced daughter was vague - thank you to Todd for pointing it out), Letterman was still a gentleman about how he handled the situation. Meanwhile, Palin continues to parade her children in the public eye for own causes when it suits her agenda.

Posted by: Rudesan | June 17, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Glenn McCoy's cartoon is so offensive it didn't deserve to be published even once, let alone be reproduced here. I understand that comedians constantly run the risk of making "jokes" that cross the line not only of good taste but of common decency--a comedian who doesn't take risks is a comedian who isn't very funny. My initial horrified cringe when I first heard about the joke turned into a white hot anger when I saw how long it took for Letterman to make a proper apology--an apology forced on him, no doubt, by network executives who merely wanted to make the negative publicity go away.

NO ONE from either the right or left with an ounce of decency should think it's OK to take potshots at the child of a public figure. The fact that Bristol (his intended target) is now 18 doesn't change the fact that Letterman was making her the butt of his joke for something she did while she was still a child. Moreover, most 18-year-olds these days are still children, living under their parents roofs and their parents rules while they pursue their educations and/or the start of their careers. One of the most important things Hillary did during her time in the White House was to publicly defend her daughter's right to privacy--a right both the media and the comedians respected for the most part until Bristol's situation was just "too good" to pass up. Shame on everyone who was just too !#$%* lazy and/or shameless to take the high road.

McCoy (and Benson, too) legitimize Letterman's joke by turning the public response into a continuation of the right/left culture wars instead of recognizing it as genuine outrage in response to a tasteless joke by a man who has shown himself to be classless in his inability to recognize when he has crossed the line. And just so you know--I'm one of those "lefties" the Democrats hope won't leave their base because we can barely see a dime's worth of difference between the (to us) right of center positions occupied by both major parties.

Posted by: denisesblehmancollege | June 17, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

"The fact that Bristol (his intended target) is now 18 doesn't change the fact that Letterman was making her the butt of his joke for something she did while she was still a child. Moreover, most 18-year-olds these days are still children, living under their parents roofs and their parents rules while they pursue their educations and/or the start of their careers."

Bristol Palin is an adult and a Public Figure. As an adult and the parent of a child, she chose to make herself a public figure by doing a complete cover feature for "People" Magazine. I'm sorry, but you're not allowed to thrust yourself and your child into the spotlight like that when it benefits you financially, and then pretend to be a "child" when it benefits your politically.

"One of the most important things Hillary did during her time in the White House was to publicly defend her daughter's right to privacy--a right both the media and the comedians respected for the most part"

You're either naieve or intellectually dishonest if you actually believe this.

Posted by: VTDuffman | June 17, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

steve benson, mostly because the face on the letterman 'bearskin' rug is hilarious....

Posted by: rwyckoff | June 17, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Where was all this outrage during the campaign when the late-night jokes were far more raw? During the campaign, Conan O’Brien joked, “It’s true, John McCain’s running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, has revealed that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant. Palin said, ‘We should never have introduced her to John Edwards.’" That was much more direct than Letterman's vague reference, but there was no backlash at Conan, so why now? Why this?

Posted by: slitterst | June 17, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Were there no funny ones? Or clever ones?

So much to laugh at in this story, and these examples missed by a mile.

Posted by: JkR- | June 17, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I support artists to freely express themselves, Especially people who can draw. Since, all I can do is draw stick people. Having experience as a writer and smalltime editor who recruited a cartoonist to spoof...I enjoy the first joke...Which pokes fun, and sort of makes a point of how Mr. Letterman was rundown and runover...And, the one with the Left made to look ghouly, ugly and unwanted while the rest of the audience are buttoned up, and gasping...Yeh, right. Questionable politician in this feud displayed how 'buttoned up' her family is, with a child born to a teenage mother out of wedlock. Yeh, that's real downhome, family-value like...The favorite one I choose, which is a larger question...about tv, and media...PERIOD is the person wondering to themselves as TWO comedians poke fun at politicians in their monologue. Yet, only one was singled out, lied about and made an example of for political use and reasons. The entertainment industry, may as well now take a double look at everything they do. Censorship, may not be too far down the road. People telling other people, 'For their own good.' what they should hear and say. What they should watch and do. Yeh, that sounds great and wonderful.

Posted by: melisaemily | June 17, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin was 'outraged' that David Letterman undermined the self-confidence of young women with his joke that was clearly intended to poke fun at her eighteen year old daughter, Bristol. Yet, she supports the misogynistic rants of the 'firedaveletterman.com' organizer and Sarah Palin's documentary film maker, John Zeigler. Is Sarah really for supporting the aspirations of young women, or is she just an opportunistic b*tch who chooses to use young women, including her own daughters, as cannon fodder in her fight to devolutionize American culture.

You can uncover John's true feelings about women by logging on to 'YouTube' and putting his name into the search window. He appears on a reality dating show and lets his prospective date have it with both barrels, as they would say in Alaska.

Posted by: queenofromania | June 17, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

My bad. The web site for watching John Zeigler's reality show is as follows: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQqLPJvk3gM

Check him out. He's really disgusting.

Posted by: queenofromania | June 17, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Late again, but I have to say, the McCoy play is on one of my FAVOURITE Addams cartoons. I'm not sure of his point, but I enjoyed the way he said it.

Posted by: filfeit | June 17, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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