1. Letterman's "slutty flight attendant" remark, though somewhat sexist, fell within normal late night comedy rules. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's dress over the Memorial Day weekend certainly qualified as being within the subset of tastelessly dressed women that many associate with the stewardess-on-the-hustle genre.
2. Letterman's remarks about a daughter of Palin, in the jokes about Alex Rodriguez and Elliot Spitzer were way over the line. I don't care which daughter he meant. Progressive Alaska has posted one fake movie poster, showing a pregnant Bristol, back last year. It was in fairly poor taste, but joked about a situation that actually existed.
Letterman's remarks, even when qualified as "jokes," were fairly disgusting, at least to me.
3. Palin's reaction to this is almost as disgusting. They are very accusatory and inflammatory. What are they intended to portray?
She and her husband would have done best to move on, leaving Letterman to have to figure out how to deal with the long-term effects. Her reactions show, once again, that her advisors are still no more ready for prime time than she is.
Palin, attempting to portray herself as somebody ready to defend young women from any kind of sexual advances, appropriate or not, is cynical opportunism, nothing more.
She is the person who ended a line item in the Wasilla Police Department budget for payment of forensic examinations of sexual abuse victims.
She is the person who fired her public safety commissioner within days of his announcement that Alaska law enforcement agencies were going to more aggressively pursue sex crimes in Alaska.
She is the person who hired a man with a history of sexual harassment in the workplace to replace the forward-looking man she had fired.
David Letterman has always struck me as the most opportunistically meretricious of the late night TV program hosts. We have rarely tuned in, throughout his career.
images - Palin at Memorial Day observances, 2009; Howard Stern in drag on Letterman's show