Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Weeping for Willow
After telling his acolyte audience that Sarah Palin bought her make-up from Bloomingdales to "update her slutty flight attendant look," the late night host waded even deeper into his verbal cesspool by adding that during the seventh inning stretch at the Yankees game attended by Palin, her husband and daughter, Willow, the daughter was "knocked up by Alex Rodriquez."
David Letterman is 62. Willow Palin is 15.
Willow Palin is a child and no match for the likes of Letterman. She is not a public figure, only the child of one. At 15, she deserves to be protected from such venomous and hurtful verbiage, if not by common decency, then by law.
Undoubtably, Letterman's writers thought they were targeting their poisonous, and very unhumorous barbs, at Bristol Palin, herself still a teenager. Unfortunately, those barbs hit a younger mark.
In England, Letterman could be sued for such libel and made to pay a price for his lack of any common decency. In America, we have no such protections, even civil protections, for this kind of child abuse. And that is what it is. We have difficulty protecting our children from physically abusive parents and pedaphiles, let alone from verbal assualts on a 15-year old child before a national television audience.
Letterman should be fired, just as Don Imus was for impuning African-American members of a college basketball team. It won't happen. So we need lawmakers to act on Willow Palin's behalf and on behalf of all such children. Lawmakers should make slanderous statements that impune the character of a child a crime so that the issuers of such pernicious words can be prosecuted - in this case for verbal abuse of a young girl. I would feel equally as strong if a slanderous assualt was targeted at a 15-year old boy.
I cannot fathom the mindset that would prompt a man to define such venom as humor. Sarah Palin responded by calling Letterman "pathetic" and his words perverted. As the mother of five children, I can only imagine the pain she much feel for her daughter, who is at such a vulnerable age.
I could hope that Letterman would be a big enough man to apologize. He isn't. And he won't. A man who has fathered a child out of wedlock six years before finally marrying the mother will see no wrongdoing in his brutal attempt at humor directed at a 15-year old girl.
As the mother of a daughter and the grandmother of six girls, my heart can only weep for Sarah and Todd Palin and their daughter, Willow, and hope that state and national lawmakers take note of this egregious misuse of our public airwaves and act.

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