Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blog, Baby, Blog!

Ply me with coffee and I'm apt to agree to anything. Within reason. So credit or blame a recent Starbucks encounter I had with two radio listeners. Lamenting my canceled daily talk show, they urged me to share my views with the charge: " Blog, Baby, blog."

So here I go. I'll offer a wayward compendium of observations on everything from politics to pop culture, sandwiched between wry slices of life and garnished with my irreverent perspective. While I can't re-create the mosaic of voices I tried to weave together with listener calls, there is a comment section or contact me via e-mail. So, please have at me. I certainly don't want to be screaming into an empty blogosphere.

LETTERMAN vs. PALIN: David Letterman is in the middle of his Imus moment. And thanks to two apologies and a ratings' boost, he'll probably survive. Okay, so the joke about Sarah Palin's daughter being " knocked up by A-Rod in the seventh inning," was a big mistake. It didn't matter that Palin was at the game with her 14 year old daughter Willow and not Bristol, the targeted 18 year old unwed mom, who's now an out-spoken poster child for abstinence. The joke was tasteless and not very funny. Palin took Dave on quite a ride around the block in the back of her state-funded limo and she's still getting mileage out of it. First she issued a statement labeling the comments--and by implication--Letterman--perverted. This lead to Dave's first half-hearted apology. Saying he regretted the joke like he's regretted thousands he's told, Dave came as close to snarky as he can come.

Not enough for Palin, she blasted the late night comic on The Today Show. Now she was taking him on as a mom and a spokesperson for girls across America. Some women's groups got into the mix, suggesting that the joke adds to a denigration of girls and young women. Maybe. Every small cut, after all, hacks away at the wounded national self-esteem of teens and young adults. There's a provocative Calvin Klein billboard in SoHo that's dusting up liberal sensibilities, too.

So last night, Dave offered a second apology. This time he was at his sweet middle-aged mid-western aw-shucks best. The joke, he admitted again, was tasteless. It didn't matter what his intention was, he said, if it offended the Palin daughters and anyone else, he was sorry. He would, he said, try to do better in the future. Sounded sincere to me.

Palin accepted the apology, but in statement, continued to underscore the joke's inappropriate and potentially dangerous message. And protesters--presumably Palin supporters, but maybe not exclusively--were set to picket outside CBS this afternoon. And one hotel chain has reportedly pulled its ads from The Late Show.

So will Dave face the same fate as Imus? Doubtful. For one thing, he came out of the gate with an apology and a better follow-up. And, Palin is a far more polarizing figure than the innocent Rutgers Basketball team. Of course, all the attention has only helped Letterman in the ratings. He had topped Conan O'Brien last week before the brouhaha. And Conan's flailing a bit in the 11:30 slot, so add the commotion and Letterman will probably draw even more casual viewers.

The one who's got the real problem, I think, is Palin. Sure, this controversy has garnered her valuable prime face time on TV, the Internet and newspapers. And she's doing everything she can to prolong it. But should she be spending so much time on a " culture war" issue, albeit one that hits very close to home? If she's positioning herself for 2012, if she wants to be the face and voice of the tattered GOP, shouldn't she be taking on the President on something weightier like say, health care or the economy? The one thing she needs to do is eradicate her image as a political lightweight. Not so sure this is the issue to hang her presidential hopes on.

Looking for a fight, Governor? Next time,try taking on Gingrich or Limbaugh. Maybe she wants to be Limbaugh. Or at least replace him. Politics or the media? Either way, Sarah Palin can still see the spotlight from her porch in Alaska. And she wants to shine on and on. In the lower forty-eight.


WISE WORDS?: Barbara Walters offered life advice to Reality TV scions Spencer and Heidi Pratt. " You can't just be famous for being famous forever." Their big thought bubble: " Oh, yeah, Grandma? It got us on The View."

OH, BROTHER, OBAMA: The 27 year old half-brother of President Obama just scored a deal with Simon &Schuster...his memoir due out early next year will focus on the Kenyan's rise from poverty to his work as a successful community organizer. Think I read it already.

SCREEN SHAKERS: TCM is now selling Robert Osborne bobblehead dolls. If you want to shake up your movie memorabilia collection with a shaky image of the suave classic movie host, check out TCM.com. I can't wait for the Amy Beth bobblehead. Talk about a collector's item. Priceless.

Until next time.....

Drive safe. Play nice. Think peace.


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