Red S.E. Cupp is the home of S.E. Cupp, co-author of "Why You're Wrong About the Right."

Friday, June 12, 2009

"I Blame Barack Obama"

In case you missed it, we discussed Letterman's non-apology for calling Sarah Palin a "slutty flight attendant" and suggesting Alex Rodriguez rape her daughter on "Hannity" last night. I put the blame squarely on the president, for allowing that kind of rhetoric to happen around him during the campaign.

By allowing his surrogates in the media and Hollywood to use vile and indefensible language about Sarah Palin (and Cindy McCain, and Hillary Clinton...) he told the country, "Go right ahead." He should have said, "Stop, enough is enough. I have two daughters and and I don't want them to look back on this election and have to hear this kind of rhetoric about a capable, accomplished, smart mother of five." He didn't do it then, but he could do it now. He should issue a statement, condemning this kind of language about an American governor and public servant. His approval ratings would go through the roof, instead of the floor.

Addendum: A number of people have rightly pointed out that Barack Obama said during the campaign that kids should be off limits:

"Let me be as clear as possible, I think people's families are off-limits, and people's children are especially off-limits. This shouldn't be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Gov. Palin's performance as governor or her potential performance as a vice president."

Defending Sarah Palin's kids, while admirable, is not defending Sarah Palin. When she was called a woman-hater, a slut, mentally disabled, a devil-worshipper, Caribou Barbie, and "the worst thing to happen to America since 9/11," Barack Obama said nothing. When Sandra Bernhard said Palin would be "gang raped" if she came to New York City, Obama said nothing. Barack Obama, if he truly cares about the world in which his daughters are growing up, should take two minutes out of his day to issue a public statement condemning this kind of language...about a US governor or any woman.



Michael Torbert said...

I'm a fan S.E., but you got it wrong this time. Obama did speak out about this during the campaign. I won't speculate as to whether or not his motives or genuine, but he did say this:

"Let me be as clear as possible, I think people's families are off-limits, and people's children are especially off-limits. This shouldn't be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Gov. Palin's performance as governor or her potential performance as a vice president."


Nick said...

Thanks for your short memory.

The fact is, Bristol Palin opened herself to comedic ribbing when she started doing public interviews on TV and People Magazine. David Letterman made a joke about her, in a stance Obama has previously condemned. This is government, not TMZ.

Focus on an issue that matters. The government's inaction on the economic front with regards to correcting the errors of the last 8 years (TARP was designed with unaccountability in mind). Repealing Bush's transparently evil, "Bankruptcy Fraud Prevention Act," before the fact that the entire U.S. lower class is in debt becomes a big "surprise" to newspapers. Research the proposed health care reform ahead of time, rather than blindly opposing it without citing anything other than "socialism!"

Anonymous said...

David Letterman is a entertainer, not a government official. The President has no business commenting in any way, just as he should never comment on Rush. Governer Palin is a big girl and should be able to take care of herself.

ericmiami said...

You are contributing to the downfall of the right, Ms. Cupp. Thanks, from a liberal.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Cupp:
I think the idea you are suggesting is formed with the best of intentions. However, President Obama saying anything about this issue merely reinforces the very idea that you seek to swat down. Sarah Palin is intelligent and tough, certainly tough enough to endure the barbs of a man who has demonstrated his inability to fact check his staff's jokes, as well as lacking the requisite good taste to avoid smears cleverly disguised as jokes. To have President Obama intervene and declare any humor, even humor in bad taste is to suggest that she can't handle it on her own. Further, as President, any statement regarding intolerance of the speech of citizens has the potential to carry an imprimatur of censorship with it.

Taking it a step further, these comments are not as you suggest President Obama's legacy, nor the legacy of his campaign. They are more appropriately laid at the feet of the modern feminist movement whose tacit condoning of Bill Clinton's behavior towards women due to his political reliability on issues like abortion contributes to the double standard we see in Letterman's comments. That hypocrisy is the cause of the disease, whereas the personal attacks against both Hilary Clinton and Sarah Palin can be seen as the symptoms of it.

Anonymous said...

Is there any doubt that the only reason ANY FoxNews program has you on is because you are "easy on the eyes"?

"I'm not saying this to be inflammatory"? No, of course not (sarcasm)!

El Hanzka said...

Is it poor taste? I'd say so. But is it worthy of a national scandal? Hell no.

Letterman is a comedian. Telling jokes that offend (or worse: bomb) is an occupational hazard. To see you and your cohorts hold him to the same standard as a political figure is ridiculous.

And to suggest the President (you know, the guy who deals with life-or-death matters on a global scale daily) is responsible for a damn joke is intellectually lazy. But if you're just another B-list commentator on FOX, I guess you need to crank out the crazy to get some attention. It certainly got mine.

Good luck with your ... uh ... career, anyway.

Carlos Echevarria said...

S.E. Cupp thanks for standing up for the good Governor and her family.

The most under reported aspect of this story is that the purported Yankee fan (I am a third generation Yankee fanatic), Letterman, also insulted Alex Rodriguez by implying he would engage in statutory rape with a 14 year old...

The history of A-Rod, who basically grew up in South Miami, is that he is inclined towards older women, as evidenced by his ex-wife and Madonna, etc.

Any attempt to alter the daughter in question is disingenous, as Bristol did NOT travel to New York and Letterman was well aware of the entourage which attended the game in the Bronx!

As for your suggestion to Obama to do something positive, he is too busy apologizing to the Germans and the environment wackos for our attack on D-Day...

rob said...

Your assertion here is crazy. Since when is it the practice of a president to speak out against late night comedian's jokes about public figures (and Bristol Palin is an adult public figure since making the decision to act as a social advocate on the subkect of teen pregnancy)? By what rational is Obama responsible for Letterman's statements and what makes Letterman a mouthpeice for Obama, the fact that he voted for him? By that logic every inflammatory over the line comment made by a right wing radio show host during the Bush administration was attributable to President Bush. That's nuts. You just hate Obama so much that you will look for any excuse to tear him down, even if the foundation for your critique is incredibly flimsy (and just for the record, I voted for McCain and used to be a republican until the last two years when it became clear that moderate people like me were no longer welcome in the party).

Anonymous said...

Wow. And conservatives made a cottage industry out of calling libs thin-skinned whiners in the past.

And, by the way, who are you? I've never seen such an emergence of no-name conservative commentators in all my life. I guess all you have to do to get on Faux News these days is come up with some outrageously stupid equivalence, and, BOOM, you're now an authority. Well, congratulations to you Miss See Cupp...you've done your part to stomp the discourse down just a little deeper in the muck.

Paul_D said...

"Barack Obama, if he truly cares about the world in which his daughters are growing up, should take two minutes out of his day to issue a public statement condemning this kind of language"

Mister President,

At this critical time you are addressing a laundry list of important policy decisions, including efforts to stabilize the economy, reforming a dysfunctional healthcare system, shifting military power from Iraq to Afghanistan, could you tell David Letterman to stop being a big meanie to a woman who once accused you of "palling around with terrorists"?


Oxyegn Deprived
and Grasping at Shorter Straws

Alexis Chervony said...

All I'm reading and hearing about is how conservatives are placing Letterman on the same standard of decency with a politician. Don Imus called some females "nappy-headed ho's" and he was fired for it, he's a shock jock and even he was penalized for saying this! Why not Lettermen?

It's because he bashed a conservative and her family. Just because he is a comedian, that doesn't meant he get's a free pass when he speaks. There are always lines that cannot be crossed regardless of your profession.

John Barry said...

This controversy brings to mind Obama's comment:"You can put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig."
To criticize Sarah Palin for defending herself and her family is to miss the point.

Sarah Palin has been subjected to a vicious character assassination campaign by the liberal media since she was chosen as a VP candidate. Much of this stems from her pro-life credentials. It has continued since the election campaign ended.

Palin was correct to slap Letterman down. Now she should move on and develop a strong profile on economic matters.
In this manner she can turn the tables on her detractors.

Anonymous said...

Geez guys, for a warrior culture you proclaim to be, you sure like to be the victim quite a bit.

conservadocious said...

FINALLY! A super pretty truth teller with guts. How bright is your future?...goodness gracious.

Dustin said...

Finally someone is taking that Letterman to task. That guy annoys me soo much and he's on EVERY NIGHT. If only I could do something about it, but there he is, on my TV. I'd reach for the remote but....it's all the way over there. Curse you Letterman!

Chris said...

Don't stick up for Obama for crying out loud.....he didn't stand up for crap during the campaign. Sad thing is Dave used to be very funny and he has unlimited talent but he has let his politics ruin his show and his humor. I have been a fan since I was a kid and now I will not watch the show.....HOw could anyone make a comment like that about a 14 year even if he thought it was the 18 year...how could you have no empathy for what these kids go throough after being chided on national tv..???? disgusting.......and any of the MSNBC D-bags and nbc (Lauer) that have tried to say it was ok should be ashamed of themselves. I can't believe what has happened to our country.

Anonymous said...

Since Liberals or 'progressives' can't debate with facts because they have none to back up their skewed view, they resort to personal attacks. And since the barrage of personal attacks against Governor Palin has only made her stronger, they have to up the attack. And Mr. Letterman is leading the charge... or at least he was.
No, of course Obama had nothing to do with any of it... any good liberal will tell you it was obviously W that caused all of this. I mean hasn't he been responsible for everything negative since his first day in office?
People, Obama is absolutely going to destroy this country if something isn't done soon. A community organizer. Someone who NEVER held a real job. This is surreal.
God help us.

Democratic Deva said...

Sarah Palin gets what she gives. She impressed Joe sixpack and the you betcha crowd bible in one hand gun in the other crowd. The rest---not so much. From the gitgo she has paraded her family in front of the public all across this nation.
Bristol set herself up for public scrutiny when she self annointed herself the spokesperson for abstenence. Unfortunately, she was unable to do this herself, but feels she must proseltize that others do. Kind of the opposite of takes one to know one.
Letterman made couple of crude un-entertaining "jokes". He explained himself and made a half hearted apology. Sarah has put this all over any and all public airwaves, and continues to remind us that she just does not have the capabilities to be the leader of this nation.
To blame this in any way on Obama is just ludricous.

PS Remember the John McCain joke re Chelsea Clinton? Rush also put a few nasties about her during his rants. She was not yet a teen, and was kept relatively out of the public eye.

Anonymous said...

So, by Bristol seeing the mistake of her ways and wanting to help other teenage girls not make the same mistake she opens herself up to be ridiculed?

The hypocrisy from the left is palpable. Michael J. Fox never even heard of Parkinson's before he got it himself and now he's the champion. Christopher Reeves was propped up to be some sort of hero because he fell off a horse and wanted to be cured and thought it could be done by using embryotic stem cells. But woe be unto the person who ever criticized any of them.

So, just shut up about Bristol deserving it. And Letterman was NOT talking about Bristol. Bristol was just a convenient way to weasel out of what he said.

Democratic Deva said...


The only thing Bristol can say to help young girls is "having a baby so young is no picnic." She said herself that she should be out of state at College, having fun, not home taking care of a baby.She went on to say that she loves her son, but having him in 10 years would be the better deal. However,she can give no advice on what to do when things get precarious, as safe sex and/or abstinence are not in her experience.

You rather stretched the word "scrutiny" to read as "ridicule" and "deserved." Are you psychic to boot? The audience knew which daughter Letterman was talking about. Only one of Sarah's children have been pregnant, so far.

Letterman did not try to weasel out of anything. He said his remarks were in bad taste. Personally, I think they were crude and tacky. However, it is a stretch to call him a pervert.

Your compassion for Michael Fox and Chris Reeves is palpable. I fail to see how the disease process and poor health of entertainers, one deceased, fits into this discussion.

Did your mama never tell you that telling another to "shut-up" was a sign of poor manners and breeding?

Have a nice day.

PS My prayers WILL be answered if Sarah is the GOP pick for 2012.

Anonymous said...


Oh, i see. Well, since Bristol has no experience with abstenance and therefore can't express an opinion, Well let's see. Oh yeah, Mr. Obama has no experience in ... well anything but he can go ahead and take over the banks and GM and now healthcare. I see your point.

How funny. I'm not stretching anything. I toned it down by using ridicule. And you're laying on me that i think i'm psychic when you are the one who says "the audience knew what Letterman meant".

The fact is that Bristol was NOT at the game with her mom. The fact is that Letterman is pre-recorded and edited and they could have easily edited that if he didn't mean it. The fact is that I can't speculate about what he meant because I am certainly not 'psychic'; and can only take him at his word.

And as for my breeding and manners, since you don't know me i request you keep the personal attacks to a minimum.

Just the facts ma'am

ariafx said...


"...Let me be as clear as possible, I think people's families are off-limits, and people's children are especially off-limits..."

time and time again, obama makes the appropriate statement, then proceeds to do and allow any and everything in his own interest. wake up.

don't forget, the day after sara palin's acceptance speech, obama made the crack about "lipstick on a pig." his audience cracked up. everyone knew exactly who he was referring to and what he meant. his minions and the state-run media immediately proclaimed that it was an innocent joke. only the naive and/or ignorant would believe it was not meant as a nasty slapdown. but the protocol of making disparaging/abusive comments was very effectively established.

Patrick S. Adams said...

SE, Obama's henchmen, particularly David Axelrod went after Sarah when she was first nominated. He has remained silent ever since telling the media that family should be off limits. His lack of a formal statement on the issue demonstrates that as president, he is not concerned about all citizens, only the ones who drink the kool aid.

SE, I'm @ReaganTMan on twitter. I follow you and several other prominent conservative writers. Keep up the great work!

Nakia said...

I thought that is was a vicious and unnecessary attempt to fan the flames of hatred towards our President. To "create" a connection between the President and Letterman was absolutely ludicrous. But, I have to commend you, you know exactly where to go to fan the flames, because only Hannity would allow such a stupid and nonfactual commit to go unchallenged on his show.

Demodiva said...

Margaret Carlson over at the Daily Beast sums it up well.

"...Letterman's joke was indeed tasteless—he even owed A-Rod an apology. But I doubt there was another soul in the world who didn’t understand the joke to be about the older Palin daughter, who lapped Jamie Lynn Spears as the most famous pregnant teen in the world once she was trotted out at the Republican National Convention in August. Not that Bristol should have been left at home in the dark, but if you want a “zone of privacy” around your daughter, do you have her appear on stage with her then-fiancĂ© hinting at prospects of a White House wedding waving to the crowd like Charles and Diana of the Klondike?"

Sarah uses her children for her benefit, not necessarily their's.

WitW said...

Sorry SE but Sara is a "slutty flight attendant". I would do her. I would also vote for her for prez. Just because a man thinks a woman is hot and makes a comment about them, does not make them a bad person. It makes them male.

Oh btw, you remind me of a "slutty School teacher". I'd do ya. But I also respect your ideas on politics. So cut Dave some slack. Yes, the comment about Sara's daughter was off base but we all know he doesn't write his own jokes.

Anonymous said...

Just saw you calling W "a class act" and fighting to keep our broken health care system in place so big business can suck on the public some more.

Good job. No really. You are yet another reason why the right has no credibility left and is ready for the mental asylum.

LivingDeadGuy said...

Chelsea Clinton is a slutty flight attendant. Who got knocked up by Jesse Jackson (Bill Clintons spiritual leader during Monica Lewinsky Scandal).

Hahahahahhahaah! OMG I'm sooo funnny!! I deserve my own late night talk show....

Anonymous said...

if you notice (I don't know how you miss it) th eleft wing looneys can't defend their wacky partys actions so they have to offend thinking that will make up for ignorance.

mannequinrocks said...

I guess part of the criteria to be a Republican is to be completely delusional, gullible, ignore facts (especially when they implicate a fellow member), and bash the so called "left" just because they don't agree with your ideology.

Big deal...the girl was the butt of a bad joke. Get over it. There are more pressing issues in the world than how a joke made some girl feel. I said the same thing about Don Imus. He was a DJ who made a bad joke at the expense of a basketball team. To his misfortune, that team was predominantly black. Oh well. Let's move on shall we? DJ's and talk show hosts make bad jokes all the time. Who are we to pick and choose what to get up in arms about? It's comedy. If you can take it seriously, you can joke about it. Clearly...the GOP has a Washington Monument-sized pole up its ass. Lighten up. Laugh at yourselves. I joke about Clinton and Kennedy's affairs all the time. I crack jokes about Obama. I even made a few jokes about Palin. Guess what? If they can handle being in the public eye, they can handle a good ribbing every now and again.

adam said...

And where is your condemnation of the Palin attack "Palling around with terrorists"? or is it only fair ball to launch attacks at male politicians?

lt said...

SE, you have to understand when it comes to BHO being worried about his daughters he is only worried that they don't make a mistake and become burdened with a baby.

Nathan L said...

S.E. Cupp Should be ashamed!

Maybe Obama believes the media should not be a heavily-biased appendage of a Political party. Maybe he believes media has the freedom to say what it thinks, and maybe the media's job is to report the facts and not to muckrake and smear. Obama is in no way responsible for what anyone else says. That's like saying George W. Bush is responsible for anything reported on Fox News, Newsmax, etc. Your affiliates have said some outlandish stuff too. What about calling Michelle Obama "Obama's Baby Mama"? What about that suggests fairness?

I'll entertain the fact that just maybe, you are that stupid. I don't really buy it - you must think we are. Take your "Journalism" somewhere else.