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Pop Culture vs. America: This Round Goes to Sarah Palin


He may have further burnished his left-wing bona fides, but when it comes to winning elections David Letterman did his side no favors this week ‘joking’ about the statutory rape of Governor Palin’s 14-year old daughter. From the looks of this interview, She Who Strikes Terror In Leftist Hearts wants to turn the unsavory affair around into a push back against all of pop culture, which is certain to resonate, especially if we keep pushing back. Just compare the bitter, sour, twilight-of-his-increasingly-pathetic-career Letterman to this intelligent, poised, cheerful, vibrant woman with her horizons still open to everything. It’s kind of a no contest.

Most heartening is that unlike some on our side, the Governor seems to get it. If this unfortunate episode proves anything, it’s that Sarah Palin understands that a Republican is up against more than just their Democrat opponent and the mainstream media; pop culture is also waging ideological war on all things conservative and traditional. This is a reality we ignore at our own peril, and this week Governor Palin (and Carrie Prejean, for that matter) fought back and won wielding truth, good humor and dignity.

Matt Lauer deserves credit for behaving himself. Tough but fair made a Haley’s Comet-like appearance at NBC this morning. But I am curious about the consequences Lauer expects Letterman to face. Other than in Hell, what could Lauer possibly mean? Letterman just savaged Sarah Palin’s family. If there’s a faster, safer, easier way to enhance your mass media/pop culture resume, I’m unaware of it.

Lauer certainly can’t be naïve enough to be talking about Letterman’s ratings. When it comes to the culture war, ratings, box office – you know, that pesky bottom line stuff – means absolutely nothing in Pop Culture-dom. Air America lives, MSNBC gleefully keeps digging and Iraq War movies are still scheduled to hit theatres. This isn’t business, this is hardball politics.

Letterman knows his legacy as an entertainer vanished years ago, and so all he’s got left is what’s in his elitist Manhattan bubble. Ratings-shmatings, this “warped, frustrated old man” now lives only for big smiles from the Julia Roberts’ crowd and, as they pass on the street, a bow from Brian Williams. No doubt those needs are being fulfilled just fine even as the little man inside Letterman wonders when things went so horribly wrong.

But bravo, Governor. The Lettermans of the world are nothing to be afraid of. In fact, they’re less than nothing. Pop Culture is wholly owned by bullies. The American people understand this and are not impressed by them, but they’re also not impressed with politicians who don’t fight back, either.

Sarah Palin and Carrie Prejean. I like our chances.

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