Everything that rises must converge

My two big issues today — New York State politics and the Letterman fatwa — just collided spectacularly:

New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, a Republican, is calling on the CEO of CBS to fire David Letterman for crude comments he made about Sarah Palin and her daughter.

This moron became New York State Assembly Minority Leader when Tedisco was kicked to the curb. He’s always being talked up as a candidate for Congress and he’s considered pretty slick by NYS Republican standards. So slick, in fact, that when a friend emailed me “Kolb’s out”, I assumed it meant he Kolb had come out as gay. It turned out he had just decided not to run for Congress.






56 replies
  1. 1
    dmsilev says:

    Dare we hope for the trifecta and have Rudy weigh in as well?

    -dms

  2. 2
    Comrade Stuck says:

    fire David Letterman for crude comments

    It would be like firing the Pope for being Catholic.

  3. 3
    DougJ says:

    Dare we hope for the trifecta and have Rudy weigh in as well?

    Interesting idea. Dave’s an icon in the citay, so it might enhance Rudy’s red state cred.

  4. 4
    JGabriel says:

    dmsilev:

    Dare we hope for the trifecta and have Rudy weigh in as well?

    Doubt it. Rudy’s latest wife might get jealous if she sees him defending Palin.

    .

  5. 5
    Fulcanelli says:

    Yeah, CBS, kick a late night TV household name to the curb and toss millions in ad revenue out the window because like, you know, he made a crass tasteless joke about the Governor of like, Alaska.

    Letterman will probably get a raise and more vacation time.

  6. 6
    shecky says:

    Did it ever occur to these folks that Letterman has a young new competitor this week, and the joke would be a good way to draw some attention away from him?

  7. 7
    b-psycho says:

    Am I the only one that has forgotten what the meaning of “hoot-smalley” as a category was supposed to be?

    Before anyone barks, I know the term itself refers to a fuck-up of Smoot-Hawley. What I don’t know is the attachment of the posts in the category to the term.

  8. 8
    DougJ says:

    What I don’t know is the attachment of the posts in the category to the term.

    It refers to a specific kind of Republican stupidity. It’s hard to describe but I know it when I see it.

  9. 9
    AhabTRuler says:

    @shecky: I wouldn’t be entirely surprised to find out that there had been some tactical planning. I mean, Dave’s job is top get people to watch him.

  10. 10

    “Letterman will probably get a raise and more vacation time.”

    In point of fact, Letterman signed a new contract with CBS all of three days ago.

    “Before anyone barks, I know the term itself refers to a fuck-up of Smoot-Hawley.”

    I won’t bark; I’ll just murmur Michele Bachmann.

  11. 11
    DougJ says:

    I wouldn’t be entirely surprised to find out that there had been some tactical planning. I mean, Dave’s job is top get people to watch him.

    No one could have anticipated that Republicans would overreact.

  12. 12
    MelodyMaker says:

    Hoot-Smalley. heh, I love it.

    adding: Alternative to catnip: pitted kalamata olives. Try it. Longer lasting and less messy. Doesn’t work for all cats.

  13. 13
    Punchy says:

    Holy fuck, bad idea. See, a comedian can return fire as viciously as s/he wants, and it’s only played off as comedy, even if it stings. Politicans who continue to engage it come off as petty, no matter what they say.

    Letterman will excoriate them, and the crowd will laugh. And he’ll get a free pass.

  14. 14
    MelodyMaker says:

    right. Letterman doesn’t lose this just like he doesn’t lose with any other crap that’s been thrown at him for 25 years. Madonna and Cher… ….. ….. John McCain. …

    edit- yeah, Friday grammer. fugit. MM+1

  15. 15

    I don’t know, Imus got fired for being Imus. This may not be as far fetched as some believe it is.

    UPDATE: And Imus had just signed a new multi-year contract.

  16. 16

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    I don’t know, Imus got fired for being Imus. This may not be as far fetched as some believe it is.

    Imus =/= Letterman. No way, no day.

  17. 17
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @b-psycho:

    Hoot-Smalley was a Bachmanism, when she asserted that Stewart Smalley had stolen the election in Minnesota, thus retroactively causing the Great Depression.

  18. 18
    Ed Drone says:

    Imus got fired because he (a) used racial images about (b) NON-celebrities, not about famous people. Just like the libel laws, there is a difference in terms of your target.

    And that BS about Rush making remarks about the president’s daughters — Well, Duh! He did that already (it was the Clinton daughter, so I guess it’s ancient history)!

    Ed

  19. 19
    MelodyMaker says:

    href=”#comment-1264719″>”Bill E Pilgrim:
    YES! More convergence.

    edit – what evar with the html cite.

    Conan wrote for SNL after Franken.

  20. 20
    rreay says:

    Also from the same song:
    “He’s saying Why
    Why do we do this?
    This is the very thing that’s
    Preying on his mind”

    Why do they do this indeed?

    And why so many Shriekback fans in rochester?

  21. 21
    MikeJ says:

    Wouldn’t the Fairness Doctrine solve all the problems of the Republican party?

  22. 22

    I am not equating Imus and Letterman. My point stands that Imus was fired for being Imus AND he had just signed a new contract. His defenders, whether you agree with them or not, were using many of the same arguments being used here and elsewhere on the blogs. I don’t think Letterman will be cut loose either, but then I didn’t think Sumner Redstone would fire Imus. Once it gets to this level it has little to do with the alleged infraction and everything to do with corporate fear of losing sponsors. Imus was being Imus and the sponsors were scared shitless that his “humor” had offended too many people so they bailed on him. If Letterman starts losing major sponsors his ass will be fired. The corporate suits only understand one thing: revenue. That is the only relevant argument when trying to devine from the tea leaves if Letterman’s job is in jeopardy or not.

  23. 23
    b-psycho says:

    Palin’s own state is turning away from her, why would the rest of the country care? Dave isn’t going anywhere.

  24. 24
    El Bandito Blancito says:

    Prosecutors can’t attack a defendant’s character unless the defense brings out character witnesses to talk about what a good guy he is first.

    To some extent I think the same principle holds for politicians. If you trot out your family to show how hockey-momish you are, your family is now somewhat open for scrutiny.

  25. 25
    MelodyMaker says:

    Howard Cosell got ahem, sorta fired. Dan Rather, Joycelyn_Elders. Clarice Starling… wait.

  26. 26

    What? National anthem already and no game 7 Cup thread?

  27. 27

    Palinogenisis.
    No one move a muscle as the [brain] dead come home.

  28. 28
    James Gary says:

    Why do they do this indeed?
    And why so many Shriekback fans in Rochester?

    FYI: “Everything That Rises Must Converge” was the title of a famous short story by Flannery O’Connor long before Shriekback used it as a song title. (Shriekback was an awesome band, though.)

  29. 29
    MelodyMaker says:

    what in f does that have to do with John’s dog?

  30. 30
    Little Dreamer says:

    To some extent I think the same principle holds for politicians. If you trot out your family to show how hockey-momish you are, your family is now somewhat open for scrutiny.

    Just think how lucky we would all be if the Palin never paraded her children on her campaign.

  31. 31
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    It’s already past its sell-by date. The guy might get a little mileage in Albany, but really, nobody’s gonna fire Letterman or pull their sponsorship.

    He told a couple of tasteless jokes. Palin got mad and others agreed with her. He explained himself.

    So now, no matter how many little digs he gets in during monologues or whatever, if he keeps it toned down they’re out of outrage ammo. They just look more and more petty.

  32. 32
    JL says:

    What about Bill O’Reilly settling a lawsuit on sexual harassment out of court. Sarah must be appalled.

  33. 33
    gg says:

    FYI: “Everything That Rises Must Converge” was the title of a famous short story by Flannery O’Connor long before Shriekback used it as a song title.

    The first thing I thought of when I saw the title was Shriekback. I guess the real question is: why so many Shriekback fans on Balloon Juice?

    (Damn, now I’ve got “Fish below the ice” stuck in my head.)

  34. 34
    Anne Laurie says:

    Alternative to catnip: pitted kalamata olives. Try it. Longer lasting and less messy. Doesn’t work for all cats.

    Ripe olives of any variety are fascinating to some cats. Best I’ve been able to come up with is that the oil content may attract them. Cats who steal olives are usually cats who show great interest in avocado slices, and I remember some paleoanthropological speculation that what kept avocado trees around after the ground sloths and before people was… jaguars!

  35. 35
    lost in GA says:

    Flannery O’Connor is my favorite American author so much props on the title of the post. As for the link, yikes!

  36. 36
    Ejoiner says:

    Actually my first thought concerning the “everything rises…” quote was the season finale of “Lost” in which it figured prominently. I’m now going to continue combing this thread for very subtle and nuanced clues as to what is really going on here.

  37. 37
    MelodyMaker says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    oddly, they aren’t face-flopping on the olives tonight. A few days ago, I might have lost a something-tarsal or carpal.
    I have an av0cado… I also have some top sirloin.
    think. think, think think.

  38. 38

    […] no longer fooled by the endless string of distortions from the right wing. While conservatives are waging a fatwa and calling for the firing of Letterman (if not for more violent solutions), Letterman is beating The Tonight Show in the ratings for the […]

  39. 39
    James Gary says:

    The first thing I thought of when I saw the title was Shriekback. I guess the real question is: why so many Shriekback fans on Balloon Juice?

    I’m stumped too. I can’t possibly imagine why a band whose fanbase consisted almost entirely of inclined-to-cynicism-and-excessively-literate-Gen-X-nerds would be well-known on this blog.

  40. 40
    MelodyMaker says:

    @James Gary:

    I’m stumped too. I can’t possibly imagine why a band whose fanbase consisted almost entirely of inclined-to-cynicism-and-excessively-literate-Gen-X-nerds would be well-known on this blog.

    Hey, I resemble that, uh what? excessively literate?

  41. 41

    @gg: When discussing fReichtards, “Hammerheads” would be more appropriate.

  42. 42
    Sammy says:

    “UPDATE: And Imus had just signed a new multi-year contract.”

    Imus is still alive?

  43. 43
    Person of Choler says:

    There seems to be a perception here that the Palins are feigning outrage over Letterman’s remarks for political reasons. I suggest that most families would get somewhat annoyed at being thus treated, politics completely aside. But like a good follower of Karl Popper, I suggest a sociology experiment that would refute my hypothesis.

    The experimenter should go to some public place, like a shopping mall, and approach various family groups, each comprising a father, mother, and two daughters.

    Address the mother, loudly so the nearby crowd can hear you, and remark that she looks like a slutty stewardess. Tell one daughter that she appears ready to be knocked up by the guy who runs the sporting goods store. Tell the Dad that his other daughter looks like bait for Elliot Spitzer.

    Report the varying degrees of approval or disapproval that the families register.

  44. 44
    Martin says:

    There seems to be a perception here that the Palins are feigning outrage over Letterman’s remarks for political reasons.

    They are feigning outrage. They may be appropriately outraged as well, but you don’t express that back through the media the way that they are. You don’t book yourself on half a dozen shows in order to stay in the spotlight and accuse someone of being a pedophile.

    You can do two things at once you know – be pissed and be manipulative. I don’t begrudge them being pissed, but I do for them being manipulative.

  45. 45
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    Report the varying degrees of approval or disapproval that the families register.

    Well first, Mom takes off the FMQ shoes and buttons up her blouse, unteases her hair, and tones down the make up.

    Then they issue press releases and appear on national TV repeatedly associating the word “rape” with said daughter. To protect her sensitivities, you know.

    They want to make sure you don’t get her mixed up with the actual knocked up teenage daughter who they paraded before the national media for months.

  46. 46
    Person of Choler says:

    Martin, if you are outraged because you are insulted by someone with a nation-wide forum, should you not be able to answer the insult to a nation-wide audience as well?

  47. 47
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    Report the varying degrees of approval or disapproval that the families register.

    Well, first Mom tones down the makeup, unteases the hair, buttons up the ol’ blouse, and takes off the FMQ shoes.

    Then they issue a press release and go on national TV repeatedly associating their younger daughter with the word “rape.” Because they feel so protective of her self-esteem, y’know.

    Plus they want to make sure you don’t get her mixed up with the teenage daughter who they put on the national stage after she did get knocked up.

  48. 48
    Person of Choler says:

    Zuzu Doppelposter, I was not aware that appearing on television disqualifies one’s family from protesting very public filthy insults.

    Obama’s daughters have been on television. Does that mean it is OK to tell Uncle Samson / Malia Ann / Natasha jokes? (You know Uncle Samson, or rather half-Uncle Samson – the one who was refused entry to the UK because of accusations child molestation).

    Of course it is not OK, it would be reprehensible to do so, the same as Letterman’s nasty cracks.

  49. 49
    tjproudamerican says:

    Look at all the ways that Sarah Palin has used Willow to garner sympathy and attention during this fight. It is Sarah Palin who attributes thoughts and ideas to Willow and places Willow soundly in the eye of the storm.

    Letterman has a 30 year record and has never made a joke about a 14 year old and sex; never did and never will.

    I would leave Palin’s family out of any joke, but Sarah Palin and her Peter Pan husband who spends most of his time snowmobiling, spreading lies about his ex brother-in-law are NOT victims.

    The Palin’s are crass opportunists.

    We have all been 14. Would you want your mother to bring you into the spotlight and put words in your mouth and keep drawing attention to the fact that your older sister got pregnant as a Junior in High School, dropped out, and feuds with the father of her baby?

  50. 50
    Person of Choler says:

    thproudamerican,

    Perhaps the Palins are crass opportunists, but this doesn’t make Letterman less of a jerk.

    I didn’t use the word “victim” – that is favorite catchword of lefties which seems to have leapt reflexively from your keyboard – I said “insulted”, which is a different thing entirely.

  51. 51

    @Person of Choler

    “I said ‘insulted’, which is a different thing entirely.”

    A Republican being “insulted” by “jerk” remarks?

    Surely you jest.

    Unless, of course, it’s about infringement of copyright for hateful, racist, misogynist, ageist, sexist and other vile and vomitous irrational slurs that make no sense and are filled with the ugliest sentiments that humans are capable of.

    Then I could understand sappy Rightie Umbrage.

    Infringing on your turf!

    The nerve!

  52. 52
    Person of Choler says:

    Hart Williams,

    I believe I can guess what you think you’re talking about, but a string of pejorative modifiers does not a rational argument make.

  53. 53

    @Choler

    And holding contradictory positions on what is “offensive” doesn’t buttress your credibility either, Einstein. Exhibit “A” ?

    Your anonymous crypto-racist “cute” handle.

    Quod erat demonstrandum.

  54. 54
    Person of Choler says:

    Crypto-racist? Now that’s a new one.

  55. 55
    forked tongue says:

    Actually, “crypto-racist” turns up 16,000 hits on Google.

    Anyway, this thread is heartening in that it shows minds actually can be changed by debates on the intertubes. POC comes in trained entirely on Letterman’s jerkiness and showing not the slightest awareness that the Palins can be seen as anything but innocent bystanders in the affair. Now he’s come around to “Perhaps the Palins are crass opportunists.” Progress!

  56. 56
    Person of Choler says:

    forked, I am still “trained” on Letterman’s jerkiness and I still think that the Palins are right to call him out on it.

    “Opportunism” is an ill defined word and, while I think the word does not describe the Palin’s behavior, I’m not interested in arguing the semantics of it.

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