I was quoted in this article in the Style section of Saturday’s Washington Post about the David Letterman/Sarah Palin ‘feud’. If you don’t feel like reading the entire article, here’s what was attributed to me:
Letterman shouldn’t apologize, if only to preserve the comedian’s prerogative to satirize the powerful and to be offensive on occasion, says Erin Jackson, a rising local stand-up comic. “People read things into jokes that you never meant and never intended,” she says. “If [Letterman] got into a cycle of apologizing for a joke or comment, you don’t know where it would stop, or how far back you’d have to go to satisfy everyone. I don’t think he can be who he is if he started doing that.”
Adds Jackson: “When you give it to everyone equally, as Letterman does, as all the late-night people do, you kind of have to take it. It’s like demanding an apology from the National Enquirer — it’s better to just get over it.”
The writer made it clear to me that he didn’t want to examine the political angle of the story — he just wanted the opinion of a comedian on whether or not it was a good idea professionally for Letterman to offer an apology. I’ve offered quotes for articles before, but this weekend was the first time I’ve ever gotten negative e-mails about my comments. Sure I’ve gotten random, anonymous comments on YouTube, etc. But this was full-blown “I’m gonna give you a piece of my mind AND my first and last name and e-mail address.” You know, grown and sexy hate mail.Â The first message came at like 1 in the morning. I was out with friends and heard the Berry go off. I was crossing my fingers hard for an unexpected booty call …
Nope, just hate mail.
By the time I woke up the next morning there were 3 more just like it — two were really ugly. And mainly they were talking about the double standard re: negative media coverage between Palin and Obama, Dems & Republicans, etc. I was a little upset at first, but then I realized hey, there’s no way everybody’s gonna agree with me all the time. Plus each e-mail meant that someone who’d never heard of me beforeÂ Googled me and found my site and then took the time to e-mail me. And love it or hate it, that is progress. I’ve never been comforted by the “there’s no such thing as bad press” mantra before, but this time, I totally got it.
I responded to everyone who wrote me. Just to clarify my point. And I must say that almost everyone wrote me back and said they actually watched my clips and would like to come out to a show — which goes to show… people can differ politically but funny is universal! So even if you didn’t agree with my comments and/or found this blog thru the ‘who linked here’ box on the WaPo site, come on out — Democrats, Republicans, Indies, Communists — and catch a show! I promise there’s no politics in my act — unless you consider me talking about how hot the President is ‘politics’ ;) Tee hee ;)
I’ll be headlining at the IMPROV in Washington, DC July 2-3. You can buy tickets here:
Hope to see you there!
6 thoughts on “David Letterman’s ‘apology’ and my first real hate mail”
Governor Palin needs to let it go. Her comments have made the situation worse. Now her poor daughter thinks David Letterman is going to molester her or something equally as crazy and disturbed. I would never use my own child in a sick example like she did (repeatedly). As the old folks say “she needs to go and sit down somewhere”. Doesn’t she have a state to run?!?! Hi (Erin’s) Haters!! :)
I have absolutely no problem when a comedian trashes some political figure, but when it’s aimed at a child (even if he meant it directed to the barely adult child), that is where the line must be drawn. Even comedians should be held to certain standards. We do not need to live in an “everything goes” kind of world. Gov. Palin deserved a sincere apology from Letterman on behalf of her girls. Letterman did the right thing by finally apologizing properly.
I agree with Cathy. Comedians do not need a pass to attack children, even if they do it by mistake. However, I think the apology should be directed at Bristol and Willow, not at Governor Palin. Governor Palin does not need any more media attention.
Palin has a vendetta against CBS because of Katie Couric’s “gotcha” interview last fall, where she was asked unfair questions like “what do you read.” That’s the only reason for the outrage. That, and her need for attention. Here are some other jokes she evidently didn’t have any issues with:
Things have not gone well forDave since his heart problem. He’s flushed the intelligent, witty, Carsonesque since of humor for the Don Rickles approach. It works for Don. Dave comes off as small, bitter and lonely. He was funnier before he downgraded himself as a political commentator. How many times does he have to apologize before he gets it? Oprah, Sarah..humm..who eleses name ends with a “ah”? Nahh..heis in the tank. Won’t happen.
Sad, very sad to watch a brilliant career melt down over hate. Seems to happen to the best of them..and now, the worst of them.
If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.