The controversy with Sarah Palin seems to be only helping David Letterman win his ratings war over Conan O'Brien who recently took over the TONIGHT SHOW from Jay Leno. Conan's ratings have softened considerably since his huge debut a week ago. With better big name guests such as friends like Julia Roberts as guests, and an aggressive new CBS advertising campaign as well as his new spat with wacky Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, David Letterman seems to be moving out in front of Conan O'Brien many night last week, and could cement his position as the winner of ratings most nights.
While Conan O'Brien still manages a few outrageous jokes meant to appeal to a younger and more hip audience than Letterman, Letterman's controversy with Sarah Palin has only made him look more edgy and cool. While many of Letterman's jokes are careful not to offend the censors and tread pretty carefully, a likely mistake by a writer for Letterman, mistook the younger daughter of Sarah Palin for the older one who had been involved in a long public unwed pregnancy scandal story. This mistake by a writer for Letterman gave Palin enough grounds to overreact and to paint herself as just the sort of radical Christian right feminist culture wars crusader as many feared her to be. For Sarah Palin, this radical image is damaging to most voters, but a real boost to David Letterman. The really smart thing that Letterman should do now is to continue to egg on Sarah Palin and have her make more crazy and disturbing comments because it only becomes ratings gold for Letterman and helps him win his ratings battle with Conan O'Brien.