Alaska Governor and national political figure wannabe Sarah Palin got her panties in a bunch last week after late night comedian David Letterman joked that New York Yankees man about town Alex Rodriquez knocked up Palin’s daughter.

The brouhaha erupted after Palin and 14-year-old daughter Willow attended a Yankees baseball game. Letterman later claimed his joke was directed at 18-year-old Palin daughter Bristol, whose unwed pregnancy surfaced during Palin’s 15 minutes of fame last year as John McCain’s vice presidential candidate.

The self-righteous right wing has jumped all over Letterman, claiming the comedian advocated statutory rape because they are certain he was talking about underage Willow.

Letterman’s claim that he was talking about the older daughter is lame. Palin attended the game with Willow, not Bristol, and Letterman, commenting on the photo op, said:

There was one awkward moment during the seventh inning stretch. Her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.

This put Palin into full attack mode. On the Today show, she said:

He doesn’t have to apologize to me. I would like to see him apologize to young women across the country…I’m upset with him being able to get away with a disparaging comment that does erode a young girl’s self-esteem and does contribute to some of the problems we have in society.

Aha. It seems Palin is blaming Letterman for the fact that young girls (and boys) screw around. In her mind, late night comedians might be responsible for the her older daughter’s status as an unwed mother.

I don’t know if Willow is getting it on with any of the locals up in Alaska or if she is handing it out on the road but when a young, impressionable teenage girl has role models like Sarah and Bristol Palin anything is possible.

It’s not David Letterman’s fault that Willow became the target of a joke about sex. Sarah Palin was a known party girl in college and Bristol was 17 when the Palin campaign announced she was five months pregnant. Her ex-boyfriend said in interviews that he and the governor’s daughter had been getting it on for about a year when he "knocked her up," so she was 16 when it started.

In Alaska, the age of consent is 16 — younger than it is in some states where the boyfriend could have been guilty of statutory rape.

The problem here is not Letterman. It is Palin. During the campaign she — like most politicians — used her family as props. The campaign even trotted out the randy boyfriend and extolled his willingness to "do the right thing" and marry Bristol.

But after the campaign was over, the Palin family dumped the boyfriend. He no longer served any useful purpose. Bristol had the kid and now urges teenagers to practice abstinence.

Yes, Letterman’s joke was tasteless but tasteless humor is a staple of late night TV. Sarah Palin has no moral standing on the issue and she put her children into play by trotting them out as campaign gimmicks.

So it’s all a lot of hoopla over nothing — unless A-Rod really did knock up one of the Palin girls during the Seventh Inning Stretch.

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