UPDATED: Dave vs. Sarah, Round 2
Palin said in a statement to Fox News.com Thursday that she and her husband "have no intention of providing a ratings boost to David Letterman by appearing on his show."
The snub came after the "Late Show" host held out an olive branch -- sort of -- to the Alaskan governor Wednesday night after upsetting her and her family the previous night with several jokes, including one that referred to her daughter being "knocked up" by New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez. Palin and her 14-year-old daughter Willow had attended a Yankees game. Palin's other daughter, Bristol, recently gave birth.
In an eight-minute monologue that was part apology, part clarification, Letterman simultaneously defended the crass nature of the jokes while denying the Palins' accusation that he was advocating having sex with an underage girl. He then invited Palin to come on his show, calling her "an absolutely lovely woman." He quipped that she and her husband, Todd, could come to New York as his guests, or "leave Todd at home."
The incident is the latest skirmish Letterman has had with political figures in recent months. He has clashed in the last year with Republican presidential candidate John McCain and Fox News host Bill O'Reilly.
Those conflicts scored headlines for the host, and this latest uproar comes at a time when he is locked in a seesaw ratings battle with Conan O'Brien, the new host of "The Tonight Show." Letterman is expected to respond to Palin's smackdown on his Thursday show.
Whether the talk show host does or not, Palin is slated to discuss the controversy on NBC's "Today" Friday morning. Stay tuned.
-- Greg Braxton