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Letterman apologizes for joke, but Palin supporters vow to continue fight

david letterman sarah palin

Under fire for a risque joke last week, David Letterman has apologized to Gov. Sarah Palin and her supporters. But a group urging CBS to fire the host says it's still not enough. 

On CBS' "Late Show" tonight, Letterman says he's sorry about a monologue earlier this month in which he joked that New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez impregnated Palin's daughter during a game. Letterman has said he intended the joke to be in reference to Palin's 18-year-old daughter Bristol, but Gov. Palin actually attended the game with her 14-year-old daughter Willow. Some critics have accused Letterman of joking about statutory rape.

"I told a bad joke," Letterman told viewers at an afternoon taping. "I told a joke that was beyond flawed, and my intent is completely meaningless compared to the perception.  And since it was a joke I told, I feel that I need to do the right thing here and apologize for having told that joke.  It's not your fault that it was misunderstood, it's my fault."

He concluded, "I'm sorry about it and I'll try to do better in the future."

However, the Los Angeles talk radio host behind the group firedavidletterman.com told The Times that Letterman's apology falls short.

"I'm glad he's acknowledged we're right," said John Ziegler, a creator of the film "Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected and Palin Was Targeted" and who this month began a new show on KGIL. "I think it's a good first step in the right direction, but I don't think it's enough." Part of the problem, he added, is that Letterman made a "horrendous attempt at an apology" last week, when he devoted several relatively light-hearted minutes to the controversy, invited Palin on his program and repeated the joke.  

Ziegler said he was not sure what sanction Letterman should face, but options should include suspension and firing. The host could also donate to a charity of Gov. Palin's choice, he said. Meanwhile, the group is still planning a rally Tuesday outside the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York, where Letterman tapes his show.

CBS did not respond to a request for comment beyond Letterman's remarks.

-Scott Collins  

Comments () | Archives (206)

The firedavidletterman.com crowd are urging people to contact advertisers and ask that they pull their advertising from Letterman's show, that by advertising on the show or on the show's web site they are endorsing his views and the now infamous joke he told. One must ask, if by rallying around Sarah Palin is firedavidletterman.com not endorsing her views and actions?

Palin repeatedly slandered Barack Obama during the campaign as part of her ticket's failed effort to brand Obama as someone who, "pals around with terrorists." Does firedavidletterman.com endorse that view? If you follow their logic - or lack of - then they do. Letterman telling one inappropriate joke, for which he has now sufficiently apologized for, pales in comparison to the slander Palin repeatedly engaged in against Obama, which she has never apologized for.

I don't watch Letterman, but tonight I think I will. And tomorrow I'll go out and buy one of every product I see advertised. I'm that sick of the hypocrites that run with these "fire him!" mobs.

Tucson, AZ

How do you know when you're politically irrelevant?

When the biggest thing on your agenda is being outraged by bad comedic stereotypes of you.

Palin has supporters?

Okay, it wasn't Letterman's best humor, but we should all just let it go and move on.

Palin, on the other hand, is milking this for everything it's worth for the publicity. It won't work. No one in their right mind in the GOP should even consider running her again.

When soldiers still die in Iraq and the buffoons in Congress won't give us health care, this "letterman/palin" crap is the height of idiotic wastes-of-time.

Letterman is a comedian, if she can't take a joke, she shouldn't run for office.
She said Obama pals around with terrorists over and over, but that's okay though.

For those interested, you'll find an audio clip in the following article where Palin is laughing it up with two radio shock jocks as they rip apart one of Palin's female adversaries who happens to be a cancer survivor. They question the woman's love of her children, refer to her as "a cancer" and a b**** and Sarah finds it just so amusing. Not only was there no outrage but she was tickled by it.

Discover a bit of the real Sarah Palin for yourself : http://www.opednews.com/populum/diarypage.php?did=9056

Letterman made an honest mistake - when I saw the show, I even thought he was referring to Bristol (and I live in Australia). Bristol has been made a poster girl for sexual abstinence in the US - first class hypocrisy - so she is fair game. His mistake was not checking which daughter was in NY. However, it's been blown out of proportion - the Palins and the US right smell blood in the water and will not let up - payback for Letterman's Bush jokes? The man has acknowledged his mistake, and has admitted his jokes were tasteless and even further apologised - I personally thought they were harsh. The man and his writers just shot for a laugh, they got it, and he often skates the edge with his jokes. I've read people saying he would not make similar jokes about Michelle Obama and her kids. I think if Michelle Obama was carrying on about Christian values and had a daughter of 18 who had a child out of wedlock(who then went on to preach abstinence) - I think Letterman would be having a field day. I mean, look at what he did to Clinton. The man should be treated as a National Treasure. He's the best late night TV we get in Australia, and although he often misses the mark (just look at the amount of material he has to generate) he still manages to hit the mark with absolute genius - his last interview with Joachim Phoenix was absolute gold. If Americans want to see an example of indefensible bad taste, they should google "chaser sick kids".

Too Little too late Dave ..... Smacks of Damage Control, no more no less.

Who cares about this. Conservatives tend to forget about all the jokes they had made of Chelsy Clinton when she was 14 years old during Clintons term. Dave did the wrong thing. I would have not apologized.

Letterman is a jerk, but he doesn't deserve to be fired any more than Don Imus did. Get a grip, people. My solution: Don't watch him -- I don't.

Why is it that Palin supporters are all up in arms, but A Rod and his supporters haven't given this joke a second thought? Isn't he the one who's implicated as the statutory rapist in this scenario? Come on, Yankees fans! Where's your sense of outrage? Is it that you actually have a sense of humor and realize that a joke is just that, a joke?
Palin supporters have lowered themselves to the level of media-hungry organizations like PETA, grasping at straws for media attention. I am ashamed of myself for taking the bait.

Donation to charity sounds good' After all, he has used Palin as an income source for long enough.
Hopefully we have seen the end of his Palin jokes even if he doesn't get fired.
They are just not funny.

I guess Palin must have forgotten all those jokes from the late night comedians during the campaign last year. Short memory, Sarah? Those jokes were on par with, or much worse than the latest Letterman bit. Sarah needed time in the spotlight, and now she's got it.

I am not a fan of either person, but this is not the first time Letterman has shown poor taste about people (remember the Oscars when he was the MC) and it is about time he was sanctioned for his comments. I would not miss him one bit if he was removed from his night time show. No one is big enough let alone Letterman, to say things that are insulting and untrue about other people. Johnny Carson knew what he was doing when he did not choose Letterman to succeed him.

The hypocrisy that comes from the Palin family and her supporters is amazing to watch. I'm disappointed Letterman apologized at all. I hope CBS and David Letterman do not succumb to this stodgy conservative pressure.

The Republican right has never heard of the first amendment apparently.

David should have, if he felt the need, apologize to Palin in private. By apologizing in public, he is allowing himself to become part of GOP political theater.

Seriously? There are bigger issues in this world than Letterman telling a bad joke. He's apologized TWICE already, two times too many IMHO. People need to stop talking about Palin and her ilk all together. The more the conversation continues, the more idiotic she looks. Unless that is the right wing's point, to continue to showcase their own stupidity. If that is the point, then by all means continue.

Some have commented that they don't like Palin for various reasons. That she is a hypocrite or idiot or right-wing extremist. That is certainly OK and fair game.

"Jokes" about rape, sex with a minor, and about her appearance in way that demeans all women (slutty stewardess) with stereo-types is NEVER OK. It is demeaning to all women.

Neither are the "jokes" that compare Michelle Obama to a gorilla. This is demeaning to an entire race.

We would all be better off if we took a stand that said stick to the issues, leave off the personal, sexist, racist attacks on people, their spouses, their children. Someone said that Sarah Palin's hypocrisy, her putting her family out there, etc. made her fair game and she deserved it ... maybe ... but Willow Palin, a 14 year old girl, did not. And that is why it is wrong and why Letterman should face the same punishment as Don Imus (who was wrong).

The more acceptable it becomes to express violent, crass language against women and other races in the public arena the more you can expect our country to be stuck in racism, sexism, politics of destruction, and a general decline in our moral stature.

Because Sarah Palin loves protecting women so much, she'll continue to fight for them to pay for rape kits in Alaska and then be forced to carry their perpetrator's baby to term. What a joke this all is.

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