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Letterman's apology doesn't deter Palin fans

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jun 16th 2009 8:11AM
David Letterman can't ride away from his Sarah Palin joke yet.Though David Letterman officially apologized last night for his controversial Sarah Palin joke, it's not stopping Palin supporters from calling for his dismissal.

It's the latest chapter in a story bearing an uncanny resemblance to herpes. It never goes away, and you're never sure when it's going to pop up again. In an attempt to end the furor, Letterman took a moment during his Monday night broadcast to apologize directly to Palin and her family.

"It's not your fault that (the joke) was misunderstood. It's my fault," Letterman said. "So, I would like to apologize, especially to the two daughters involved, Bristol and Willow, and also to the governor and her family and everybody else who was outraged by the joke."

He added, "I understand, of course, why people are upset. I would be upset myself. I'm sorry about it, and I'll try to do better in the future."

As apologies go, it's a home run. The only criticism that can still be leveled at Letterman is that it was a little late and could have been offered last week.

Unfortunately, Letterman's statement won't silence his critics who have founded websites to call for his dismissal. The Fire David Letterman crowd plans to picket The Ed Sullivan Theater before Tuesday night's Late Show.

It leaves us wondering at what point does someone wronged by a crude, insensitive joke cross over from victim to vindictive by refusing to let the resulting controversy go?

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Palin has fans?

June 18 2009 at 9:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Palin has fans?

June 17 2009 at 12:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

lynp: Wow! You sent me six emails to make sure I'd read your obnoxious comment! David apologized for the distasteful joke. Get over it. The joke wasn't about rape. It was about Palin's promiscuous older daughter. You know, the one mom Palin dragged out into the limelight? The unwed mother who talks abstinence now? Palin twisted the joke around to better suit her purpose and that's all that this is about. Dave apologized to put an end to this. Let's see if Palin does the same. If her followers want to waste their time trying to get Letterman fired, let them. He's been around for thirty years and will be around for many more. Palin's fifteen minutes are almost up, thank goodness. Maybe she could spend her spare time teaching her 14 year old not to make the same mistakes her 18 year old made.

June 16 2009 at 8:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joyce N.'s comment

Great Joyce you just summed up everthing i wanted to write!!

June 17 2009 at 3:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

To Adam
Well said! The only way this joke makes any sense at all is if it is about Bristol, regardless of which Palin daughter was actually at the game. I personally could not name or identify any of Palins children and I suspect neither Letterman nor his writers could either. This is a comedy show we are talking about, not PBS or Meet The Press. Comics are generally afforded a large amount of leeway as far as facts and the actual reality of situations are concerned. I knew this joke was about Bristol when I heard it and I had no idea who was at the game with Sarah Palin. Its obvious!
I also agree with you about Sharpton, Jackson and Palin as horrible role models. As far as Heidi whatshername, I cant really comment, cause I barely know who she its.

June 16 2009 at 2:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Newswire, July 10, 2009 -- This just in:

Shortly after David Letterman was fired today by CBS, Palin supporters continued to picket his home in Greenwich, CT. One supporter was quoted as saying, "It's not enough that he's fired! We want a pound of flesh!"

When asked about the incident, Sarah Palin's spokesperson was quoted as saying, "Not even a pound of flesh is enough. We want him arrested, waterboarded, and summarily placed on Death Row without trial. And whatever prison he's in, we will not allow Willow within 1000 miles of that prison."

June 16 2009 at 1:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Here is my vent... conservatives only vent when they hear a liberal make a blunder like this. Then liberals only come to the liberal blunderer's ardent defense. Flip the situation around using the exact same set of facts and liberals would vent while conservatives would defend. Let's be honest here people... Letterman made an indefensible mistake and he did the right thing (finally) by apoligizing for it. Time to drop it conservatives and time to stop defending his comments liberals (actually there was never an appropriate time to be defending them).

How about instead of our current mode of operation, liberals speak out against inappropriate actions of other liberals and conservatives don't defend reprehensible actions of other conservatives. Then maybe you'll have my respect. Until then the partisanship on both sides smells rancid!

June 16 2009 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joel's comment

That way of thinking is part of the problem, though. The fact is, this was a joke that got taken way too seriously and became a huge deal. This has nothing to do with politics AT ALL. And anytime a politician starts trying to interfere with entertainment, it is not only absurd, it is dangerous. We protect satire in this country and we protect humor no matter how tasteless we find it. Anything less is an outrage.

June 16 2009 at 1:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Chamberlin

Dave got himself into trouble. There is no reason to still be taking shots at Palin and her family. The election is long-over. Dave's "team" won. Take satisfaction in that. Instead, he lets his zealous hatred overrule his common sense. Just move on.

I think the most clear sign of his hate for conservatives/Republicans came the day of the botched photo op when Air Force One flew low over NYC. Instead of poking fun at Obama, Letterman said, "It sounds like something the BUSH Administration would do." No Dave, Bush went 8 years without doing that. It was OBAMA. It was a poorly thought out, sophomoric attempt at a joke. He tried to take the easy laugh. He just can't help himself because he hates conservatives so much. He just piles on. This time, it got him into trouble and some sponsors withdrew. Thus, the "apology".

June 16 2009 at 12:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I couldn't care less about Palin, Letterman or the joke.
I like to watch the way people are outraged when it's their ox being gored.
Like Jimmy, he had a lot of respect for Letterman during the Election. When he was nightly bashing Bush and MCcain. Now he's losing respect because someone's fighting back and Letterman can't take the heat. If Bill OReilly said something like that about Sotomayer.
Everyone involved would switch sides and exchange outrage.

June 16 2009 at 12:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I demand an apology. I am outraged that David Letterman has single-handedly made Sarah Palin relevant again. This ridiculous woman was halfway to obscurity when Dave made one stupid joke, and now look at what's happened. For shame, Dave. What hast thou wrought?

June 16 2009 at 12:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This goes down in the record books as one of the most cynical, calculated political ploys in a long time.

Letterman told a moderately risque joke, that only makes sense as a joke when referencing the older daughter. But Palin's handlers seized moment to gain some badly needed sympathy and media exposure for their client, cynically casting about preposterous hot button words like "rape" and laboriously grafting on the fate of all young female America to this non-event.

Palin's fifteen minutes was perilously close to being up, on her way to becoming a somewhat embarrassing footnote in political history, but her handlers were fortuitously thrown an inadvertent life ring and now they're marshaling what's left of her base with bluster, crocodile tears and mock outrage and milking it for all it's worth.

June 16 2009 at 11:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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