Letterman apologizes to Palin

June 16, 2009
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(Lou Harry is now twittering the arts at IBJarts. Follow along...)

After a few days of back-and-forthing, David Letterman has offered an on-air apology to Sarah Palin for a joke he made referencing her daughter. In case you missed it, here's the comment in question.

See the apology here.

So did our boy Dave go over the line? Should a comedian apologize for his jokes? Is this too little/too late or an honorable act?

And, ultimately, how does her concern with such matters influence your thoughts about the Alaskan governor?

Your thoughts?
  • Should Comedians really have to apologize for making jabs at public figures? Of course not. Anything that the uptight FCC let's slide can't be that bad... Let alone at MIDNIGHT. It's a Joke, ha ha, get over it.

    Sarah, your daughter got knocked up by some Clown who was pressured into saying and doing all the right things during the campaign and then jumped ship after the loss. That's kind of joke-worthy material. Put on a sham facade that he's a good kid taking care of his child despite being a redneck turd who immediately cut ties with the Palins.

    It appears there is a little bit of a ploy worked in to take a stab at the Left-Leaning CBS and Dave who is often mildly critical of certain politicos.

    Leave Dave alone. He's a likable legend who just cracked a late night joke on the Palins, who are pretty much a joke of their own. She had no problem airing all her dirty laundry to anyone with a camera post election. Further, you named your kids Track and Tripp and Tron and Brick. That's the real joke.

    Sorry Sarah... your 15 minutes are up. Back to Alaska. This was a wedge to get back in the news and diminish an icon who doesn't like her.

    If you thought that was harsh, have you ever seen Bill Maher, Stewart, or Colbert? They rip on Politicos for a living and do a fine job of it.
  • I would SURE like to be the next Flight Attendant who serves David Letterman a HOT Cup of Coffee !!

    What a JERK he is.
  • I'm surprised and a little disappointed that Letterman apologized. The joke wasn't crude or rude enough to warrant the apology; it seems to me as though Letterman or his people decided that mainstream America can't tell the difference between humor and maliciousness.

    And we can.
  • Oh boy, an IUite with all the answers. What ever happened to class, to appropriate behavior, to rising above the foray, to showing a little respect? Yeah, it went down the tubes with the progressive elite - those that never fail to put down anyone who dares to disagree with them but can't tolerate those with differing opinions.

    If you, Mr. Cream and Crimson, with all of your piousness wants to make fun of the Palin names, would you do the same of Black culture that comes up with so many name variations and misspellings? Would you do the same for the Phoenix children or the Zappas? Likely not, only for the conservative that you have so much scorn for.

    Obama asked for appropriate decorum for his children and rightfully so. Should not the same degree of respect be given to the Palins? Would Letterman ever be caught making jokes of the O's kiddos? I think not.

    And then you say Letterman is an Icon. Hardly, he's a tired, mean grinch who is seldom ever funny anymore. He told so many jokes about Cheney and his heart that they weren't funny anymore and sadly, neither he nor his writers had a clue. The mindless audience laughed on cue.

    The fact is Letterman did apologize. And rightfully so. Shows at least he has a little more class than you and can see when he's painted himself into a corner.
  • Great post fellow IU fan! Sarah Palin should have paid as much attention to the responsibilities and duties of a Vice President candidate as she did this silly joke by Dave Letterman. She's obviously wallowing in the reality that she's fated to be no more than an Alaskan footnote in US political history.

    A suggestion for Dave - next time target Rush Limbaugh when you're picking on the uber Right Wing. He's fair game for any sort of tasteless humor.
  • I think the only apology that David Letterman need to make was the one about confusing daughter Williow for her older sister Bristol. Other than that, I don't believe the Palin family deserved anything.

    Sarah Palin made the decision to accept the VP nomination - knowing the spotlight would then turn to her and her family. They seemed to love the jokes when SNL was paying her attention. They were all smiles when People magazine came to take photos - even Bristol was on the cover of People. It seems like to pick and choose when to be friendly to media attention and coverage.

    Enough is enough. Go back to Alaska and keep an eye on Russia! [And yes, that was a joke... and no, I'm not going to apologize]
  • Who. Cares. ?
  • It was a rude thing to say about a kid. The apology wasn't necessary but it was the right thing to do. I'm sure deep down Dave was embarrassed by his own behavior.
  • Of course he should apologize. The joke was not made about Ms Palin the public figure, but rather her minor child. It was tasteless. I think we should grant all public figures children the right to be left alone. If the Child steps out of line that is a different story.
    Chelsea Clinton was left alone as were the Bush twins and would hope the Obama girls will be treated the same. Lets afford the Palin children the same.
    Politics and political parties should have nothing to do with the decision
  • Comedians and politicians are both humans, and are allowed to apologize. One can make jokes and some of us can be entertained by such, but if the jokes offend, one can as well apologize instead of insisting that he was justified in making the joke. It's all about civility and getting along.
  • Both sides of the aisle, kids should be off limits. I think Dave made a mistake. It will blow over. Everyone knows liberals cannot hide their emotions, they talk about everyone having a voice, but always try to keep the conservative voices from being heard. Always shoving their agenda down descent peoples throats. If they cannot win with ideas, then they get personal. It is O.K. Dave, we understand and since you are a Hoosier, we will forgive you anyway.
  • Perhaps Governor Palin should have just let this thing blow over. She is a strong woman who's values and family will stay intact irrespective of a commedian's words or apology.

    Since it became an issue, I think that Mr. Letterman did the right thing. What is so damning about an apology? I think it shows character and accountability to apologize when someone has been offended. We can argue over whether the situation warranted an apology, but most people are forgiving and will move on when someone is genuinely remorseful.

    How many of us have said things that have been misinterpreted? I know I have had my share. A little humility can go a long way.
  • It was inappropriate to aim that joke at a child (although he may have mistaken Willow for Bristol, who is an adult). However, Sarah Palin significantly overreacted and made the issue into something it was not. She had a right to be upset about the joke made at the expense of her minor child. But there was no call to make it a platform for complaining about the atrociously high rate of sexual exploitation of minors by older men who use and abuse others. First, there is no explanation for what that really means. Second, Willow was not sexually exploited; a tasteless joke was made at her expense. These are two very different things.
  • With Dave it stopped being comedy and jokes about a yr ago - now its just political commentary. And its not appropriate to attack a politician's family. Obama's children have attended some of his speeches and appeared on tv - are they fair game for jokes now? Of course not. Attack the politician if you want, but the families have to remain off limits.

    As a side note, even if you have a political disagreement with a particular candidate, is it EVER appropriate to say they dress like slutty stewardesses? Unfortunately, these types of crude comments are always reserved for female politicians. Men don't have to face these types of personal insults, so it must be hard for them to relate.
  • So Dave mixed up the two daughters, He took a stab at Sarah and her daughter (the one who actually got pregnant). He did not mean the younger daughter and apologized for the mix up. If Palin can't realize that, she needs to get that stick out of her frozen tail and focus on politics like she has signed up for.

    Yes, any stab at someone who gets knocked up is tasteless, but it is a joke. Since it was pointed as offensive, He retracted his joke and now we need to stop looking back. Lets move forward.
  • Looks like Dave just called 'em like he sees 'em! If my child or children were tramps and I decided to run for a Presidential office, I would expect to get ridiculed. No doubt this is Palin's attempt to stay in the public eye no matter who it hurts. A joke is a joke...if it weren't so true she probably wouldn't have been so defensive!
  • As the parent of a 14 yr old daughter, while there was no actual sexual exploitation, it is important to put the kabosh on this type of talk. Sexual jokes, besides being demeaning to one particular sex, have a way of making something seem more innocuous, more acceptable somehow. Besides, its not FUNNY. If you had a daughter you would look at it differently. They were exploited with a sexual joke at her expense for his ratings gain. I'm just not as willing as most of the commenters on this site to gloss over that.
  • Bonnie, if your daughters were tramps, I would doubt you would be fine with a national talk show host calling them out on it. Give me a break!!
  • You can not be in politics and not get ridiculed...and anyone who says the Bush twins or Chelsea Clinton were left alone by the left or right doesn't read much...I guess you missed the horse race jokes where Chelsea, Hillary Swank, and Sarah Jessica Parker were win, place, and show at the Kentuck Derby...you missed Jenna Bush, after her DUI, sharing publicists with Brad Pitt, and the famous exchange from Brad Hey Jenna, how bout a beer! Dave apologized because the minor child was at the game period, not Bristol, the joke itself is appropriate and fair, she was a VP candidate, Bristol has talked online and in interviews about sex before marriage, etc.., she is an adult too, sorry, fair game...Sarah Palin is clueless about politics...you never react to stuff that is beneath you...so it is not really beneath her...she had a chance to get her shit together and be the Republican nominee in 2012, but despite the party's best movers and shakers getting money for her and political experts mobilized, she has failed to take advantage. Whether it is Dave, Jon Stewart, Rush, Sean...doesn't matter what side of the issue...you can't react to it. The people who succeed in the long run, pay no attention to that stuff...Obama, Clinton, Reagan...they never misread this kind of stuff. Do you remember when Howard Stern came to the radio in Indy?...he was going to run Bob and Tom out of town, he was woofing, talking, saying they were not funny...they never acknowledged Stern was even on the air in Indy...and he did not last very long, now you have to have subscription radio to even find him...that is what you do...ignore what is beneath you. You know it's there, but you don't give life to it.
  • Seriously?... did someone say that male politicians don't get made fun of? Have some of you ever watched Stewart or Colbert? Have any of you listened to Leno, Kimmel, or O'Brien's jokes? I can go on with lists of talk show hosts and comedians. And if I remember correctly, the Bush twins weren't off limits (as someone said above) when they were out getting drunk and using fake IDs... that was easy material for the talk show hosts and comedians.

    If you're in the spotlight (which politicians are), and you and/or your family do something that can be seen as wrong (a child having a child)... then you're going to get made fun of... plain and simple. Doesn't matter if you're male or not... let's look at some recent politicians, since some of you only have short-term memory... Spitzer, Blogojavich (sorry, spelling) just to name a couple.

    And if I remember something my grandmother always told me... let's see, can I remember... sticks and stones..., I'm sure you all know the rest. And to even say this was sexual exploitation?... give me a break. This was a joke people!!... if you don't like it, change the channel and don't watch Letterman anymore... simple enough!! You're not required to watch Letterman... plenty of other channels to choose from!!

    And Palin is the one who used this situation to put herself back into the spotlight.
  • Just the fact this topic has so many posts means that both Letterman and Palin were successful in their shrewd attempts to garner more publicity/attention/exposure. It's really nothing more than that.
  • StutzArtist,
    I disagree completely about it being nothing more than that. Lots of interesting issues wrapped around this one, which I think is why it struck many chords.
  • I think that you’ve all got it wrong. Palin isn’t continuously crucified because she’s a woman, or acting above her station, or anything else. She is kept under constant attack because she is an enormous threat to Barack Obama.

    She’s a populist, like Obama. The difference is that she does it better. She does it with joy and authenticity. Obama always seems to be playing the part of someone he isn’t. Hiding his past. Feigning confidence and competence. Palin wears her past on her sleeve, her heart on her other sleeve, and radiates competence, confidence and ability.

    Her performance as a VP candidate was almost enough to turn the election. Everyone knows this, and the radical left knows that if she enters the next Presidential election, governor of a successful, prosperous Alaska in a country where most states will be bankrupt and most Americans will be living in poverty, pitting her personality and record against what is increasingly looking like a failed Obama presidency, she will destroy him at the polls and probably destroy the Democratic party in the process.

    That is why even today, half a year after the end of the election, she is routinely viciously attacked at every opportunity. It’s part fear, part a sense of the danger she poses to Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress, and partly, I think, envy. Obama is a fraud, and even his supporters know it in his heart. She is the real thing, and her enemies know that.
  • Caribou Barbie is such a dumbass she thinks Dave made a joke about her underage daughter hwen he really was talking about the 18+ year old who is already proven to be a slut anyway (just like her mommy!) This Palin creature should just go back to being a Wasilla Hillbilly and start cookin' up some meth in the kitchen while babbling Bible phrases with her witch doctor-hating pastor...mazing the low level IQ mo-rons that crawl out from the slime under rocks to become Repig political candidates!
  • oh, and mr./ms. NOW...I'm fascinated by your comments. 'Palin wears her past on her sleeve, her heart on her other sleeve, and radiates competence, confidence and ability'

    May I ask WTF have you been smokin' lately? is it maybe some o' that AWESOME meth Bible Spice and her in-laws been cooking up in der Alaska? Fer gawd's sake the woman and her husband are in the Alaska SECCESSIONIST PARTY! Why do they hate America, and the troops (and old people and kids and Mexicans and rape victims) so much?!!!

    'Radiates competence' does she? as mayor of a piece o' crap little Alaska town, she bankrupted them and then went on to hire her own lobbyist to get GOVT. WELFARE!!! Are you freakin' kiddin' me...what a JOKE!!!! hahahahahahahahahahaahhahaah......
  • Let's just keep the conversation civil, okay?
  • Hey Lou,

    Can you possibly keep these posts to a thread of civility and decency. Joe and his evil alter ego are way over the top.
  • Way to be the Sentinel Louie! Too bad these kids can't behave. Link this to Dave and maybe it can become top 10 fodder!
  • The joke was tacky - why do we need to make fun of a newsmakers children - no matter what age they are. But with that being said - why did Gov Palin go on the news shows to talk about it? Couldn't she simply make an official statement and leave it at that. Every time she spoke of Letterman and the joke after that simply added to her daughters embarrassment, but it did keep her name in the news and add to her political aspirations.

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