“David Letterman directly apologized to Gov. Sarah Palin and her daughters on his program Monday night, saying he took responsibility for a joke that had offended Ms. Palin, her family, and her supporters.
Mr. Letterman opened the desk portion of his show with the apology in which he said he wanted to say he was sorry to “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.”
Two weeks ago on his “Late Show” program on CBS, he had joked about Governor Palin attending a Yankee game with her daughter.The joke, in which Mr. Letterman seemingly confused Willow, who is 14 and attended a Yankee game with Gov. Palin that week, with Bristol, who is 18 and an unwed mother, had to do with the Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez impregnating Ms. Palin’s daughter.
Last week Mr. Letterman somewhat defiantly said that there was a misperception going on and he would never make a sexually charged joke about a 14-year old. But he never expressly explained that he had inadvertently confused the two Palin daughters.
Monday he acknowledged that as the host of the program it was his responsibility to get the joke right. “I told a joke that was beyond flawed, and my intent is completely meaningless compared to the perception.”He also insisted he was confused about the daughters. “I was told at the time she was there with Rudy Guiliani,” Mr. Letterman said. “I should have made the joke about Rudy.”
The issue has been seized upon by supporters of Ms. Palin who have called for everything from a boycott of Mr. Letterman’s advertisers to his outright firing. They have planned a rally for the Tuesday at Mr. Letterman’s theater on Broadway in Manhattan.Some media commentators said that Mr. Letterman was keeping the controversy alive for the sake of ratings, but he seemed to make a special effort Monday to get the apology right. He even taped it a second time after he mistakenly referred to Bristol Palin once as “Brooke” in the first effort.
CBS executives said Monday that they had exercised no pressure on the late-night star to offer any apology and that they had seen no real impact on advertisers from the protests.One advertiser, Embassy Suites Hotels, sent word to Ms. Palin’s supporters that they had ceased advertising on CBS’s website and did not want to be associated in any way with Mr. Letterman’s comments.”
First off, CONGRATULATIONS!! I just checked the PROWL email folders and Puma PAC sent TEN THOUSAND letters of protest to CBS, the Letterman advertisers, and the writers at Salon and Daily Beast, not to mention the thousands of phone calls and faxes. And that’s only since Friday afternoon! NICE WORK!
Secondly, comments needed at the NY Times article. The writer is wrong — it wasn’t simply Sarah Palin’s political supporters who were outraged. We may not support her politically, but we support ALL women, especially public women, against the sort of sexist attacks unleashed by Letterman and his ilk. Please click HERE and leave a comment reminding readers that ALL feminists object to sexism in the mainstream media and inviting readers there to visit and join us at http://pumapac.org!
This is how it’s done. Incident by incident. With constant vigilance by us AND the active participation of our members to make those phone calls and send those letters EVERY DAMN DAY. Sooner or later, it WILL become as unacceptable to make jokes about slutty flight attendants and sexual assault as it is to make “jokes” about watermelon and gorillas.