June 12th, 2009
06:26 PM ET
5 years ago

Palin calls foul on Letterman's 'weak' excuse

(CNN) – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Friday it was a "weak, convenient excuse" for talk show host David Lettermen to claim his controversial joke made earlier this week targeted Palin's older daughter, and not 14-year-old Willow.

"My 14-year-old was there with me at the game. She was the only one there with me," Palin said Friday in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

Letterman joked Tuesday that Palin's "daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez" at a recent Yankees game. He admitted the following night that the joke was in "poor taste," but he insisted the line was in reference to 18-year-old Bristol, who gave birth to a boy in December.

"We were, as we often do, making jokes about people in the news and we made some jokes about Sarah Palin and her daughter [Bristol]... and now they're upset with me," Letterman said.

"These are not jokes made about her 14-year-old daughter. I would never, never make jokes about raping or having sex of any description with a 14-year-old girl," he said.

"Am I guilty of poor taste? Yes. Did I suggest that it was okay for her 14-year-old daughter to be having promiscuous sex? No."

Palin was unimpressed with Letterman's explanation. "Regardless of which daughter it was - inappropriate," she said Friday.

The former Republican vice presidential nominee said she will "always forgive whomever is asking for forgiveness," but noted that what she's upset about goes beyond Letterman's "sexist, perverted joke."

"This insinuation that it's ok, that it's acceptable to talk like that and then that it's acceptable for the media to not provide the American public, the listeners, the readers the full context of that joke," she said, adding that it's also a "sad commentary on what Americans are fed in terms of full news."

Watch Palin's full interview with Wolf Blitzer this afternoon at 4 and 6 p.m. ET on The Situation Room.


Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (237 Responses)
  1. Expat American

    "sad commentary on what Americans are fed in terms of full news."

    Palin is referring to news that doesn’t revolve around her royal highness.

    Global media sources, BBC, Deutch Welle, etc...Aren’t reporting on the trials and tribulations of the Palin family either; i.e. her public disagreements with her former 'son-in-law'.

    Speigel or The Economist isn't putting Bristol Palin on their front cover...Do you know why? Because the educated world doesn't care about Sarah Palin or her redneck family.

    June 12, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. George Clark

    I agree with Gov. Palin that this comment was very weak, and Letterman has taken his comments to a new low.
    It should make him feel badly that he now has to look up to see a snakes belly. At least I hope he carries this feeling.

    June 12, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. Chris

    The "joke" is that the media still believes we care what Sarah Palin thinks.

    Congratulations Governor, you are still a late night punchline.

    June 12, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. Go Home Sarah

    She will do anything to get into the news and get attention. Let it go, lady.

    Letterman is a comedian and Palin is a joke. She's the one who dragged the kids into this. If she can't take the heat, PLEASE get out of the kitchen.

    Politicians are public figures – she made her kids public figures. Deal with it.

    June 12, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  5. Darren

    Palin give it a break already. You have exposed your daughters already to the public limelight. Letterman is a comedian.

    Personally I get no joy out of cracking jokes about family members but he is a comedian.

    And how about all you right wing nuts offerring "to take the gloves off" if it would have been your daughter. Is this all that the republicans can offer is threats and threats of force ? Sounds typical.

    June 12, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. William

    Audacious and Self-Absorbed, thy name is Sarah Palin. She acts an idiot and tosses falsehoods and accusations, but will not stand for anyone who doesn't worship her.

    June 12, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. PALIN, take out the L, it's Pain!!

    Oh Lordy, she's going to milk this one for all it's got.

    Please do not elect this person, I know this type of family!!! They live on problems, they create problems. If everything is fine in the world, they have to make problems!!!

    June 12, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  8. frank deery

    Letterman should be fired. This is on the same level of bad judgement
    as the incident involving Don Imus not long ago. He was let go.

    June 12, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  9. Donkey Party

    Anyone who doesn't see this as Palin trying to twist this story is a fool. Letterman apologized, it was clear he was referring to Bristol, but Sarah wants to spin it into something it isn't. She is now using her own family for politcal opportunity. Who's the sicko now?

    June 12, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. James Garfield

    While it is in "poor taste" to go after a public figure's kids, Sarah Palin has shown poor taste in allowing her eldest daughter to hit the national talk show circuit and pose for the cover of People in a cap and gown with her baby. She may be 18, but she is far from mature.

    June 12, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. DJ Stevens

    Shut UP Sarah! Sheesh...

    June 12, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  12. rr florida

    Letterman's ratings will really suffer for this. Even if people did
    not like Palen, I do not think the american public will condon this
    type of talk!!
    I will never watch Letterman again.

    June 12, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  13. Bill in Illinois

    I am not a Sarah fan in any way, shape or form but I have to agree that what Letterman said was in really poor taste and his attempt to sweep it under the rug was just as pathetic. Some things are just totally out of bounds and this is one of them.

    Dave owes Sarah and her family a true and sincere apology (if that is possible for him to do). I sincerely doubt that he would appreciate someone using that type of humor directed at his family.

    June 12, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. AJ

    I don't care whom it was that Letterman was referring to. It's in poor taste all around – it's just not funny.

    June 12, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  15. barry in las vegas

    Dave Letterman should be fired. What he said was not funny. One thing to go after a political figure another thing to go after their kids.

    Where is NOW and all of the other womens groups? Oh – forgot this was about a Republcan woman.

    June 12, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  16. andy

    Every time she speaks, my brain freezes. You're dumb. Go home.

    June 12, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  17. Louis

    Why do the people and the sponsors of television and radio shows continue to allow the "celebrity" hosts to malign and make libelous statements about our public servants. We may dis-agree with our politicians, but they don't deserve to have their families and their personal lives attacked by people like Mr. Letterman. Has not he ever heard of humor that is done in "good taste"? What a despicable man he is!

    June 12, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. JJO

    I think the person apologizing here should be Sarah Palin to her own daughter. Palin is clearly so desperate to stay relevant and get in the public eye she will leverage a joke few people ever heard and smear her own child for the convenience of her personal ambition and ego. Palin's traveling circus of media coverage is embarrassing. Thank god she was not elected - is this the kind of freak show the country would have been treated to with her as VP?! The only "sad commentary" here is about Sarah Palin...

    June 12, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  19. BILL, WI

    Letterman is raising the bar for low level humor. It is one thing to bash a political figure but reference to family members is another. Even his non-apology was turned into an attempt to confuse and ridicule the facts surrounding the reason he was making an apology.

    June 12, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  20. Chipster

    Yes, Letterman is a jerk. He should apologize – I mean sincerely apologize but he won't because he's a jerk. Palin won't apologize for the vicious statements she made about Obama during the campaign either - because she's a jerk too.

    So far, Bristol has been gracious and above the nastiness. The is not a Liberal or Conservative situation. This is a matter of common decency or lack thereof. Liberals and Conservatives don't like it; don't think it's fair; don't think it's funny; and don't think either of these two deserve our attention. So don't watch Letterman and don't support Palin. Discourage this sort of name-calling and nastiness from any side of the aisle.

    June 12, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  21. Lilly

    Wow! This woman is really reaching. I have always disliked her, but now I feel sorry for her. She has zero grasp on reality. People are losing homes and jobs and she thinks we care about a joke? Poor people and moose in Alaska.

    June 12, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  22. Kevin

    She's intellectually overmatched, she should just let it pass. Unless she just wants to keep doing that cute baby voice thing.

    June 12, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  23. David

    Wellll thats the typical liberal media for you:)

    June 12, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  24. Film Professor

    Am wondering if Willow actually knows anything about the birds and the bees, given Sarah's track record.

    Or maybe she just tells her that the stork brings babies - yeah, that's it.

    June 12, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  25. Lou

    David Letterman isnt where most americans are "fed" their news. He's a comedian, give it up Palin.

    June 12, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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