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. LB-Aventura

    The right wing moose hunting wanna-be whose still in "poilitical elementary school" taking on the lefts king of late night TV??

    Good luck with that!

    June 12, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  2. Justin Watson

    Why the hell does anyone care what Palin thinks about anything? Just like during the campaign, that awful woman is cashing out on her kids to stay in the public eye.

    Letterman's joke was in poor taste, but at least he wasn't selling out his own kids to score some cheap political points.

    June 12, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. Rochel

    If Mrs. Palin wants to play the game of politics, she's gonna have to roll with the punches. She can't seriously believe that because all of the drama she's incurred with her lack of preparation, the daughter's pregnancy, the Troopergate scandal, and the desperate ploys she (and McCain) exacted during the 11th hour of their pathetic campaign against Barack Obama is not going to be made the butt of jokes. She gave David Letterman the material! She, at one point wouldn't give the Media the time of day to answer questions – why even be concerned now with what is in the news?

    Mrs. Palin should be focused on making whatever attempts she can to salvage her party – and do it quick! The Republican party is becomming a Mammoth.

    June 12, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  4. Fu Ckyu Palin

    Go get a life, Palin. You're not funny. So tell comedians what not to do. You couldn't even tell your daughter what not to do. So just shut up.

    June 12, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  5. Tom Baker

    Sarah Palin is an idiot, plain and simple. I had to mute her prattle on a Today interview this morning, I just couldn't take it. I thank whatever God there is that enough voters saw through the paper-thin act and she isn't sitting one seat from the Presidency today. Hopefully it won't work in three years either, but George W. Bush was a two-term President, so I can't get my hopes up too high. But at least for now, she's more or less irrelevant nationally.

    June 12, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  6. DaveM

    David Letterman is a comedian. Comedians mock famous people. If Sarah Palin is so thin-skinned that she can't laugh it off, maybe she just needs to go back to Alaska and stay there.

    June 12, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  7. Darla (Edmonton, Canada)

    CNN ... would you just change the name of this section to "PalinTicker" ... because its clearly all Sarah Palin, all the time! Nothing about this has anything to do with legitimate politics and political news. Just because someone calls themselves a politician ... it doesn't necessarily mean that everything they say and do is about politics!

    This posting has nothing to do with politics ... entertainment ... or even social commentary. This is all about notoriety and self-promotion by a complete loon.

    June 12, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  8. Dema

    Oh, lovely. Just what Sarah Palin needed, an excuse to get on TV without actually having to know anything. Works well for her, right down her alley.

    June 12, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  9. VL- Chicago

    Quit the party lines. Letterman is wrong and an absolute dirtbag. It's not funny to keep joking about young girls. Dem or repubs should all be disgusted
    ...he should be suspended. That is absolute sexism and gross. Even if he's talking about an 18 year old (which he wasn't) it's gross. She isn't a pop star, she's a kid of a politician. If this was Chelsea or one of the Obama's girls, he would be fired. Letterman, your old and not funny anymore. Nice hair.

    June 12, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  10. Andrew

    Palin's just showing the public how uneducated she is. She can't even remember which of he daughters got 'knocked up' that would have elicited such a joke. It's just a feeble attempt to make some sort of controversy to keep herself in the news cycle and exploit her family further for political gain. To me if she can't figure out a simple joke because she only sees what's two feet in front of her then she does NOT need to be a leader of any organization of any kind for lack of competence. The dumb, folksy act only goes so far.

    June 12, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  11. Lisa M.

    Ah, Sarah stay in Alaska and keep all your kids safe. You really ae one for the books!

    June 12, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. Shane R.

    Honestly, I am tired of hearing about this. In a perfect world, after Letterman made these comments, Todd Palin would've shown up and punched his lights out. But, that's not going to happen most likely. Hats off to Todd for having that kind of restraint. So, let's just stop making a big deal over this. It is what is.

    June 12, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  13. LB in FL

    I think it is a "weak, convenient excuse" for Silly Sarah to blame the main stream media for her defeat in November!

    Ah, the Wasilla Hillbilly. The gift that keeps on giving.

    You can't fix stupid!

    June 12, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  14. Madcap

    So it's okay for her to let her daughters actually GET pregnant out of wedlock when they are underage, but it's NOT okay to joke about it or the fact that she dresses like an expensive prostitute?

    Color me, HUH?

    June 12, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  15. Kathy Jako

    After watching the rerun of Letterman's "joke" and what was said, I find it disgusting that his writer's and he would even make a comment like that about anyone's daughter! He is a parent, he has a long road to travel with his son, Letterman does not know what his son may experience in life. My mother always said, do not talk about anyone's children, you have your own child and do not know what life will bring.

    June 12, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  16. peter f. mullany

    What is far important is that the Republican Party offered you as VP candidate and that you continue to parade yourself as a significant political figure. Both are indicative of not only poor taste but of a lack of intelligence.

    June 12, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  17. The Ninjay

    Sarah Palin is in poor taste.

    June 12, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  18. Tim in Minnesota

    Excuse me, Mrs. Palin. No one really gives a rip.

    June 12, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  19. Z

    ohhh boy.. where should I begin...?

    June 12, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  20. richie

    Maybe when Palin's President she can work on that whole 'free speech' issue. I mean seriously, do we need people expressing views that differ from that of her majesty? Did you know that she can see Russia? March on Christian Soldier!

    June 12, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  21. Todd M

    I like David letterman and I do agree that it was a really weak (non-)apology. He could have done it a lot better. That said, the Palin spokeperson took the wrong road by saying that they should keep Willow away from Letterman. Don't blow the high road by trying to stoop Dave's level.

    June 12, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  22. Mike

    Letterman is a dirtbag. Who the hell does he think he is. If he made that remark about Obamas girls, he would be fired. I say get rid of the scumbag...........

    June 12, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  23. G. R.

    Palin has Wordaman on this one!!!!

    June 12, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  24. maddogjl

    will we ever get rid of this horrible, moronic woman. We can only hope she will get the Republican nomination in 2010 so she can give the Republicans another landslide defeat.

    June 12, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. Bibliophile

    It pains me greatly to say that I have to agree with Palin on this one. Please note that this is just about the only thing I agree with her about. Letterman put his foot in his mouth and probably WAS thinking about Bristol, but even so it was a crass thing to say and shows his lack of respect for Palin. Which I share, but as a woman and mother I would not go there.

    June 12, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
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