June 12th, 2009
06:26 PM ET
6 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. A. Goodwin

    If Palin is so upset by this, then she should suck it up and go on Letterman to set the record straight with him. She needs to grow up. He apoligized, end of story. She needs a thicker skin.

    June 12, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. Jim M

    Letterman has turned into a bitter and unfunny old man in recent years. I guess having a kid and getting married is starting to wear on him.

    It is sad. I really use to like watching him; but the show has become painfully unfunny in recent years. Might be time for him to move on to retired life.

    June 12, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. RAG

    Let it go Sarah.

    In fact, stop putting your kids out in front of the public for you own personal political gain. They are kids, not political assets. Your soulless and maniacal lust for power is destroying these children.

    Let it go David.

    In fact, stop keeping the "Sarah" abberation in American politics alive by mentioning her at all. You are acting as her pawn. She is secretly ecstatic over your boorish joke. Stop being her stooge.

    June 12, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. cathy in Milton VT

    No Sarah, you actually are loving this joke made by Letterman, because now you can be in the media spotlight some more and rage about your favorite enemies: anyone who doesn't like you and the "liberal media".

    June 12, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. Carrie Andrusco

    I completely agree with Sarah Palins reaction to these comments, what a disfunctional society we live in that anyone finds this humourous in any sort of way. It has become the norm in our society, it's very sad, and this has taken Letterman and others off guard that someone with actual morals would stand up to such a person of influence in the spotlight. It's about time!!!

    June 12, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. greg greenman

    I agree that it was done in poor taste but really, who cares what Dave Letterman says. I love him as a comedian but I don't look to him for political morality. I look at him for a good joke.

    June 12, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. Florida Joe

    Of course when Palin says Obama is palling around with Terrorists and inciting a crowd that screams KILL HIM......that's OK

    Go back to Alaska and stay there................

    June 12, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. joe dokes

    This woman is trying to make a career out of being offended.

    June 12, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. Grant from Denver, CO

    What's "inappropriate" is the insinuation that it's ok, that it's acceptable to talk like you have a clue what's going on in the world. It's a sad commentary on what Americans are fed in terms of 'facts' from weak, ignorant, and fairly unintelligent politicians.

    June 12, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Zach K

    In all honesty, who cares? Hurtful jokes are made a lot.

    Plus Sarah deserves it after being a sore loser.

    June 12, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  11. Sarah

    I'm amazed she has taken this as far as she has. He clarified and apologized. Get over it, quit crying and move on Sarah Palin.

    June 12, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. Steph

    Why doesnt CBS pull the plug on Letterman like radio did to Imus???? this trash on TV is a poor example of entertainment in any form....I guess he needs to poke fun at Palin....Letterman only wishes he had a wife as beautiful as Palin.

    June 12, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. D. Richardson

    As the father of two daughters, one of which is a flight attendant, I find it disgusting that David Letterman would offer up such a ridculous comment, and think there was some form of humor in it. In his explanation he seemed to portray himself as the victim. Why doesn't he just have guts enough to apologize, not just to Sarah Palin but to flight attendants and indeed all women.

    June 12, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. Cathy in AZ

    I would be more outraged over Mr. Letterman's comments if the Palin's would not have paraded their children all over the country during the campaign. Was the joke in poor taste, absolutely but I believe the Palin's protest too much! She is as gulity as using this as a way to continually stay in the media as David Letterman is of poor taste.

    June 12, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. ~~ July ~~

    The poor taste is you Palin. YOU are the worst mother. YOU use your kids to get what you want .. or what you might want. Many are fool with ' soccor mom' look you are selling but come on get real.

    EVERYONE knows Dave was joking about your pure re virgin Bristol ( by the way how is the ' wedding' coming along? ) ... you and your dirty mind went right away to your kid Willow. What a sorry loser you are jajaaa.

    If it makes you feel better going after a comedian because NO ONE in your party takes you serious .... then go for it clown!

    June 12, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  16. Obama Victim

    Letterman is a worn-out has-been doesn't know when to exit the stage. His "comedy" rivals that of Al Franken.

    I hope the sexist Letterman takes an Air-France flight from Brazil soon.

    June 12, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  17. blindbear

    That's the old GOP/Limpbaugh/Steele format. Make an over-the-top comment and then "apologize" by saying "it's just a joke", "it's satire", or "it's what we do". Obviously, Ms. Palin doesn't like it very much when she's the butt of it. Turnabout's fair play, Sarah.

    June 12, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. Richard

    Sarah is a very self-assured, confident woman who is real. I think that combination scares the stuffing out of libs.

    June 12, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. Marsha

    If this is how she deals with a bad joke and take it totally out of content, what in the world would she be like as a President of the United States

    She should have just said it was a bad and tasteless joke and left it alone

    I wish she would just go away!!!

    June 12, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. B. Carter

    Hey Sarah

    Get over it..... How long have people poked fun at people in politics. Clearly his joke was about your older daughter that if you have forgotten just had a baby. maybe you should spend more time focusing on that problem oh wait your the Gov of Alaska get to work

    June 12, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. G-P

    Palin's mock indignation act is getting old. Everything is an outrage to this person, also, you betcha.

    She gives a good sound bite but can't answer the simplest of questions. She is vacuous and the least qualified person seeking higher office that I have ever seen. If this is what the GOP considers the qualities of a world class leader, they are in real trouble.

    June 12, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  22. john

    Palin needs to lighten up. It was a mistake. She acts like the world is supposed to distinguish one daughter from the other. She isn't that famous. She needs to be forgiving like a true conservative.

    June 12, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  23. Adam

    "it's also a 'sad commentary on what Americans are fed in terms of full news.'"

    Sarah,

    The David Letterman show does not provide news. It's a talk show. We realize that you don't know the difference but now that you have the information, please try to keep it in mind as you gear up for your "campaign".

    June 12, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  24. ellie

    I honestly think Dave should sincerely apologize and I too didn't find his joke funny. It was more conceited that he can slap whatever he wants to say thinking people would still laugh and love him. What a poor bastard.

    June 12, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  25. JayK

    Surprised you guys are all still covering this "story." The whole "controversy" was invented by a has-been candidate eager to stay in the headlines by playing the martyr card. Isn't there a war or something you guys should be covering?

    June 12, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
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