June 16th, 2009
11:39 AM ET
5 years ago

Palin accepts apology but says time for change

(CNN) - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is accepting comedian David Letterman's apology over the controversial joke directed at her daughter, but says she hopes "men who 'joke' about public displays of sexual exploitation of girls will soon evolve."

"Letterman certainly has the right to 'joke' about whatever he wants to, and thankfully we have the right to express our reaction," Palin said in a statement. "And this is all thanks to our U.S. Military women and men putting their lives on the line for us to secure America's Right to Free Speech – in this case, may that right be used to promote equality and respect."

Palin's comments come hours after the late night talk show host formally apologized for the off-color joke he made last week about one of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's daughters that set off a war of words between the Letterman and the Palin family.

"It was kind of a coarse joke. There's no getting around it," Letterman said in the opening monologue of Monday night's show.

Meanwhile John Ziegler, the conservative radio talk show host who has made a film about Palin, is set to lead a protest Tuesday outside the theater where Letterman's show is taped. Ziegler is calling for the late night host’s ouster.


Filed under: David Letterman • Sarah Palin
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. NC-Seattle

    Letterman made a mistake and he has made his appoligies. When is this woman going to go out and get an education. Lady take care of your state and keep your teenage daughter out of other peoples beds.

    You put this child in the limelight and now you need either become the parent you say you are or get out of the public. You want it all and you want it now. Give us a break.

    June 16, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. Ridiculous

    Move on, Palin. The world's over you. It's sad that the only attention you find you can still generate is over non-political tabloid issues.

    June 16, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  3. Kitty

    I think Gov. Palin has put up with a lot of negative media coverage and it is time to STOP!!! The public did not think it was funny to say that Michelle Obama's ancestor was the gorilla the senator mentioned in his lame statement!! So if Michelle can't be joked about NEITHER can Gov. Palin!! BACK OFF and do your job Letterman and write "funny" clean stuff!!! Better yet FIRE your writer and get to work!!

    June 16, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. Too True For You

    Some class from Dave, and gracious sense from Palin – what's the world coming to?
    And yet this Ziegler jerk is going to try and milk it even though it's a dead issue now. Wouldn't it be funy if no one showed up for his self-serving protest? We can only hope.

    June 16, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. Patrick Puckett

    I think it's time for everyone to lighten up, stop taking themselves so seriously, and realize that, in the grand scheme of things, this matter could hardly be closer to the bottom of the list in terms of things that actually matter. It will be a long and arduous career for Palin and her camp if there is this level of clamor and outcry every time a comedian makes a "coarse joke" about her and/or her family. I'm not sure that this story is even "news".

    June 16, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. CA Indy

    Sarah Palin is a fraud. Using a bad joke as a chance to get in a little plug for how she's such a supporter of military? What a disgusting fraud.

    June 16, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. Dan

    Stop. Please, just stop putting Palin in the news.

    June 16, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  8. Kp

    Get a life Ziegler! Its a comedy show! The fact is that Palin's daughter is or was a sexually active young lady. Perhaps Palin should spend more time with her family and promoting "famiy values" at home.

    June 16, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. Joe, Chicago IL

    Letterman is not sorry. If he was, I am sure that he would have apologized much earlier than 5 days after the fact.

    He hates Palin. He has every right to hate her. Just leave her kids out of it. Attack Palin all you want, leave her family alone.

    For all you who will say that she deserved this because she is a public figure...how would you feel if Imus made comments about Obama's children?

    What is good for the goose is good for the gander?

    June 16, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  10. Big John

    "And this is all thanks to our U.S. Military women and men putting their lives on the line for us to secure America's Right to Free Speech "..... WHAT?!!!! Sarah, our troops are in Iraq because W sent them there on a misguided mission, our rights to free speech have nothing to do with it. Stupid.

    June 16, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  11. Scott

    My god, don't we have better things in this country to worry about? Sarah Palin needs to get over it. John Ziegler needs to get over it. Like him or not, Letterman is a funny guy, and he (as well as his NBC counterparts) have been making jokes of this nature for years. Why is this particular joke so terrible? I don't hear A-Rod's people griping about it, and he was the butt of the joke, too.

    People, seriously, can we talk about something important for a change? Like the ever-increasing debt, the senseless wars happening halfway around the world, Swine Flu, and North Korea? Don't sweat the small stuff.

    June 16, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  12. JL George

    Zeigler, give it up!
    Move on and get a life.

    June 16, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  13. Wain

    I believe John Ziegler should be fired and folks should not support the sponsers that he and his show are paid by for getting protesters involved in this spat between Letterman and Palin. This is using the resorces such as Police and others that should not be this big a deal. I looked at his past doing a search on the web and he has been fired several times and I think he thinks he is in the same catagory as David Letterman. I don't. look into some of the things John has said and I don't believe he should be throwing stones.

    June 16, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  14. Chryssa

    Oh barf, bringing the military into this.

    June 16, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  15. Aaron

    Oh my God just shut up already Palin. The joke was funny and now because you are acting like such a moron about it , it's even funnier.

    June 16, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  16. Robin

    His comment was wrong. Plain and simple.

    Don Imus made a stupid comment too. He was fired for it. Double standard much?

    Since when did it become okay to make fun of a teenage girl? Letterman is a pervert.

    June 16, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  17. Tom Paine

    Letterman sucks. Hasn't been funny in 20 years.

    June 16, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  18. Corey

    Sarah Palin is a Joke as well as Ziegler...... Palin represents everything screwed up about this country and is just looking to keep her name in the spot light before she is a washed up trailer living has been.... God Help us should she ever gain anymore power in our Government. As for Mr. Letterman, was he really wrong? The Truth hurts and if your a conservative politician, trying to use Christian Family Values as a platform, yet your daughters are having unwed sex and getting pregnant...You have opened that door yourself.

    June 16, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. ~D~

    Palin needs to lighten up. It was just a joke.

    June 16, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  20. Michael

    He should be fired just as Don Imus was....

    June 16, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  21. Laurie in Spokane

    This whole issue is such a soap opera! There are so many other news-worthy issues to be reported on besides a nincompoop governor and a talk show host. Get real and grow up!!!

    June 16, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  22. M Andrews

    I think this whole thing is blown out of proportion!

    Palin only said that Letterman was referring to her younger daughter to "get back " at a perceived Liberal talk host and for talk bites on air on all networks. IT WORKED!

    She wants to be in the LIGHT of publlicity and uses anyone in her family (even her poor baby) to get there!

    Letterman got a huge ratings boost so they both should be happy.

    Palin's response is like everything she says–rambling and all around the "mulberry bush"! She even got to the servicepeople fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan (thanks to HER party's president)!!

    June 16, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  23. Dan in San Marcos

    A decent ending to this kerfluffel. Ms. Palin pushed her point, rightfully, and Mr. Letterman responded appropriately. Let's now move on.

    June 16, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  24. RealityKing

    Demeaning women who don't share you values is clearly acceptable in todays progressive media. I mean, why else would they continuely re-run it?

    June 16, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  25. johnny

    "Meanwhile John Ziegler, the conservative radio talk show host who has made a film about Palin, is set to lead a protest Tuesday outside the theater where Letterman's show is taped. Ziegler is calling for the late night host’s ouster."

    Where was the protest to oust Jay Leno, when he made the joke that Palin's daughter is 5 months pregnant...and John Edwards thought he was in trouble before! I am so sick of hearing from this woman and about this woman. And I am so sick of the conservatives picking and choosing who has crossed their imaginary line and who hasn't. There should have been calling to yank SNL off the air, when they aired a skit that enacted a scenario where the press was investigating allegations of incest between Todd Palin and his daughters. Since there was no call to Yank SNL, or Leno, I must assume that this outrage is manufactured.

    June 16, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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