June 16th, 2009
11:39 AM ET
14 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. CM Cownie

    As a die hard feminist Democrat I couldn't wait until Sarah Palin left the political scene. But as a mother of three wonderful daughters, I am totally with her on this Letterman "joke". What she got was an excuse not an apology. She and her family deserve better. We all do.

    June 16, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. bob

    If this is all Palin can use to keep herself in the media spotlight than I have no fears of her trying to run in 2012. She might want to think about starring in a reality show instead of making a presidential bid. Hey CNN and all other media outlets, STOP COVERING THIS NONSENSE, IT IS NOT NEWS.

    June 16, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. ron rae

    Zielger will lead a protest about Letterman's gaffe but none of these conservative pundits have protested about the racist remarks recently directed at our President and his family, i.e, Rusty DePass' remark or the Tennessee Historical Keepsakes Photo. These folks seem to believe that it's OK to make spew racism as along as afterwards one states that is was just "a joke."

    June 16, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  4. ThisGuy

    but says she hopes "men who 'joke' about public displays of sexual exploitation of girls will soon evolve"

    So...does this mean she believes in evolution now?

    June 16, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  5. RLee

    Palin can't help herself. She can't simply accept this second apology and let it go, she has to try to make more hay of it. And gosh dang it, you betcha she's sure as heck tryin' her darndest.

    With all due respect, what exactly do our military men and women putting their lives on the line in Iraq and Afghanistan have to do with securing our rights of free speech? If anything, these wars encouraged our former administration and its self-righteous, right-wing supporters to question the patriotism of those expressing free speech by daring to criticize these wars. What a hypocrite.

    June 16, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  6. Jim

    With all of the melodrama around this joke, I note one party is absent. I haven't seen or heard of Alex Rodriguez talking about being offended. If you construe the joke as Palin did, Rodriguez was "accused" of having sex with a minor. Why isn't his outrage in the news? Maybe it's because feigning outrage doesn't further his career.

    June 16, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  7. Independent

    Palin needs to stop yakin about this one and instead focus on her official duties as Alaska governor. Her schedule is full of non-state-business activites paid for by either Alaska taxpayers or influence peddlers.

    June 16, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  8. Robert J. Knies

    If Mr. Letterman had said the remark about the Obama daughters, he would be ousted.

    June 16, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. Bobama

    Anyone who names their children after trees should not be taken seriously.

    June 16, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Keep your kids out of the national spotlight and you wouldn't have to worry about people clowning on them.

    June 16, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. Renee

    I was as offended as anyone by Letterman's joke, and the first apology was NOT an apology. However, he has now sincerely apologized. Whether that was due to protests, losing sponsors, or just him realizing someone making fun of his OWN kid in public wouldn't be that funny – he did it. She won. Now, let it go and move on.

    June 16, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  12. Karl

    when will she apologize for associating then candidate Obama to terrorists?

    June 16, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. francine

    This woman is a publicity hound..Pure and simple. In my opinion she should have stayed out of the running once she knew that her teenage daughter was pregnant. She knew that she would be very much in the public eye..and yet she went through with it..So she should not seem to be all insulted ,that after continually being in the news, that she and her family are fodder for the press and Late Night Show hosts..

    June 16, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. tim in ia

    When do we get Palin's apology for being the worst joke on the political scene?

    June 16, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  15. GOP = 21st century dodo

    Don't worry guys, It won't be long til Palin once again starts shrieking about being a victim so she can keep the spotlight on herself. It's all she knows how to do.

    June 16, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  16. Edgar

    And the big winner is:


    June 16, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  17. brs

    June 16th, 2009 10:47 am ET

    If Mr. Letterman had said the remark about the Obama daughters, he would be ousted.

    Yes, but then again neither of the Obama girls are 18 years old. Big difference there.

    June 16, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |

    I still feel that Palin invites jokes about her and her family becasue she from the beginning, has made no effort to keep them out of her driving ambitions. She is worst than any stage mother that I have ever heard of, constantly pushing them in front of the cameras while she spews venomous garbage, because that is where she likes to be. She is cramming her dysfunctional family situation down your throats as if this is what you all have in your lives. We should expect and want better for ourselves and our families than what she is exhibiting. Let's just see if she and her supporters drop this Letterman matter, or they continue to play into her hands. I feel that it will not be dropped. Remember, however, no matter what happens at this time, she is still the most unelectable candidate for anything out of the many names being talked about to run for national office.

    June 16, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  19. Brad W.

    I think the bigger problem Lettermen has is that he isn't funny...ever.

    June 16, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. Amy

    Sarah Palin completely twisted what he said, she is obnoxious and needs to go away. PLEASE stop printing stories about her. Her 15minutes of fame is at like 23, we're sick of her.

    June 16, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  21. Dan

    Dave's has apologized for his joke. This is a lot better than Rush Limbaugh ever does. Republicans, free speech works both ways.

    June 16, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. aware of nothing

    For you idiots who say what Obama's kids, its because they don't exhibit these type of behaviors- or even CHelsea Clinton who is way older than Bristol-it wouldnt be funny because they are not arguing with a 17 yr old boy on the pages of GQ with his shirt not on. That's why.

    June 16, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  23. russell

    Why does the media keep giveing this devisive racist woman a forum ,and the worst part about it, people know that she's devisive and yet continue to give her a front page forum , that tell's me , a lot of Amercians condone this type of hatred potilic's , because if it were not true she wouldn't get any air time at all , Is this the kind of person that we would want to lead our country , Alot of you really need to take a hard look at yourselves . If you sit there and critize J.Wright , and even Farrakhan what makes her any different .

    June 16, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  24. poncah

    How would Letterman feel if a comedian said that Letterman'w wife had been knocked up by Juan Rodriguez and dressed slutty. Would Lettermans wife feel respected and honored. Don't use the word slutty when referring to an state governor, and don't used knocked up when referring to a teenager.

    June 16, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  25. Tim in Kansas City

    It's ok – the Palins have Ziegler on the case. Nothing can go wrong – gulp.

    June 16, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
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