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. concerned coloradan

    Amazing that Palin calls for Letterman to "evolve" when she doesn't
    believe in evolution. Yes, Letterman's coments were in very poor taste
    but Palin needs to let it go. The constant rhetoric is just calculated to keep her name in the news, no matter the cost to her children.

    June 16, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. AJ

    Thinking Americans are hoping that the slack jawed hillbillies that have taken over the Rupublican party will soon evolve but Palin is evidence to the contrary.

    June 16, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. Not a Palin fan by any stretch...

    David Letterman = Comedy genius

    Sarah Palin and Family = Trailer trash

    June 16, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Striker

    He didnt need to apologize until Palin apologize to wolves for shooting them from helicopter. She is evil.

    June 16, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. Hase

    Have you seen Today Show with Matt Lauer? Todd called his grandkid a "mistake"......

    June 16, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  6. Expat American

    Chaos still rages in Tehran as protesters challenge the re-election of President Ahmadinejad.....ramifications for the region are yet still unknown.

    Oh wait. Please give me some more Sarah Palin. I missed 'Bridezillas' this morning. Where's my Lee Greenwood CD?

    June 16, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  7. Karen

    Letterman is getting to much publicity for this. Why doesn't he do something special like give $500,000 or more to an organization that helps prevent abuse to women and children? Then we would know he was serious.

    June 16, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. cv

    we're still talking about this? letterman apologized. get over it.

    June 16, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  9. LiberalTexan

    Sarah Palin and the idiots trying to get Letterman fired all need to grow up. Where were they when Rush Limbaugh was making jokes about Clintons' have both a cat (Socks) and a dog (Chelsea) in the White House? That, of course, was OK. Well, Chelsea has grown in to a fine, beautiful, intelligent young woman, while Bristol Palin is still an uneducated, unwed, teenage mom and not very good spokesman for sexual absinence. Granted, it was a dumb joke for Dave to make, but he was let down by his writers - who should have been aware of which Palin daughter was with her mom at the Yankees game. But, Letterman is far from being the vicious child molester that Palin and her backers are trying to suggest. In addition, he is, as he has been for years, the best thing on late night television. Frankly, it is my hope that this brouhaha cost Palin the last bit of political capital she has left. Let's face it, she has had far more than the 15 minutes of fame she might have been entitled to.

    June 16, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  10. Ted

    I'm amazed that some people think Gov. Palin did something wrong by having her daughter be the butt of a bad joke. She went to NY for a charity, went to a ballgame for her enjoyment while she was there. That's it.

    Now having said that, Letterman at first made the whole thing worse, but now has fully apologized and this is over. I agree that everything related to this woman tends to take on a life of its own. But people on both sides need to get over it – she's not an idiot, but at the same time I wouldn't want to see her in the White House either.

    June 16, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  11. NoseyParker

    Sarah Palin is addicted to the camera lights. Go back to Alaska and stay in the dark where you usually are.

    June 16, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  12. The Independent Rage

    Can we please now put this sordid item to bed? Letterman was out of line in his jokes, and I called him out for it on my blog. But he doesn't deserve to be fired for this. And he's now apologized, which apparently Palin accepts. This fool still going forward with protests over the issue really needs to get a clue. Enough already.

    June 16, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. renea

    Stop trying to make such a big deal about this if it was the Obama girls the media would of went on about it but their parents would of move on after an apology. All the things that have been said about the Obamas havent been getting this much attention either like the gorilla joke about Michelle and that was a rascist joke. Thats just the difference between the Obamas and the Palins thats why i think that its more about Sarah Palin that about her kids.

    June 16, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. Not a Palin fan

    Grow up Palin. Accept Lettermans's apology and move on. And this thanks to our U.S. Military women and men putting their lives on the line speech, that is irrelevant to this controversial joke issue. Palin, just needs to stick to the issue and stop rambling on about something else. That is why Palin lost and McCain lost the election, because she doesn't know what she is saying or is thinking. She needs coaching on listening. Just and FYI

    June 16, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. DM

    When did the conservative movement become part of the overly politically correct movement? I thought that was the liberal wing, not conservatives who forced people out of jobs for very distasteful anti-PC jokes....but first Bill Maher now David Letterman – the PC police are on the patrol

    June 16, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  16. David

    What's she talking about "the Men and women in the military protecting our right to free speech"? It is these kind of shallow jingoistic comments that typify Sarah Palin for me. The right to free speech is not under attack from foreign enemies Sarah. It is under attack from internal enemies.......primarily politicians. The ultimate irony is that our wise founding fathers gave citizens the right to bear arms primarily to protect themselves from the manipulation of politicians and their controlled powerbase, namely the military.
    Of course I have every respect for the men and women of our military. They are willing to put their lives on the line to protect this country, even when our politicians have, with breathtaking ineptitude, tried to address our foreign policy problems by showing the world how they solve the problem of a hornet's nest in their backyard by beating it with a club. The men and women of the military are dying to cover your party's breathtaking incompetence Sarah.

    June 16, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  17. Ray Wondle

    I will never buy a product advertised on the Letterman show. He's a has been. The best thing he can do is leave the show. I have no more respect for the man.

    June 16, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. Chris - Denver

    Guess I'm the only one in America who thought the joke was funny. Sarah Palin should grow some thicker skin if she expects to stay on the national stage. This joke was nothing compared to some of the vituperous invective that her supporters have thrown at the Obama family.

    June 16, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  19. andy

    for real, sarah palin needs to go away. i cant believe i am still not only hearing about this, but about her in general. its like spencer and heidi.

    June 16, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  20. frank, NC

    If Palin cannot take a joke, I think Letterman, and all the comedians and newsmedia should not talk about her ... EVER. Then we wont offend her.

    Of course Fox being the exception.

    June 16, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  21. Eric

    I am not a fan of David Letterman. I don't think what he said was right. I am glad to see that he made his admins with the Palins. Hope this will open the eyes of all those people out there that think it's funny to bash the image of women.

    June 16, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  22. Rich

    The Neocons have become so impotent the only thing left for them is to take it out on the Court Jester.

    Keep it up, let us all see that you're the joke. The sooner the demise of the Neocons the better.

    June 16, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. Alaskan

    Now that she has accepted the apology, maybe she needs to work on the State of Alaska's issue of being the state with the "highest" number of sexual assaults. The old sayin stick and stones.......but sexual assault does hurt. This state has some of this highest figures for sexual assault, and highest for sexual assault on children. A joke is a joke, what goes on in this state is real.

    Also, was it coincidence that Mr Letterman aplogized when N.O.W. made there thoughts on the joke known, or does Sarah really think she is the one who had the power to make him apologize?

    June 16, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  24. JonDie

    Educated Woman June 16th, 2009 10:28 am ET
    "Does anyone else feel that Palin would be an ideal candidate for the Jerry Springer show? Nasty comments and a trashy display of character seem to be her main 'attributes'."

    Sarah and family would be great additions to the "My Name is Earl", they could be the black sheep of Earl's family from the other side of the tracks.

    June 16, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  25. Hawkeye

    Letterman should be fired. This country isn't about free speech, after all. All hail, President Sarah Blockhead.

    June 16, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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