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. Nathan,

    I think exploitation of children for any reason is unacceptable wheather it be for laughs or to get votes. I think parading her pregnant unmarried daughter on the national scene for votes was just as dispicable as Letterman's joke. I also think having a war of words with what is essentially a kid in the press is equally dispicable (see babie's daddy). Unfortunately Letterman's joke about the children has oveshadowed the national joke that is the parents.

    Listen to her comments. Everybody knows she has a son in the military. Is he actually fighting for our rights to have free speech or the Afghans and Iraqus right to have free speech. If Afghanistan and Iraq fall do you actually believe we won't have free speech in America. This is what these people do. They invoke patroitism into everything thinking it will show their love of the military and get them votes. What does the military have to do with a crude joke made about her kids.

    If the GOP has a problem its going to be keeping this comedic woman and her straight man off the stage.

    June 16, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  2. Johnathan S.

    It's unfortunate that Dave apologized to this MORON.
    I can't wait for his next one!

    June 16, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  3. HENRY

    The "joke" was totally inappropriate. But enough already where is everybody's sense of proportion – with Iran, the mid-east crises, financial chaos, health care malfunction why must we be subjected to this ongoing saga. In fact 3 of 10 stories "new on the ticker" are about Letterman and Palin saga. The latter coupled the California beauty queen non story receives the same coverage as life and death issues.

    I am pleased to see that no-one else has even bothered to respond. That must at least mean something as usually the lame excuse given by the media is – " this what the public wants"

    June 16, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  4. Pete

    Palin can't even accept an apology without making unrelated comments. Last time I checked, the military had nothing to do with either her daughter or David Letterman. I would love someone to directly ask Palin just how Iraq posed a threat to our right to Free Speech.

    June 16, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  5. L Parker

    When will this Woman go away. Does she not realize she is a joke. Go back to the mountains of Alaska and finish out your term.

    June 16, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  6. Florida Joe

    OK Sarah
    Now is the time for you to apologize for saying Obama "pals around with terroists" Was that any less damaging?

    June 16, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  7. Get Real

    So now Sarah is promoting equality...unless you are gay and want to get married. Then the shoe is on the other hand....lol

    June 16, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  8. dan in Tucson AZ

    Palin is not the one who deserved the apology, her daughter was. Accepting the apology shows that Palin cares more about her image than her daughter. I wish she would stay in Alaska and get out of our face.

    June 16, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  9. DH - Md

    Typical Rebublican spin. Give me a break.

    This has nothing to do with freedom of speech. It has everything to do with thoughtless and ugly crude humor. Letterman was horribly wrong...he apologized.

    Let it go. ..or let's also call for DePass to step aside.

    June 16, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  10. Billy R

    Okay – Dave apologized, again, lets all move on . . . .we have more important things to discuss in the world today. Yeah the joke might be perceived a bit coarse by some people, but I think we all knew he was referring to the older daughter . . . . was it still inappropriate?? I don't know . . . .the Palin family are all in the public eye, so, they are easy targets. Ziegler is calling for his ouster??? Puhleez. Dave's job is to mock and poke fun at everyday things, and we love him for that. He was not being mean or hurtful, never has, never will.

    June 16, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  11. Matt the Baker

    I hate how people take an issue completely unrelated to any political view and spin it to mean something completely off topic. Palin just took this joke and wrapped herself in the American flag by talking about our military men and women. Our soldiers are not fighting for David Letterman's right to make a joke. To reduce their service to that is awful. To exploit their service like that is horrible.

    Also, I love how free speech should only be used for equality and respect. What?!? Calling a presidential candidate a terrorist is respectful. How does this woman sleep at night? If my mouth tripped all over my supposed morals like hers does, I'd just give up.

    June 16, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  12. t man

    Oh my goodness !!! What does that joke about her daughter got to do with the brave men & women in the military. She is trying to keep the story alive... poor kids of the Palin's !!!!! Thank god may parents are no like Todd and Sarah ????? I am saying it in a nice way....

    June 16, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  13. Rachel Sears

    This woman is sick. She will do anything to stay on television.

    June 16, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  14. Thomas Jefferson

    Uh, Sarah, I don't think that's how the First Amendment works....

    June 16, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  15. Dave

    Can we just get over this? Yes, the joke was in very poor taste and Letterman apologized, but let's be real here. Palin is simply using this as an opportunity to cast herself as a victim and gain a little sympathy. What's worse is that she's using her family to do it – just as she used them to advance her interests during the campaign. Considering some of the absolutely vile things she has said in the past, I have zero sympathy for this opportunistic dimwit.

    June 16, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  16. J. L. W.

    Letterman should be ousted.

    June 16, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  17. Jonita

    Once Bristol Palin put herself out there,she became fair game a teenager with a baby should not be preaching about abstaining from sex...

    June 16, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  18. kim

    Calling for David Letterman's ouster? Give me a break. That's stupid.

    June 16, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  19. JDinAustin

    Tacky – Sarah Palin uses a stumbled joke to once again wrap herself in the flag. She is the one who should apologize for setting her family up for ridicule, and she should apologize for using her daughter as a grandstand.

    June 16, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  20. Rod

    Let me get this straight, during the campaign, she parades her pregnant daughter who had obviously sleeping with the boyfriend at the Palin house for how long? Long before legal age I would imagine.

    She goes down to Saks and buys $150 thousand worth of bling and charges that off to the taxpayers. Drags her newborn baby out for a photo op when ever it's convenient, looking like a typical piece of trailer trash and now wants everyone to accept her "standards" when Letterman tells an off color joke. Hey Sarah, here's a flash for you, you are an off color joke! Deal with it!

    June 16, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  21. Bill

    I am dissapointed with David Letterman and his second apology. Of course the joke was not his best joke and probably should not have been told, however he does get paid to tell jokes. I believe that the first apology was good enough and he should have just gone on with his life.

    On the other hand, Sara Palin is using this as a means to keep her name in the news. She needs to go back to Alaska and fade into the dark. She was a nobody before she was in the spot light and she is a nobody now. I am tired of seeing her name and face in the news.

    June 16, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  22. Joe

    The real joke is that Letterman would get more votes in a presidential election than Palin.

    June 16, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  23. Really??

    Here's some change to consider....stop reporting on Sarah Palin! This clown hasn't left the stage since her team lost. Doesn't she have work to do in Alaska?

    June 16, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  24. sensi johnson

    Can we get this circus out of town?

    June 16, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  25. katiec

    Hey Ziegler. Where is the protest on all the gross things Limbaugh, etc have spouted? When the venom comes from them appears
    the right wing thinks ok.
    As usual, the party of no is don't do as I do, do as I say.

    June 16, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
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