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. Janelle

    I'm glad to see Letterman apologize but it took him way too long. The joke was coarse, stupid, insulting. As the mother of a daughter, I was enraged. I think Letterman should take a course in acting like a human, caring individual and stop acting like a jerk.

    June 16, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  2. Cheryl Terry

    Letterman was wrong and appoligized. Palin accepted the appology so lets move on.

    June 16, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  3. N

    Fishing for attention Palin? This is really sad.

    June 16, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  4. Only 21% of Americans trust republicans to lead them into the 21st century!

    Ah, Miss Bigot accepts Letterman's apology and yammers on about "respect and equality"?

    I am sure President Obama is still awaiting your apology for the rhetoric you spewed during the run for VP.

    You get what you give in this life.

    And to all the neo-cons, simpleton Sarah scares me to death! I may have to cancel the tree-hugging fest planned for after work since she has me trembling with fear right down to my Birkenstocks.

    June 16, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. Collin Kelley

    John Ziegler - another opportunist looking for his 15 minutes. Can we STOP giving Palin coverage now? She has no chance of becoming president. Alaska can have her. Perhaps CNN can now turn it's coverage to a REAL news story, like the Iran Election. Please?

    June 16, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  6. Sue

    Why dont these people find something better to do than picket outside his building! He apoligized so let it go. Why dont they picket on the fact that Palin wants to destroy our wildlife in the artic! Give me a break people, do something that really matters!!!

    June 16, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  7. Mike D. in San Diego

    "Evolve"?!?!?! Did she say "Evolve"????!!!!!

    June 16, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. CT Mama

    For Pete's sake–could Palin's "response" be any more transparent?? Now she is dragging the military into it?? Why can't she just say, "I accept David Letterman's apology." Noooo.....she has to turn it into a fundraising opportunity for her PAC. And people say she isn't exploiting her children for political gain!!

    June 16, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  9. Jim T

    Palin blew this way out of proportion. Common sense would dictate that one simply ignore the whole thing and it all goes away. However, Palin, trying to stay in the public eye, for a possible 2012 presidential campaign, must respond harshly and complain about specifics NOT mentioned in the joke to grab the medias attention. I guess it all worked out for her. Unfortunately, I know way too much about her kids than about the issues that effect Alaska. Shouldn't she be in the public light to bring Alaskan issues to the forefront and how she is working to remedy them, or would that bring to the surface the corruption and self-indulgance of her administration? I'm glad she isn't the Governor of my state and she should reconsider any run at a national campaign as she has yet to show any signs of common sense or intelligence to the American public.

    June 16, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. Anonymous


    June 16, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. F-Dog

    I think the Palin's are upset because this bad joke in poor taste hit too close to home.

    June 16, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. Warren

    I can't wait to see what the Palin family does next to keep themselves in the spotlight!

    Oh wait...I can.

    June 16, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  13. Boston guy

    Palin wants equality and respect?? What a bunch of bs. Only if you do and believe like her. Also, who is this John Ziegler? When did he get voted to be the next Jesus and Judge? I thought Rush was voted for that position? These conservative radio show host are just a bunch of nut cases. They are not tolerant, quick to judge, quick to condemn, not respectful of other beliefs, hateful, self serving and I can go on and on. If you don't follow them, you shouldn't have a voice. Sounds like somthing that is going on in Iran right now.

    And remember when God says "depart from me, I never knew you", it's to the so called Christian conservative!

    June 16, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  14. Doc

    Seems to me that this is just another case of opportunism by Palin. Her PR staff could not buy this much prime time coverage of her name. Was the joke a little on the tasteless side? Yes. it seems to me, though, that the joke was targeted more at Rodriguez and his recent proclivities, than it was at a member of the Palin family.

    Letterman has apologized for the poor judgment more than once. Perhaps it is now time for Palin to apologize for shamelessly trivializing the sacrifices made by our soldiers in an equally ill timed and ill prepared self serving statement.

    June 16, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  15. Greg O

    So our military is responsible for us having free speech? Do they have DC surrounded to ensure that lawmakers don't pass bills that limit free speech?

    June 16, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  16. Obama Victim

    Palin 1 CBS/Letterman 0

    June 16, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  17. Helen Flynn

    What Letterman said was not only terribly inappropriate, and that is putting it nicely–His use of this type of "gutter language" makes me cringe. Letterman should be fired–his statement is as worse as the racist remark by Don Imus.

    June 16, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  18. Sylvia

    I think bringing in the military was sort of over the top, but she is a politican and waving the flag always works.

    June 16, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  19. Ed E

    Let's hope we can stop hearing about this nonsense now. Geeeez.

    June 16, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  20. Steve

    Our US Military men and women secure our right to free speach? Darn. All this time I thought it was that silly Constitution.

    June 16, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  21. Jamie -- Asheville, NC

    "...promote equality and respect"? When did Palin ever use her place in the public eye to promote respect for her opponents during the presidential campaign?

    June 16, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  22. Cami

    Now with all that's going on in Iran, the economy, health care reform, and so on, Gov. Palin still manages to focus the country on what she apparently believes we should really be investing our interest in –her family. So sad that the govenor can't even express any original ideas or think beyond her own petty fights with media personalities.

    June 16, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  23. Pepou

    Change means : ENOUGH PALIN !!!

    June 16, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  24. Richard

    The Republicans still don't get it. They still don't understand why the vast MAJORITY of Americans voted AGAINST them! Moderate your agenda & we might listen but so far you haven't changed your rhetoric of "christian values".

    Knowing right from wrong & knowing how to treat people fairly is not exclusive to religious people. Republicans are filled with hatred towards anyone different. They have no understanding of the word tolerance.

    June 16, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  25. KG, Twin Cities

    Only Sarah Palin would continue on to attach this as somehow being because of military service. Does this mean she's going to somehow drag her son into this as well? Just leave it alone, Sarah. You got a second apology from a person far smarter, wittier and classier than you. Time to let it go.

    June 16, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
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