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. Frank from KC

    Sarah Palin is sure one to talk about equality and respecting others with her views on Social Issues such as abortion and true equality for gays and lesbians. Also her speeches during the campaign saying "Obama is palling around with terrorists" sure doesn't sound like giving one respect.

    Sarah Palin needs to go back to Alaska, stay there, and keep her mouth shut. The only people that care about what she has to say is the media (for ratings boosts) and the ultra conservatives (a dying breed). So really it doesn't matter what she says as she's not going to change anyone's minds and she certainly isn't going to be President, well MAYBE of her local PTA but that's it.

    June 16, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  2. Peoples Voice

    Now that we are all acting sorry for our words, when are you going to apologize to our president for the things you said about him, Sarah?

    What about the things you've said to the father of your grandchild? The state trooper?

    She is a waste of human skin.

    June 16, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. MD

    While I agree that David Letterman's jokes were in poor taste, maybe even improper, I'm so sick of Sarah Palin I could just scream.

    She will never be taken seriously as a candidate for one of the highest national offices because she engages in too much childish showboating on every single little thing.

    The sad thing is, she's too arrogant and ill advised to see it for herself.

    And before everyone starts blasting me with Obama comparisons, he started out with better credentials AND temperment than this screeching shrew could ever hope to have.

    June 16, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  4. @BigMisterC

    This is so ridiculous. Letterman's joke is no more tasteless than the way Governor Palin uses her children for political gain. If she was truly worried about the children being subjected to ridicule, then she should stop pushing them into the public eye. Anyone who seeks attention from the media is by default subjecting themselves to be parodied, mocked, ridiculed as much as they subject to praise, adoration, etc. If she cannot deal with it she should go back to Alaska and stay there.

    June 16, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. Donna Lee

    The joke was definitely in bad taste, thats for sure but Sarah Palin needs to get over it. This woman will do anything to stay in the "spotlight" and someone needs to let her know that her 15 minutes of fame are over. Someone may want to tell Mr. Ziegler that David Letterman has just as many (if not more) fans as Palin....enough said.

    June 16, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  6. Mississippi Mike

    Here's the difference between liberals and conservatives on free speech: when a liberal is offended they want to pass legislation to forbid anyone from offending them again, conservatives don't want to change the legislation on free speech, they want the person to change their behavior on their own. This is a perfect example of how a conservative handles offensive comments. Which approach shows a true love for and commitment to free speech?

    June 16, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. Neteret01

    David Letterman is a comedian. This is what comedians do. This is comedy, Sarah. Comedians like Eddie Murphy, Katt Williams, Richard Pryor, etc. are all comedians. Since when do we lash out at comedians. Gee...that's their job – to tell jokes. There is no need for an apology David. Sarah is blowing this way, way out of proportion. Sarah Palin, look the election is over America has decided and we will never accept you. Stick a fork in it, your done. So move on. You're only making it worse for yourself. David we love you!

    June 16, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  8. Jonathan Burton

    Sarah Palin is just an opportunist.
    Living so far away in Alaska, she has little chance of exposure up there. So any opportunity for her to remain relevant and in the news is not going to be turned down. She is trying to make Letterman's flawed joke an issue of women's rights, and ethical treatment of young girls, and teenagers.
    This is a thinly veiled political stunt by a woman who voted to make rape victims pay for their rape kits at $2000 a pop, to save the state money. Her state that she governs has the largest per capita incidence of domestic violence against women of any state in the U.S.
    Good luck Sarah.

    June 16, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  9. Cindy

    Palin has already messed up her run for the Presidency. And with this back and forth with Letterman, her accepting his apology is a little too late. She is seen as a first class idiot. She never should have given Letterman the time of day, just like she didn't give the other comedians (who joked about her and her family) the time of day. She needs to just go back to Alaska and govern.

    June 16, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  10. John

    Sarah Palin: "...may that right be used to promote equality and respect."

    Is this woman seriously saying this? Is this the same person who doesn't RESPECT gay Americans enough to support EQUAL marriage rights? Give me a flipping break. She talks in circles and has zero substance.

    June 16, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  11. Edward Veidt

    Sarah Palin is the Paris Hilton of politics. She is absolutely loving all of this attention.

    June 16, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  12. Joan

    It's all politics. What about Limbaugh, Hannity and Savage. They spew hatred, racism and lies all day. They are the people who rile up people of the extreme right wing into riot frenzies. We have a radio station hear that airs Limbaugh, Hannity and Savage Mon thru Fri. every day from 12noon on. The people eat up their lies and do not want to listen to any other ideas. Why isn't there an up roar about firing them. They are disgusting. I'm sure these girls have heard and seen a lot more than Letterman said. It was a joke and they have rewordered it to field their purpose.

    June 16, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  13. M

    This is just ridiculous. Palin needs to sink back into anonymity where she belongs. Anything to stay in the news with this woman! Maybe she should focus on running her State and getting better at public speaking instead of continuously making an ass out of herself and her family in public! She is an embarrassment to REAL educated women!

    June 16, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  14. chelle

    Only a politician could manage to turn an apology for a remark about her daughter in to a "patriotic" message. Does she EVER turn it off???

    June 16, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  15. Samuel B.

    When is Palin going to apologize for all the remarks she made about Barack Obama, especially the "palling around with terrorists" comment? Palin is typical of today's conservatives-hurl insults and invective at your opponents but when somebody responds in kind about you or your family, act hurt and exploit it for all its worth.

    This, ladies and gentlemen, is hypocrisy at its finest.

    June 16, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  16. RepubliKLANs Are Stupid As Stupid Does

    Can Pain-Lin SHUT UP now instead of dragging innocent military men & women into her personal beef with Letterman – Because my family consisting of military men & women and veterans of both the Iraq & Vietnam wars DO NOT support this dimwit and her kind of thrashy hateful politics!!!

    June 16, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. Adam

    Oh get over yourself, Palin.

    June 16, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  18. Tom St. Louis

    These Christian conservatives are ridiculous. Palin talks about using free speech to promote equality and respect. It's funny, because I don't remember her uttering anything about respect when her supporters were chanting for the assassination of Obama. And I haven't heard much respect from her regarding equal marriage rights. She ought to practice what she preaches.

    June 16, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. Ren from Baltimore

    Good job, both sides.

    June 16, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. MishaJohn

    Palin's cynical use of her child for political gain was the real obscenity. If the GOP elevates her to the top of the '12 candidates she'll bring the party down in crashing ruin.

    June 16, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  21. Kristopher

    I think the apology wasn't good enough. But it is to the Governor's decision wheather to accept it. It shows that Governor Palin is a very classly lady. And the jokes that Letterman said about her family is not done in very good taste. I wish that some people would think before they speak, and do things in a tasteful manner.

    Palin 2012 – Yahooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 16, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  22. Jason

    God Palin you are such a whining cry baby. BOO HOO!

    June 16, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  23. Hoping for an intelligent female GOP candidate

    There's Ziegler, trying to gain some relevance by riding the coattails of Sarah "false outrage" Palin. Both are pathetic.

    June 16, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |

    Well Ms. Palin. What about an apology for your nasty remark about President Obama " Palling around with Terriorists" ! We need to oust all the nasty, racist right wing extremists!

    June 16, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  25. Jason

    I don't think Letterman should have apologized until Palin apologized for calling Barack Obama a terrorist. Yeah, we all have freedom of speech until we upset Sarah Palin. Whatever.

    June 16, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
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