Theodore's World: David Letterman Apologizes...Sort Of

« Gov. Palin Talked About the Miranda Rights At the Convention | Main | NKorea Warns of Nuclear War Amid Rising Tensions »

June 16, 2009

David Letterman Apologizes...Sort Of

“All right, here – I’ve been thinking about this situation with Governor Palin and her family now for about a week – it was a week ago tonight, and maybe you know about it, maybe you don’t know about it. But there was a joke that I told, and I thought I was telling it about the older daughter being at Yankee Stadium. And it was kind of a coarse joke. There’s no getting around it, but I never thought it was anybody other than the older daughter, and before the show, I checked to make sure in fact that she is of legal age, 18. Yeah. But the joke really, in and of itself, can’t be defended. The next day, people are outraged. They’re angry at me because they said, ‘How could you make a lousy joke like that about the 14-year-old girl who was at the ball game?’ And I had, honestly, no idea that the 14-year-old girl, I had no idea that anybody was at the ball game except the governor and I was told at the time she was there with Rudy Giuliani … and I really should have made the joke about Rudy …” (audience applauds) “But I didn’t, and now people are getting angry and they’re saying, ‘Well, how can you say something like that about a 14-year-old girl, and does that make you feel good to make those horrible jokes about a kid who’s completely innocent, minding her own business,’ and, turns out, she was at the ball game. I had no idea she was there. So she’s now at the ball game, and people think that I made the joke about her. And, but still, I’m wondering, ‘Well, what can I do to help people understand that I would never make a joke like this?’ I’ve never made jokes like this as long as we’ve been on the air, 30 long years, and you can’t really be doing jokes like that. And I understand, of course, why people are upset. I would be upset myself.

“And then I was watching the Jim Lehrer ‘Newshour’ – this commentator, the columnist Mark Shields, was talking about how I had made this indefensible joke about the 14-year-old girl, and I thought, ‘Oh, boy, now I’m beginning to understand what the problem is here. It’s the perception rather than the intent.’ It doesn’t make any difference what my intent was, it’s the perception. And, as they say about jokes, if you have to explain the joke, it’s not a very good joke. And I’m certainly – ” (audience applause) “– thank you. Well, my responsibility – I take full blame for that. I told a bad joke. I told a joke that was beyond flawed, and my intent is completely meaningless compared to the perception. And since it was a joke I told, I feel that I need to do the right thing here and apologize for having told that joke. It’s not your fault that it was misunderstood, it’s my fault. That it was misunderstood.” (audience applauds) “Thank you. So I would like to apologize, especially to the two daughters involved, Bristol and Willow, and also to the governor and her family and everybody else who was outraged by the joke. I’m sorry about it and I’ll try to do better in the future. Thank you very much.”


This probably had something to do with his half way apology as well:

Letterman's Palin Joke Costs CBS an Advertiser at CBS website, Spawns Campaign for His Firing

Seattle .com

David Letterman's comments about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and one of her daughters has prompted a hotel chain to pull its advertising on CBS' website — and spawned a campaign to fire the Late Show host that includes a planned protest outside his studio.

Embassy Suites, part of the Hilton Hotels Corp., pulled advertising on CBS' site because of complaints, company spokeswoman Kendra Walker told The company was not an advertiser on Letterman's show.

"We received lots of e-mails from concerned guests and we assessed that the statement that he made was offensive enough to our guests and prospective guests that we elected to take the ads down," Walker said. She declined to release the cost of the ads.

CBS declined to comment Tuesday.


Wild Thing's comment..........

Now that CBS has at least one sponsor dropping ad purchases on the show, Letterman feels the need to clarify. And the clarification is that he doesn’t blame you for ‘misunderstanding’ the joke.

It wasn’t a “joke”—it was an attempt at humiliating a politician he doesn’t like, i.e. a conservative. He pushed the envelope too far.

He never was sorry for the joke he made about Willow because if he was, he wouldn’t have called her a prostitute for Elliot Spitzer the very next day. He knew how old she was then, and still called her a hooker.

Posted by Wild Thing at June 16, 2009 04:45 AM


Embassy Suites, part of the Hilton Hotels Corp. has shown some guts/b*lls. Hoo Ray for them. They will certainly get my business from now on.

Posted by: Steve Gaston, USMC at June 16, 2009 07:49 AM

Where is that outrage that Don Imus received? He was blackballed from the networks after profusely apologizing yet this phony apology is tepid at best. I've worked diligently to avoid patronizing that leftist organization and it's sponsors. Not just recently mind you but since Walter "Crankshaft" was lying to us and LBJ. Would you Rather have Dan? There is a decided pattern like that of NBC. Tongue bit!!!

Posted by: Jack at June 16, 2009 09:58 AM

It’s the perception rather than the intent.’ It doesn’t make any difference what my intent was, it’s the perception.

His intent was to disparage Governor Palin and one of her daughters. No mistake in the perception.
Bob A.

Posted by: Bob A at June 16, 2009 12:09 PM

Letterman is a political obama hack, they are deathly afraid of Sarah Palin, so any opportunity they get they try to trash her.

These are sick people. They need a Miranda Warning: You have the Right to remain silent...Bang!

Posted by: Mark at June 16, 2009 03:05 PM

Thank you everyone.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 16, 2009 11:24 PM