Thursday, June 11, 2009


Women's Advocacy Group Leader Blasts Letterman's Jokes About Palin, Calls for Apology

By Joshua Rhett Miller
The president of a national women's public policy group on Thursday blasted David Letterman's "offensive" jokes about Sarah Palin and her daughter and called on the CBS late-night host to formally apologize.

"There's a saying that out of the heart, the mouth speaks, and Letterman's statement reveals a pretty ugly reflection of who Letterman may be," Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, told

"When he said those things, they were thought through. He probably kicked them around with his writers who thought it was appropriate to say these reprehensible things."

Letterman has been under fire since he made several jokes about the Alaska governor and her daughter on his show Tuesday night, following a visit they made to New York City. In one joke, he characterized the former vice presidential candidate's style as that of a "slutty flight attendant." And in another, he joked that Palin's daughter had been "knocked up" by Yankees star Alex Rodriguez during the seventh-inning stretch of a Yankees game.

Critics jumped on Letterman soon after the show aired, accusing the comedian of making crass jokes about child rape because the girl who accompanied Palin to New York was her 14-year-old daughter, Willow, and not 18-year-old Bristol, who is the unmarried mother of Palin's first grandchild.

Letterman, on his Wednesday night show, addressed the controversy but stopped short of apologizing.

“We were, as we often do, making jokes about people in the news and we made some jokes about Sarah Palin and her daughter, the 18-year-old girl, who is — her name is Bristol, that’s right, and so, then, now they’re upset with me," Letterman said on his Wednesday telecast.

“These are not jokes made about her 14-year-old daughter. I would never, never make jokes about raping or having sex of any description with a 14-year-old girl. I mean, look at my record. It has never happened. I don’t think it’s funny. I would never think it was funny. I wouldn’t put it in a joke.”

He then invited Palin and her husband, Todd, to be his guests on his show, but Palin declined. "The Palins have no intention of providing a rating's boost for David Letterman by appearing on his show," a statement to read.

RELATED: Sarah Palin Declines David Letterman's On-Air Invitation.

On Thursday, Wright, whose group advocates biblical values and family traditions, called on Letterman to issue a "real" apology, saying his comments were "worse than" merely poor taste.

"The apology was inadequate and it was only about one of the statements," Wright said. "Letterman's very poor view of women and minor girls is very disturbing, and he certainly needs to do more to change his own attitudes and then prove that his attitude has changed."

She called on Letterman to contact Palin personally rather than address the issue on air. "He needs to reach out to Sarah Palin," she said. "Apparently he feels threatened by the fact that she's a beautiful conservative woman. He would've never said anything like that if Sarah Palin was a liberal. He needs to treat Sarah Palin with the respect and dignity she deserves."

Deborah Donovan Rice, executive director of Stop It Now, an organization aiming to prevent the sexual abuse of children, also denounced Letterman's jokes and praised Palin's response as "spot on."

"This wasn't the usual fun, creative stuff I usually see on Letterman," Rice told "This really dropped below the bar."

Outside the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York Thursday afternoon, most of the studio audience lined up for the taping of Letterman's show said they were not aware of the controversy surrounding his comments.

But audience member Ann Frechette from Tampa Bay, Fla., said Tuesday night's jokes were “very harsh, very unlike David Letterman.”

She also said that “his apology was just another joke.”

Another, Cindy Baldwin from Ogden, Utah, said "I don't think [Letterman] should make comments about anyone's daughter, whether she's 18 or 14."

Emily Dore contributed to this report.


N-JO said...

People, Palin included, need to get over themselves. Dave is not a journalist, he's a comedian, a snarky, inappropriate one. THANK GOD. The jokes were funny and more a reflection on Alex Rodriguez and Eliot Spitzer than any child of Sarah Palin's. Though it was clear the daughter in question was the one who's gotten herself knocked up and is on tv and magazines proclaiming it.

This is a bunch of junk about nothing, Dave has nothing to apologize for. I am a WOMAN, a thinking woman, and a woman who recognizes satire and sarcasm. The great irony here is that Sarah Palin has a knocked up daughter; everyone knows it, the jokes were funny, and for her to jump on this and make an issue of it only shows Palin's limitations, which include a failure to understand comedy, satire, irony and who is fair game. Her 18 year old unmarried daughter with the 6 month old baby is being used as a pawn, but can't be used for jokes? Get her off the cover of magazines.

Like most who heard and laughed at the joke, we immediately "went to" the daughter who has made herself news. I am not even sure how many other daughters Palin has, what their names and ages are.. But we all know the knocked up 18 year old one!

Gov. Palin needs to go away. Dave Letterman is a genuine person who has more heart and charity in his soul than Palin does, i guarantee it. To call him a degenerate is outrageous and ignorant.

I wish Palin would GO BACK to ALASKA and keep her idiot mouth shut. Reform reform reform. and if reform doesn't work, then call everybody a meanie.

SHE DOES NOT SPEAK FOR THIS WOMAN, and neither does the NOW or CWA. I have a sense of humor as well as an identity. Don't tell me what to think is funny.

Anonymous said...

Palin was angry that David's view on women and minor girls is very disturbing because his joke suggested that Alex Rodriguez had sex with her 14 year old daughter. Didn't she condone somebody having sex with the older daughter before she reached 18?

N-JO said...

exactly. And similar jokes have been told by Leno, O'Brien (that one about hockey players getting in the daughter's -- plural-- "penalty box", and this was in the fall, when all the daughters were underage. Leno suggested that pregnant Bristol was knocked up by John Edwards if anyone recalls...

N-JO said...

I'm sad that a comedian has to apologize for a joke, crude or otherwise.

Ann said...

Not only did Leno and Conan make very similar jokes, but Saturday Night Live had a skit in Sept. where the joke was that Todd Palin was having sex with his daughters. One month after this, Palin appeared on SNL.
Before this I just thought she was a moron, but now I realize that she is a huge hypocrite and a typical slimy politician.

Ann said...

She is far too much of a divisive figure. I was a fan of Letterman's for a long time, but I haven't been watching lately. Now I am watching again. She is not good for president, she will polarize the country and we are just getting over 8 years of divisiveness.

Anonymous said...

Makes me so upset Letterman was pressured to apologize.

Marianne said...

How stupid to think that he made a joke about her because she is a conservative. How many jokes has Letterman AND Leno and everyone else made about Bill Clinton?? He's a liberal! She is a media WHORE, bad mother and if she ever gets anywhere near the White House, I'm moving to Canada!

Anonymous said...

On to Vanity--Can't wait to hear more about Sarah's antics on the campaign trail! Did the GOP really think she was some sort of "sacred cow"? I,for one,look forward to more stories and thoughts from Sarah. By the way, who is her "base"? On the evolutionary scale, does her base have opposable thumbs? Where do they live.I grew up with the word "base" used to describe persons, as a not so nice adjective.

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Anonymous said...

Yeah, Dave was so not saying anything ugly about either of the Palin girls. And, to whomever is the webmaster of this marvelous site...WE'RE NOT WORTHY! WE'RE NOT WORTHY!---Wayne and Garth to Aerosmith. Actually, I was bored and typed the name of this site and BOOM! You, oh marvelous webmaster, beat me to it!!! Great minds think alike!!! Yeah!!

Anonymous said...

Regarding her speech? yesterday in the lake--the words she used were"uneconomic, hanger-oners" and more and more and more. Did she ever take any English in her 5 or so years of college??