June 15, 2009

The newer, bigger Letterman apology.

There. Are you satisfied now?

68 comments:

Sy said...

Now, if he would of done this in the first place, this thing would of been dead a long time ago.

He is still creep.

XWL said...

Satisfied? No.

Seems like he only decided a true and full grovelling apology (rather than the 'I'm sorry you were offended' type apology) was necessary when sponsors were being threatened with action.

It was bad judgement to go after Bristol in the manner he thought he did, and even worse to not immediately realize the nature of his mistake when it was clear that Willow was the one at the game.

When he starts doing Ashley Biden is a coke whore jokes, maybe I'll forgive him.

Harsh Pencil said...

Yes, he is still a creep, to paraphrase somebody I read, coming in as the 62 year old cool guy at the end of each night, hiply assuring us that nothing really matters.

But he did finally apologize, so that ends it for me.

Quayle said...

He made the right realization, and he did the right thing.

Laurie said...

Glad he finally apolgized, even tho' it calls to mind the Forgetting Sarah Marshall line.. "Boolshit, boolshit, boolshit!"

EDH said...

Not sure I'd call it an apology for his offense.

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.


Not "who I offended with the joke," but those who were "outraged by the joke."

As in, whatever's in their head that made them so outraged by the joke, I'm sorry for that.

chuck said...

A win for Palin, and she was classy all the way. That's how I look at it, the apology is secondary and likely not that sincere; I don't think Letterman has had any sort of epiphany except, maybe, with respect to advertisers and money.

traditionalguy said...

Another one bites the dust. Sarah don't run away when you slander her. This could be the signal to begin supporting her campaign.

Revenant said...

Forgiving him would require, first, that I be angry enough with him to want an apology. I reserve that level of anger for people whose existence matters to me in the first place.

OldGrouchy said...

Imus apologized several times, including a long public apology to Al Sharpton. Of course, the result of all that apologizing was that Imus was fired, not merely suspended.

Letterman should be fired as should his joke writers. If Letterman can't comprehend what's acceptable or not, then he needs to go sit a corner for at least 8-months while he thinks of better jokes.

Yep, Letterman has got freedom of speech and he also has got to have the cajones to accept responsibility for his statements.

Somehow that last part doesn't seem to have sunk in on old Davie Boy!

john said...

Letterman got his mileage out of the "joke" - a ratings boost the minute he needed it. His apology is as strategized as his joke was - it keeps him at the top of another news cycle - with an additional benefit that he will soon be able to cast himself as the real victim here, if those horrible unforgiving Palin supporters don't stop calling for his head.

Lem said...
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john said...

Betcha - this will soon be followed by another, this time heartfelt, invitation for Palin, and the daughter of her choice, to appear on his show.

What a maganimous gesture.

Bob said...

If he'd delivered this apology sooner and not under threat of boycotts of advertisers I'd think it was sincere; as it is, it seems like damage control more than anything. It should end this bit of political theater, however.

Letterman shouldn't hold his breath waiting for Palin to accept an invitation to visit the show, though.

Jim said...

Satisfied? Not hardly. On the first day when the whole thing hit the fan, he had the opportunity to recognize that he had made a mistake. He gave it due thought and decided to double down on his original "joke" by making the Eliot Spitzer reference. That's who Letterman really is: he thought he was more clever than everyone else and didn't give a rat's rear end about giving offense.

This "apology" was, others have already noted, more weasel-mouthed excuse-making akin to the old "I'm sorry you're ugly" formulation than "I was wrong to say you were ugly."

Under the circumstances, it was probably the best that we could hope for, but not the best that we - as a society - should have strived for. It's sad that only threatening the CBS brass forced even this much, but such is the state of a media so consumed with its own cleverness and Leftist brand of politics.

There are some who are still pushing for his ouster, but I agree with those who say that the best punishment for Letterman is letting him linger in the ratings basement in which he has resided for years as his audience slowly drifts away.

AJ Lynch said...

Nah I demand we go back to the days when people were shunned as eternal outcasts.

Fuck, we redeem everyone. Even O.J. became ammost respectable.

Lem said...

..this will soon be followed by another, this time heartfelt, invitation for Palin, and the daughter of her choice, to appear on his show.

The apology is really an overture to come on the show; a sandbagging.

daredevil_66 said...

I guess this is as much of an apology as that tiny, sad soul can muster the "Sorry you misunderstood I was calling your 18year old daughter a slut and not the 14 year old one. I didn't write the joke properly so you could misunderstand it. My bad"
There, all better now.

fivewheels said...

He thought Palin went to the game alone? Really? He made a joke about the governor and her daughter at the game, but it was a complete surprise to him that the governor had her daughter at the game? Yeah, I believe that.

As with the Dixie Chicks, it'd be better to stand on principle and not apologize at all than to make a dishonest, insincere, craven b.s. apology because of financial concerns. Be who you are, and people can like it or not.

SteveR said...

He could have come to the same conclusion the day after the joke was first told. So the timing negates the "newer bigger" to a large extent.

rcocean said...

This actually makes me sad. I hate it when people betray their true selves for profit.

Dave,

Be honest, be true to yourself. You're a bitter 62 year old multi-millionaire. You live on a 100 acre estate, you wear $2,000 suits. You hate the "hicks" & social conservatives. You loathe "strong women" - like Palin. Remember how you despised all those "losers" you grew up with in godforsaken Indiana. Be honest. Express the hate. Don't be a Sell-out.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I wasn't outraged by Letterman's joke and I think this episode has been a disaster for Palin. None of this is presidential. However, now that Letterman has apologized like this I think he should be fired.

It's like Palin is on a vengeance tour, striking down members of the main stream media, and I applaud her for that.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

He made the right realization, and he did the right thing

And his writers penned a Hell of an apology. I wonder...how did it look on the teleprompter?

Was it as sincere as the scripting staff intended it to be? Hope the words were big enough to read clearly. I imagine that Dave has obtained some good tips from Obama: the ultimate speech reader.

sierra said...

So he says he checked before making the joke to make sure the girl was of legal age to be humiliated, then says he had no idea anybody else but Governor Palin and Giuliani were at the ball game? That doesn't wash. It took him a week of thinking to come up with this BS?

rcocean said...

I think its sad that a man like Letterman, probably worth a $100 million. has to apologize to a Woman from Alaska who never even won an Emmy.

That's Democracy for you.

JAL said...
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JAL said...

I'm not wasting the time to go back and re-listen to the clips (if the full ones are still around).

I have a fuzzy recollection that he mentioned that (Governor) Palin was at the game ... and didn't he mention she was there with a daughter? Why else would he joke about the daughter creating a problem for Palin in the seventh inning if he didn't mention (or think) that there was a daughter there?

I'm with those that think this upgraded "apology" was orchestrated because he lost control of the narrative -- (as they say).

He sure made a lot of hay -- and jokes -- about it in the days following, including re-telling the "jokes" when the Governor's office and the Palins themselves responded negatively.

More evidence of how NY and CA (and Chicago?) are really out of touch. The elitism reeks.

Steven said...

He thought Palin went to the game alone? Really? He made a joke about the governor and her daughter at the game, but it was a complete surprise to him that the governor had her daughter at the game?

Actually, I can buy it. Sequence of events:

1) Actual joke writer, who's an idiot who either doesn't know or doesn't care about the difference between Bristol and Willow, is inspired by the dual-attendance to write the joke.

2) Dave, unaware that Willow is attending the game, reviews the joke. He asks another staffer for a confirmation that Bristol is of age.

3) With that confirmation, Dave figures the field is clear to make the joke; it might be in questionable taste, but it's not like Bristol's sexual history is secret or that she's a minor.

4) Blowback erupts.

5) Dave and staff fires back in accordance with disdain for Palin and Palin supporters.

6) An unusual alliance of conservatives and feminists start up a boycott.

7) Network, under pressure from sponsors, points out to Dave that a combination of innocent mistake and disdain for Sarah Palin doesn't immunize you from having to apologize for making a fourteen-year-old girl the butt of a slut joke.

reader_iam said...

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

Eh feck.Hell's frozen over.We're doomed.

Chase said...

Man, that Letterman is one funny nigger.

gcotharn said...

I'm not satisfied. David Letterman's new apology obscures his intentional cruelty to a noncombatant: Bristol Palin. A proper apology would acknowledge he wrongly pulled an 18 year old noncombatant into the spotlight; would acknowledge he wrongly subjected her to ridicule and scorn. David Letterman cannot admit, to himself or to the nation, he was intentionally cruel to Bristol Palin, and was wrong to subject her to ridicule and scorn.

I don't understand why a joke about pulling Alex Rodriguez off of an 18 year old girl is acceptable. Bristol Palin is a noncombatant. She's not in politics. She's never made political speeches. She claps and cheers: yea Mom!, and that's it. It's not right to go after a civilian; a noncombatant. It wouldn't be right if she were 48 years old.

It's not justified b/c she had a child. She's a civilian. It's not justified.

It's not justified b/c she attempts to do the right thing by speaking out about the difficulties of being an unwed mother; it's not justified because she attempts to do the right thing via representing teen abstinence. Is this what comedy is? If you are 18, and you try to positively influence teenaged girls, then we will rip into you?

It was only justified, in Letterman's and his audience' minds, by Sarah Palin being a rube. Thus it was not justified at all.

Al Gore's early twenties aged son had a succession of speeding tickets and a DWI. Did Letterman joke: We had to have Courtney Love pull Al Gore's son out of the bar? He did not. B/c he is a Democrat, therefore Al Gore cannot be a rube, therefore nothing justifies bringing Gore's noncombatant son into the spotlight.

Joe Biden's mid twenties daughter was arrested for cocaine possession only a couple of months ago. Did Letterman joke: We had to have Darryl Strawberry pull Biden's daughter out of the crack house! He did not. B/C he is a Democrat, therefore Biden cannot be a rube like that hillbilly Sarah Palin, therefore nothing justifies bringing Biden's noncombatant daughter into the spotlight.

Daryl said...

Are you satisfied now?

No.

1 - he asserts that it's okay to make jokes about Bristol Palin. According to Dave, she's not "innocent" and she's meddling in other people's lives, somehow. She was dragged into the spotlight by a liberal media that repeated the most despicable rumors and investigated every aspect of her life, and now the left says she's fair game because they've exposed her so much. That's unacceptable. The degradation of the Palin family must stop.

2 - it's implied in his statement that he thinks Willow Palin will be fair game for his crude jokes in a few years. 14 is too young, but she'll be 16-17 when the next Presidential campaign heats up. Again, the degradation of the Palin family has to stop here.

3 - If Letterman was sincere about his apology, he would not lie. He lied about whether he knew Palin's daughter was at the game. His story now is that he thought NO Palin daughter was at the game. His story is that he thought the Palin daughters were all back in Alaska, and he just threw in a Bristol's-a-slut joke for no reason.

If you take him at his word, that means he's going to make jokes about Bristol even when Bristol isn't in the news. She could hide out in an Alaskan nunnery, and any time Gov. Palin has the nerve to show her face in public, Letterman will make a Bristol joke--that's if you believe Liarman.

4 - The final reason I can't accept his apology is that his wife is so goddamned ugly. I mean, Mrs. Letterman is one fugly bitch. Have you ever seen such a stupid, ugly whore?

The only reason Letterman married her is that the bitch wouldn't have an abortion after he knocked her up. The gold-digger finally wore him down. She used the old "man trap" device, and then she insisted on having her celebrity-money anchor baby.

It's too bad Letterman felt obligated to marry such an ugly, greedy woman, but what choice did he have? The important thing is, he showed weakness by marrying that nasty cow. That's weakness that we can exploit. We can wear him down, just like his harridan whore wife did.

---

Is that unfair? Bristol was ostensibly mocked for having sex outside of marriage and for not having an abortion. But we all know that's not really why Letterman insults her. He wants to degrade Bristol to get at Gov. Palin. It's despicable and it has to stop.

This all goes back to Rules for Radicals--the left's playbook. Rule no. 5: Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. There is no defense.

There is only COUNTER-ATTACK. Counter-attack by trying to get Festerman fired, or by costing him advertisers. Counter-attack by degrading his own family. Counter-attack, without mercy, remorse, or good taste. We haven't won yet, so we can't let up.

And remember Rule no. 6: Have fun!

Sheepman said...

I like Letterman, but this apology was pretty lame. I could see his claiming not knowing that the 14-year-old Willow was present at the game when he first made the joke, but he must have known when he jested his first faux apology.

rhhardin said...

He's a wimp for apologizing, as are the political right for going after him. Everybody's PC these days, a legacy of the women's vote.

I'd have told more jokes instead. If you don't like it, don't watch.

Somebody has to stand up against political correctness. He'd get that viewship.

Deb said...

"...who's an idiot who either doesn't know or doesn't care about the difference between Bristol and Willow"
They don't care. Because it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter because Dave says it doesn't matter. And Dave knows what matters!

kentuckyliz said...

Letterman is ugly and his mannish wife/babymomma of his bastard child is ugly and he probably pictures Sarah and/or Bristol and/or Willow when he fellates his he-wife.

Shoot, even with all his fame and money, he can't even succeed at being a cherrypicker like Levi. He could only bag an employee. Letterman is stupider than Bill Clinton, who kept his employee boinks strictly oral and didn't risk fatherhood and handing over half his assets to a bastard child. Letterman is a dumbasss.

American Liberal Elite said...

Palin has made so much political hay out of this that she should send Letterman a thank you note.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Palin has made so much political hay out of this that she should send Letterman a thank you note..

Yeah its a real bitch who defends her teenage kid.

American Liberal Elite said...

"Bitch" is such a nasty word. I prefer to think of Governor Palin as an opportunist.

Robin said...

It's a rationalization wrapped in a faux apology.

There's a full paragraph there on how it's not the "intent", it's the "perception" and it doesn't matter that he was "misunderstood".

Which tells me that he thinks we rubes out here in outrage land are too dim to properly grasp his form of humor.

"Apology. I don't think that word means what you think it means."

Hoosier Daddy said...

"Bitch" is such a nasty word. I prefer to think of Governor Palin as an opportunist..

Yes, must nastier than say, a slutty flight attendant.

A politician is an opportunist? I'm shocked, shocked I tell you. I mean wasn't it Obama's close advisor Rahm Emmanual who said never waste an opportunity?

Keep em coming. I can do this all day.

EnigmatiCore said...

Even a forced, insincere apology has merit. It shows that there are still enough people around with enough of a sense of decorum as to make that kind of mean-spirited humor aimed at a kid (well, mainly at the kid's mom but through the kid) relatively off-limits.

Good.

MadisonMan said...

I'm glad it wasn't a non-apology apology.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Somebody has to stand up against political correctness. He'd get that viewship..

Making jokes about knocking up someone's kid isn't political correctness gone mad, its just classless. If someone made the same crack about my kid I can assure you he or she would spend the next 6 months eating through a straw.

rhhardin said...

The idea that kids or females are wilting flowers of tender feelings does the kids or females no favors.

Learn to be a victim and see what you can get for it is the new ideal.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The idea that kids or females are wilting flowers of tender feelings does the kids or females no favors..

I'll let my kid fight her own battles with her peers. When an adult thinks she's fair game is when I draw the line.

Sorry you can't make the distinction.

rhhardin said...

Lileks wrote somewhere that he had no objection to his daughter starting dating when she's old enough, around 26.

Which proves that overprotectiveness can be recognized if you try.

rhhardin said...

14 is not adult because you tell her that.

Larry J said...

It isn't up to me to forgive him. It's up to the Palins. They were the ones targeted by his so-called jokes, the kind you know he'll never make about the children of Democrats.

Personally, I think Letterman always has been and always will be an asshole. I've never watched his show (just seen enough clips of him over the years to form my opinion) and certainly won't start now.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Lileks wrote somewhere that he had no objection to his daughter starting dating when she's old enough, around 26.

Which proves that overprotectiveness can be recognized if you try.
.

I'll wager Lileks was talking tongue in cheek as that's a pretty cliched statement from most fathers who have daughters.

Standing up for your kid when she's attacked by some 62 year old mediocre comic isn't being overprotective. If it is to you then to each their own.

Shanna said...

I’m skeptical that nobody on his staff was capable of doing a quick internet search and learning in two seconds that people were mad because Willow was at the ball field (or nobody putting two and two together) but it is possible that everyone who works at Lettermen, including Letterman himself, is dumb as a box of hair. Glad he finally made an actual effort.

Not "who I offended with the joke," but those who were "outraged by the joke."

Heh. That reminds me of this cartoon: http://www.eclectipundit.com/2009/03/not.html#links

Big Mike said...

There. Are you satisfied now?

Perhaps you didn't mean it Professor, but the tone of your post suggests that there's something wrong with us for being offended, first by the joke and then by the unapologetic apology.

If really was sincere this time, then maybe the Palins will forgive. It's not my child so it's not my job to forgive. But there's also forgetting, and no one except the far lefties will or should forget that Letterman has proved that he's over the hill and too stupid to recognize when it's time to hang it up.

Shanna said...

I do want to say I think it's a little bit insane that they are saying they made sure Bristol was 18 before they made a joke. Like that teensy bit of age difference is going to make it ok.

Aaron said...

his words were fine, but i felt like i was watching a hostage video.

i get no sense that he has soul searched because of it.

If he really wants to apologize, he might notice that there are some funny things about obama.

Darcy said...

Satisfied? No. It was an ugly episode - only made worse by Letterman's stubbornness and continued piggish behavior - how can one be satisfied now?

XWL and Jim are right. Letterman went way past his opportunity to make me feel like he really cared about this. It's only about money now.

Pfft.

Roger J. said...
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Roger J. said...

this whole thing was not a big deal to me in the first place, but an apology is an apology so lets get on with life. Especially in the context of events unfolding in Iran, and our President's chamberlainesque comments last night. There is evil in the world and there is EVIL in the world. Letterman is the former, and the Mullahs are the latter. And our President gave the latter a pass. Other despotism are watching the American response--and can only be emboldened. Sad--Really sad.

Darcy said...

Good point, Roger J. It's nothing compared to the events in Iran. Sadly, I doubt Obama voters look at his speech that way at all. He's so pragmatic, right? Ugh.

TMink said...

Nope. I don't hang with people who make child rape jokes. Later Letterman.

Trey

AprilApple said...

When money talks, uber-libs listen.


Letterman is still filled with loathing towards the Palin family. He's a hack.

How dare anyone mock holy and precious lord Obama. Hell to pay.

Original Mike said...

EC said: "Even a forced, insincere apology has merit. It shows that there are still enough people around with enough of a sense of decorum as to make that kind of mean-spirited humor aimed at a kid (well, mainly at the kid's mom but through the kid) relatively off-limits."

That was my take, too. I'm surprised he felt enough pressure to have to do this, but it was a real apology.

Though he continues to push this stuff about "I thought it was Bristol, not Willow", which to me makes no difference.

BJK said...

As someone who believed that Letterman didn't know which Palin daughter was at the game, but still thought he went over the line with the 'slutty flight attendant' joke, I think this matter is resolved.

Palin utilized the opportunity to launch an attack against the lefty, elite media which Letterman symbolizes. While I don't doubt that the mama-bear response was heartfelt, it also provided a political opportunity. I think her (spokesperson) also crossed the line with the 'keep Willow away from Letterman' comment....but I doubt we'll see an apology for that one.

Letterman received a bump in the ratings (although still trailing Conan most of the past week), and received a contract extension through 2012.

Time to let this one go.

David said...

Poor Letterman was once a nice midwestern boy who made it to the media big time partly on his gee whiz persona in the middle of all the flash. The Johnny Carson formula with a dash of Gomer hipster. Unfortunately now he's just another New York jerk looking down on the great middle class.

pduggie said...

I'm satisfied

TitusLovesUSoMuchIDo said...

I am still furious.

Let's start a letter writing campaign and get him fired.

Libtard media and Hollywood types make my skin crawl.

paul a'barge said...

Not satisfied. Click here to help Fire David Letterman

William said...

None here will be paid eighteen million a year for their skilled delivery of clever jokes. Letterman gets paid great gobs of money for doing this. He has a professional duty to be more discerning in his choice of jokes and more sincere in his apologies for bad choices. He is like a ship's captain who steers into an iceberg and then elbows women and children in his haste to get himself safely on the lifeboat. Everything about this make Letterman look bad......An observation about Letterman's domestic life: despite his wealth and fame he waited until almost the end of his life to replicate his genes. There is a distrust of life and all its processes that is latent in his jokes. The life force, the force that through the green fuse flows, does not drive Dave's red blood. This makes his mockery of Palin and her children all the more suspect. What lots of people find genuine and endearing about Sarah Palin and her kids is their vitality and messy exuberance. They have an appetite for sex and pleasure and an aspiration to lead a virtuous life. They are not hypocrites; they are multitudes.....Palin is the life force; Letterman is a bile pump. God help us if Letterman succeeds in marginalizing such decent people.

Oligonicella said...

It’s the perception rather than the intent.

Paraphrase - "It's your fault you took it that way."

So, the intent was a slovenly joke about an eighteen year old. Still not classy.

American Liberal Elite --

"Bitch" is such a nasty word. I prefer to think of Governor Palin as an opportunist.

So you admit opportunist is merely an euphemism for bitch for you.