OPRAH WINFREY: I saw the apology that you made to Sarah Palin’s daughter. It seemed that you were genuinely apologetic there.
WINFREY NARRATION: After Sarah Palin attended a New York Yankees game with her 14-year-old daughter Willow, David cracked a sex joke about a baseball player and the young girl. Letterman says he thought Sarah Palin was with her oldest daughter, Bristol, who made headlines when she became pregnant at age 17.
WINFREY TO LETTERMAN: Why did you apologize?
LETTERMAN: I’ll tell you why I apologized. I felt like Sarah Palin was somebody I wanted to continue to be able to make fun of and I felt like if I don’t apologize, if I don’t sincerely express my regret, I will not be able to go forward making fun of her. And truly, I felt bad for the 14-year-old. You know, that was just like, oh nice going, you got the wrong daughter. That was just dumb, stupid joke that fell into dumb luck and got worse.
You know Sarah Palin, and the Right Wing noise machine. blew this WAY out of proportion when it happened to continue the meme that Sarah Palin was being unfairly attacked by the Left.
I always believed that pretty much everybody knew that he meant Bristol, simply because SHE was the one who had a child out of wedlock. It would only have been a funny joke if it was Bristol, and by the way it was pretty funny.
I remember yelling "NO" at the screen when i heard Letterman apologize because I KNEW that it fed into their victimization mythology and that it would set a bad precedent for others who wanted to make jokes about the family or expose the truth about who they really were.
As it turned out I kind of think that Letterman's apology emboldened them enough that they felt confident in threatening Alaska blogger Shannyn Moore with a lawsuit a month later, and then of course also came after me.
However in the interest of wanting to continue making fun of Sarah Palin one can hardly blame Letterman for doing what he felt he had to in order to get back to the jokes.
P.S. By the way at the end of this video Oprah asks Letterman if he ever felt bad about hurting someone's feelings with a joke, he replies that he has and that he has even called to apologize after ward a number of times.
I think we can say with some confidence that he NEVER called Sarah Palin. Because if he had it would have been broadcast ALL OVER Fox News.
(H/T to Mediaite.)