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Letterman — master of irony — responds to Palin

Sarah and Todd Palin wrote a nastygram to David Letterman about some jokes he made about their trip to New York. Letterman responds:

UPDATE: The Empire Strikes Back! MSNBC has the details — scroll down to “Palin keeps up her crusade against Letterman“. Palin also denounced the media’s “political double standard” by leaving Obama’s children alone but not hers. Of course, she didn’t mention that it was she who called herself a “hockey mom” and brought up her children, including bringing up Bristol’s pregnancy, and that Bristol herself has given interviews to TODAY and People magazine.

UPDATE 2: Letterman apologizes, saying that the joke was “beyond flawed”.



  1. Jon Schuller wrote:

    How incredibly desperate are Republican leaders for (again) turning Gov Sarah Palin loose on America. Now they’re attacking a talkshow host, David Letterman, for their perception of what a joke is. How low can they go? Well any lower and hopefully they’ll drop off the radar completely. Too many really important things to discuss right now without (another) petty trivial distraction to take up our time. Leave the gossip, Mrs Palin, to the gossip-mongers like Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh. On the other hand, Mrs Palin is an expert in getting publicity ANY WAY SHE CAN.

    Friday, June 12, 2009 at 10:24 am | Permalink
  2. Sammy wrote:

    F*ck the Palins. Seriously, f*ck ’em. Look, if I were a late night, sarcastic, often mean-spirited comic, I’d probably choose to lay off jokes regarding someone’s kids. But then again, like Kurt Cobain who did everything possible to become famous and then spent two years complaining that he never wanted to be famous, the Palins have done everything possible to spotlight their out-of-wedlock-pregnant-but-we-still-believe-in-abstinence-only-sex-ed daughter and now are complaining that she’s being mocked.

    They can all just pound sand.

    Friday, June 12, 2009 at 11:50 am | Permalink
  3. starluna wrote:

    Doesn’t anyone else think it’s strange that Todd Palin speaks of his 18 year old daughter as a 14 year old? Hmmm….

    Friday, June 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm | Permalink
  4. Donna wrote:

    I think it was the 14 year old, Willow, who was with Caribou Barbie on that trip so Letterman was referring to her getting knocked up. That’s how I understood it. In any case, it would be awfully nice if she stopped using her children as props, shields and excuses to play victim.

    Friday, June 12, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Permalink
  5. dannynono wrote:

    Donna, you’re correct, the joke didn’t mention the daughter by name. My assumption is that the Letterman writer who penned the joke made a mistake – not unlike many of our politicians’ verbal miscues.

    Friday, June 12, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Permalink
  6. Donna wrote:

    Danny, just looked at the MSNBC link and it definitely looks like the joke was unclear and not targeting a 14 year old. That might have been said in the video but I’m unable to hear it. I don’t suppose the on line videos ever come with closed captioning, do they?

    Friday, June 12, 2009 at 3:01 pm | Permalink
  7. starluna wrote:

    I heard the joke. It wasn’t particularly funny. But I also would not have assumed it referred to anyone but Bristol Palin, given that she is the only one in the family who has been “knocked up.” But that is just me. And I didn’t realize that there was a younger daughter.

    And I’m right there with you Donna on the CC.

    Friday, June 12, 2009 at 5:33 pm | Permalink
  8. Bubblehead wrote:

    Some perspective …

    1- The Governor was, in fact, accompanied to New York for the charity event, and subsequently to watch the Bronx Bombers play, by her fourteen-year-old daughter, not her eighteen-year-old daughter. This was a charity event, not a political appearance.

    2- Here in VA, DNC Chairman and part-time Governor Kaine regularly appeared with his kids during his campaign, and “used his kids as props” for the tourism PSA campaign for VA state parks. Yet despite his having “injected them into the picture”, no one in the Commonwealth would consider it acceptable to drag them into the mud like this, even if they did screw up as dramatically and publicly as Governor Palin’s eldest daughter did.

    3- I have seen more television and magazine coverage of the President’s children than I have the Governor’s children, yet I can’t imagine anyone believing that the President had “used the children as props”.

    As a Libertarian, I have little use for either of the irretrievably-corrupt establishment parties. But as an observer, I have a great deal of difficulty comprehending why this particular sitting Governor is subjected to so vastly different a set of rules in the public discourse than any other elected official.

    Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 7:24 am | Permalink
  9. starluna wrote:

    Having worked in and around a number of local campaigns, I can say that every event that a political candidate attends is a political appearance. When our state house speaker spoke at our political science awards dinner, it wasn’t just because he was an alum and his son was graduating. He came to talk about his political choices in recent budget battles. And he did. When the state house speaker and senate president (past and present) spoke at a health care foundation event I attended recently, they were talking politics and policy, not about ice cream and the Red Sox. That’s what they do. When you are a politician, you can’t “just” go to a non-political event without being a politician. This is particularly the case for people with political ambitions as high as Palin has for herself.

    I personally believe that Palin does use her children as part of her politicking. She defined herself as a hockey mom and the narrative around her is that she represents “family values”. She constantly talked about her children during the campaign and brought them out at every opportunity. And continue to do so. During the campaign, even Fox reported that she used her youngest daughter to diminish negative attention at a hockey game (see There is no doubt in my mind that Bristol Palin did not voluntarily decide to become the voice of abstinence.

    It’s one thing to “use” your children to promote the use of state parks. It’s a whole other thing to use your children to promote your own political career, as I see Palin doing.

    Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 8:09 am | Permalink

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