The David Letterman-Sarah Palin kerfuffle over a coarse joke the late-night comic told about one of her daughters, apparently is at an end — Alaska’s governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee accepting the “Late Show” host’s apology.
Letterman’s mea culpa during Monday’s show was extraordinary in substance and tone. “The joke, really, in and of itself, can’t be defended,” Letterman said of his monologue crack about one of Palin’s daughters having sex with a New York Yankees player. He apologized to two of Palin’s daughters — he said the joke referred to 18-year-old Bristol but a number of people assumed it was aimed at 14-year-old Willow — and to the governor. “I’m really sorry about it, and I’ll try to do better in the future,” he said.
Good enough. At least for Gov. Palin, who accepted Letterman’s apology Tuesday “on behalf of all young women.” Not good enough for conservative talk radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, who suggested Letterman was sorrier for the heat he was getting from viewers and advertisers than anything else.
Yet Palin obviously did the right thing. Letterman’s apology sounded and looked genuine. And he issued it during his show, which is pretty significant. Palin could have continued to play the injured party, but being gracious is far more becoming.