Green Room

Hey, How About We Accept David Letterman’s Apology?

posted at 8:50 am on June 16, 2009 by

Since I’m being congratulated on both the left and the left for starting the ball rolling on this — I can’t take all the credit, guys, but thanks for the high praise — it’s probably expected of me to give a public response to Letterman’s apology last night.

He did the right thing.

He gave an apology in which he actually apologized to the specific people he wronged. Which, to some observers, is apparently optional. I don’t think it is, nor does anyone else who’s honest enough to admit what the word “apology” means, so I’m glad he specifically included an expression of regret for his actions.

And he named the wronged parties, particularly Willow and Bristol Palin. That’s the main thing. Whether he intended it or not, he hurt a kid whose only crime was going to a baseball game, and her older sister, whose only crime was having a child out of wedlock just like David Letterman. Well, that’s putting aside the unforgivable crime of being born to Sarah Palin.

He said he was sorry, and he didn’t play it for laughs (mostly). It might be a week late, but he did finally swallow his considerable pride and say it. And it only took half as long as the last “apology,” maybe because he didn’t yet again read off the jokes that got him in trouble in the first place and wait for the audience to applaud him for it.

Some people are focusing on his demurral that his intent didn’t match the public’s perception. But keep in mind, he then immediately said it didn’t matter, and nobody’s to blame for what happened but him. Basically, he was saying, “I didn’t mean it the way it came out, but the results are still my fault.” I would have liked him to explain how he and his staff were interested enough in a state governor who lost the last election to track her movements, but too lazy to make sure that their cruel slur against her daughter was actually directed at the correct one. But he did say that he honestly had no idea Willow was at that game. He should’ve said so to begin with, but at least he finally realized how important that part was.

I’m not saying I’m suddenly a Letterman fan again, but we need to accept his apology. Sarah has, and good for her. She was right to call him out on his phony apology, and she’s right to accept his real one.

Now maybe she can accept his invitation and take her message to Letterman’s audience. Maybe if he meets her face-to-face, he’ll realize she and her family are actual human beings and not just props in his game of Bash the Evil Conservatives to Keep Up with Stewart and Colbert. Heck, he might even listen to what she has to say. He might realize she has something to say.

And if she gets in a few zingers at his expense, as is her due, you can bet he’ll go out of his way to be gracious about it.

Well, a promise is a promise, so now that he’s said pretty much what I and many others demanded he say: David Letterman does not think raping little girls is funny.

P.S. I hope some can accept those of us who accept the apology.

P.P.S. To the people who are comparing this to the Imus debacle: Do what you want, but I have no interest in emulating Al Sharpton. He demands an apology and then, when it’s given, turns it down as insufficiently sincere. Most un-Christianlike behavior for a purported man of God. It might be an effective way to browbeat somebody into shutting up, but I didn’t like it then and I don’t like it now.

(Crossposted to jimtreacher.com)

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Jim, I appreciate the post. As a moderate liberal with many conservative stances, I appreciate visiting a conservative blog that isn’t hyperpartisan and simply about belittling the ‘other side’. Keep your voice strong and hopefully, you can have some influence on your fellow conservatives.

Palin Steele on June 16, 2009 at 12:47 PM

TheUnrepentantGeek on June 16, 2009 at 12:45 PM

Nothing. Well said.

Jim Treacher on June 16, 2009 at 12:48 PM

“I’ll try to do better…”

Just leave your political bias out of your show. You’re not funny anymore. There was a time…. but it’s gone, dude.

CynicalOptimist on June 16, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Jim, did you ever officially accept Micah Wright’s apology for lying about his military service?

If not, what distinguishes his case from Letterman’s? It is a matter of degree or kind?

Background for those who may have missed/forgotten those events:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A60120-2004May1&notFound=tru
http://jimtreacher.com/ranger.htm

Terry_Dyne on June 16, 2009 at 12:56 PM

With all respect, Jim, it would be one thing if it had worked, but it hasn’t (even if Maher isn’t mainstream the way Letterman is). If Letterman pays for this with his job and forum (and not his income that’d be guaranteed by his contracts, I’m guessing), then we won’t have to worry about anything like this ever happening again from mainstream shows while the Left can keep their wanking to themselves on cable where most people don’t see it on the fringe.

You’re right, the Governor should now stay out of it because getting a third insincere apology isn’t going to improve her standing, but conservatives representing themselves can still go after the MSM over the issue of their hypocrisy that the Governor’s family (and every other Republican’s) is fair game when we know that isn’t the case for the Dems or anyone else on the Left. That’s what our complaints should be centred on now, sticking with reaming Letterman, without involving the Governor personally.

(And I’m not attacking you as a squish.)

andycanuck on June 16, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Jim, your use of “torch and/or pitchfork” and “bloodlust” is telling. Tarring those that disagree with you with an extremist brush is a leftist tactic, used frequently by Obama and his enablers, and frankly beneath you. You complain about Sharpton’s browbeating. Who is doing the browbeating on this thread?

I’m a huge fan of yours. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve laughed out loud at your tweets and sent friends links to your blog posts. I disagree with your position on this, but I’m happy to agree to disagree. What really bothers me is your rhetoric. You’ve stated that you think Letterman’s apology is sufficient, and that you personally are ready to move on. Okay. What is the need to castigate those who don’t agree? Is this bully pulpit going to your head?

Missy on June 16, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Missy, how are conservatives who want letterman boycotted and fired any different from the al sharptons of the world who wanted Imus boycotted and fired?

Palin Steele on June 16, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Okay. What is the need to castigate those who don’t agree? Is this bully pulpit going to your head?

Missy on June 16, 2009 at 12:59 PM

People who don’t accept Letterman’s apology because they don’t believe it was sincere enough are playing the role of God by judging Dave’s heart, aren’t they? I readily admit it’s funny to me to see them complain about others who dislike their self-righteousness and presumptuousness considering that fact…

Bizarro No. 1 on June 16, 2009 at 1:09 PM

BTW, folks, Palin Steele is a leftie troll who frequents Ace of Spades pretending to be a “moderate” but who says stupid things like “I’m ashamed of the right, that I’m a concerned moderate member of, for going after Michelle Obama because the Left never, ever does anything like this about any Republican women or First Ladies ever.” And then when given Google links for hundreds of thousands of “laura bush/palin women is a slut etc.” hits, doesn’t bother returning to answer for being so wrong. He’s much the same here, I see, but come back to Ace’s, PoS, where the gloves are always off to really tell you to sod off unlike here in the middle class sitting room that is HotAir.

andycanuck on June 16, 2009 at 1:09 PM

Terry_Dyne on June 16, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Perhaps there’s a playground incident from 4th grade I should address as well.

Micah Wright did pretty much the same thing Letterman did, except he tried to erase his original “apology.” And the one he finally settled on was nowhere near as sincere or contrite as Letterman’s. But other than that, excellent parallel.

Jim, your use of “torch and/or pitchfork” and “bloodlust” is telling. Tarring those that disagree with you with an extremist brush is a leftist tactic, used frequently by Obama and his enablers, and frankly beneath you.

I’m sure they’ll say the same thing at the “Fire Letterman” rally.

What is the need to castigate those who don’t agree? Is this bully pulpit going to your head?

Missy on June 16, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Must be. After all, you disagree with me.

Jim Treacher on June 16, 2009 at 1:13 PM

It’s Internets people. You’re getting barely filtered Id and things get heated. *shrug*

TheUnrepentantGeek on June 16, 2009 at 1:21 PM

I’m sure they’ll say the same thing at the “Fire Letterman” rally.

Yes, there are people who are hollering for Letterman’s head. Not everyone is one of them.

I don’t want Letterman to be fired. I think he screwed up; hopefully he’s learned from it. I also think his apology was late and unpersuasive. I could be wrong, but I like to think this constitutes reasonable disagreement.

The “torch and pitchfork” stuff is insulting and counterproductive to readers who disagree with you on some aspects but might otherwise be persuaded by your argument. That’s all I’m saying.

Missy on June 16, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Leave Jim alone!
He’s just a blogger with a sense of humor!
If you all don’t stop this now, the National Organization for Bloggers With A Sense of Humor (NOBWASH) will be protesting you.

NOBWASHers everywhere, unite!

Brian1972 on June 16, 2009 at 1:48 PM

Missy on June 16, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Guess I’ll just have to learn to live with it.

Jim Treacher on June 16, 2009 at 1:53 PM

Missy on June 16, 2009 at 1:38 PM

The “torch and pitchfork” stuff is insulting

Now I feel betrayed. Where is the sweet, gentle orang-utan of yore I thought I knew so well? Has Mr. Treacher finally lost it? Was it ever his to begin with? Did he hold it too tightly and it slipt between his fingers? Did he love it but let it go, only to find out it wasn’t his to begin with?

fronclynne on June 16, 2009 at 2:08 PM

David Letterman does not think raping little girls is funny

Ofcourse he does. I mean the same piece of crap who saw nothing wrong to joke abote it a while ago is standing in front of you right now. Nothing changed except for whatever selfish reason he figured out he should appologize. All this “he should apologize” taken out of propaganda struggle (like the Left takes it, the Left which actually fights us instead of constant conservative self-doubt and “they are great guys who happen to disagree” stuff) and perceived as if it can reflect on his conscience is really childish. No offence Jim, but you really shouldn’t take some bullshit damage controll (or whatever it is) as some sort of suddenly popped up conscience.

Alexey on June 16, 2009 at 3:04 PM

I am an Imus Fan, and I DON’T CARE if David Letterman apologized. Geeze Jim you can forgive a fake apology all you want by someone who couldn’t get any lower in the bottom feeding department. I don’t watch Letterman, and I am not going to start watching Letterman. That’s the great thing about the Free Market, people can vote with their remote. So To Hell with David Letterman, and his fake apology. It’s a Day Late, and a Dollar Short.

Let’s forgive him because he is submitting to the pressure because Hillbuzz and others are boycotting his sponsors? But David Letterman is still the same person he was, making a statutory rape joke in the first place….I don’t CARE if he gets fired, I don’t CARE if he apologizes. I don’t CARE about David Letterman at all.

I just love how a MAN is telling all of us, we should do the christian thing and forgive David Letterman, where does that authority come from? I am a Woman and a Mother, I don’t have to forgive this kind of Slime directed toward women -little girls because you think a fake apology makes it all okay. That’s even more insulting.

Dr Evil on June 16, 2009 at 3:07 PM

Eh. I want Dave fired because he’s not funny, and better comedians could use the job.

TheUnrepentantGeek on June 16, 2009 at 3:10 PM

Nothing. Well said.

Jim Treacher on June 16, 2009 at 12:48 PM

That sarcasm or did you read the other thing I wrote? I’m not really arguing with your point so much as the logic it took to get there in the first place.

TheUnrepentantGeek on June 16, 2009 at 3:11 PM

Let’s forgive him because he is submitting to the pressure because Hillbuzz and others are boycotting his sponsors? But David Letterman is still the same person he was, making a statutory rape joke in the first place….I don’t CARE if he gets fired, I don’t CARE if he apologizes. I don’t CARE about David Letterman at all.

“I don’t CARE about David Letterman at all” sums up you and your demeanor well Dr. Evil, I’d say. That sounds very CHRISTIAN, did you know that? :)

Are you in Dave’s heart? Do you know for a fact beyond mere belief that Dave’s heart was, is, and will forever be black and unredeemed?

I just love how a MAN is telling all of us, we should do the christian thing and forgive David Letterman, where does that authority come from? I am a Woman and a Mother, I don’t have to forgive this kind of Slime directed toward women -little girls because you think a fake apology makes it all okay. That’s even more insulting.

Dr Evil on June 16, 2009 at 3:07 PM

This isn’t as hard as you make it seem – if you read your NT, you’d see that as someone here as already pointed out in Luke 17:3-4, Jesus commands that we forgive our brothers who ask for it. If you don’t like that, fine, but then, what kind of Christian does that make you if you don’t follow His commandments?

Bizarro No. 1 on June 16, 2009 at 3:43 PM

Bizarro No. 1 on June 16, 2009 at 3:43 PM

What’s in my heart is none of your business, I don’t comment here to be preached to by other commenter. You don’t know me, and I have not solicited any advice from you spiritual or otherwise.

Dr Evil on June 16, 2009 at 3:46 PM

What’s in my heart is none of your business, I don’t comment here to be preached to by other commenter. You don’t know me, and I have not solicited any advice from you spiritual or otherwise.

Dr Evil on June 16, 2009 at 3:46 PM

LOL

You don’t show the love or humility of a convert to Christianity, I can say that with authority!!! :)

Bizarro No. 1 on June 16, 2009 at 3:52 PM


Bizarro No. 1 on June 16, 2009 at 3:52 PM

I don’t know you and I have no interest in having a discussion with you. Save it for some other fool who falls for your fake righteousness.

Dr Evil on June 16, 2009 at 3:56 PM

I don’t comment here to be preached to by other commenter. You don’t know me, and I have not solicited any advice from you spiritual or otherwise.

Dr Evil on June 16, 2009 at 3:46 PM

I was about to say the same thing.

Jim Treacher on June 16, 2009 at 4:00 PM

I was about to say the same thing.

Jim Treacher on June 16, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Jim, you do believe Christians should forgive other people who ask for it, don’t you? Have I crossed some unacceptable line that wasn’t already breached by others, including you, here?

Didn’t Dr. Evil open up the door about the topic on a personal level by saying, “I just love how a MAN is telling all of us, we should do the christian thing and forgive David Letterman, where does that authority come from? I am a Woman and a Mother, I don’t have to forgive…”? I addressed what she asked by pointing out that Christians are authorized and commanded by Jesus to forgive others who ask for it, that it’s not a matter of choice for Christians – would you rather of had me left that slow curveball just hanging instead of pointing that truth out?

Bizarro No. 1 on June 16, 2009 at 4:17 PM

Are you in Dave’s heart? Do you know for a fact beyond mere belief that Dave’s heart was, is, and will forever be black and unredeemed?

Call it whatever you want. A rape joke has been made which is typical for lowlifes (i.e. for someone who don’t take such things as raping a girl seriously). Such stuff happens everyday million of times. On the other hand while it’s possible that someone who does take these things seriously would make such comment it is highly unlikely (It never occured in my experience). Any person with an ounce of common sense knows that 1) conscience is not such a thing that would pop up all of a sudden 2) to appologize for whatever reason without actualy feeling remorse is a very common thing especially when you have an obvious interest in doing so (like Letterman). Dr. Evil’s position is simply that of common sense. Yours is that of retarded lefty troll. That’s just how it is.

Alexey on June 16, 2009 at 4:20 PM

Dr. Evil’s position is simply that of common sense. Yours is that of retarded lefty troll. That’s just how it is.

Alexey on June 16, 2009 at 4:20 PM

LOL

I am a “lefty troll” simply because I believe Dave isn’t as bad and unredeemable of a person as you believe he is? You are not a good debater, sorry to break it to you…

Bizarro No. 1 on June 16, 2009 at 4:22 PM

Bizarro No. 1 on June 16, 2009 at 4:17 PM

Could you repeat the question?

Jim Treacher on June 16, 2009 at 4:23 PM

Could you repeat the question?

Jim Treacher on June 16, 2009 at 4:23 PM

Are you wise/smart enough to understand the following?

I expect better, more serious responses from you to points such as the one I made to you, but you reacted about as poorly to my point as I expected you to. Can you dig that, Jim? :)

Bizarro No. 1 on June 16, 2009 at 4:33 PM

I am a “lefty troll” simply because I believe Dave isn’t as bad and unredeemable of a person as you believe he is? You are not a good debater, sorry to break it to you…

You’re a lefty troll (or at least acting like one) because of dumb self-righteous goofing on someone elses Christian beliefs.

Also I’m not a Christian and I don’t care about “redemption” as a Christian concept. I know that sometimes (not too often as ) people who don’t give a crap about decency, compassion, morals etc (not that they don’t talk about that, they do, oh boy they do) change. It’s a deep and lifechanging thing and to some extent I’m one of such people. However to regard a usual “I’m sorry” made under pressure and a few days after offence as something akin to that – it’s imho not that smart to put it mildly.

Alexey on June 16, 2009 at 4:39 PM

Oh and by the way, Bizzaro, did Letterman really asked to be forgived (like you know “Forgive me”, “I hope you will forgive me” etc)? The stuff like “I appologize” doesn’t count and is not anything near in force than actually asking for forgiveness. The vid is no longer available and I can’t watch it but my money is that no request for forgiveness has been done and thus your point is just another stupidity.

Alexey on June 16, 2009 at 4:50 PM

I’m against the boycott and demand for his firing, but in no way does Letterman deserve to be forgiven.

Actually, that isn’t your call: it’s Palin’s. And she has made it. If you want more, that’s your right. However, you have no right to presume whether or not an apology is sufficient. That right belongs to the aggrieved which, unless you’re Sarah Palin’s clone, isn’t you.

Physics Geek on June 16, 2009 at 4:54 PM

You’re a lefty troll (or at least acting like one) because of dumb self-righteous goofing on someone elses Christian beliefs.

Um, FYI genius, I didn’t goof on Dr. Evil’s beliefs – if you’ll bother to look back at what I actually did say, I commented on her unloving behavior, and I asked her what kind of Christian she was if she doesn’t follow Jesus’ own requirements about forgiveness. If merely asking someone a question like that is preachy or somehow self-righteous, explain how…

Also I’m not a Christian and I don’t care about “redemption” as a Christian concept. I know that sometimes (not too often as ) people who don’t give a crap about decency, compassion, morals etc (not that they don’t talk about that, they do, oh boy they do) change. It’s a deep and lifechanging thing and to some extent I’m one of such people. However to regard a usual “I’m sorry” made under pressure and a few days after offence as something akin to that – it’s imho not that smart to put it mildly.

Alexey on June 16, 2009 at 4:39 PM

It’s nice to know these thoughts of yours, dear! Thanks for sharing them!!! :)

Bizarro No. 1 on June 16, 2009 at 5:04 PM

Bizarro No. 1 on June 16, 2009 at 4:33 PM

Well, ain’t that something.

Jim Treacher on June 16, 2009 at 5:08 PM

posted at 8:50 am on June 16, 2009 by Jim Treacher

I appreciate an optimistic outlook, but I disagree with you on a few points.

“I didn’t mean it the way it came out, but the results are still my fault.”

The proper reponse then, is, “How did you mean it, Dave? You’ve had a week to polish the joke. Let’s hear it the way it was meant to be heard. Show me how an 18-year-old having forced sex in the stadium during a game is not just inoffensive, but funny, Dave.”

She was right to call him out on his phony apology, and she’s right to accept his real one.

No, the second apology was not real. It was half apology, half excuse. Palin accepted it because she’s a better person than he his. She’s also kinder, letting this sordid affair die rather than hurting her family more by dragging it out, waiting for a never-gonna-happen real apology.

Now maybe she can accept his invitation and take her message to Letterman’s audience. Maybe if he meets her face-to-face, he’ll realize she and her family are actual human beings and not just props in his game of Bash the Evil Conservatives to Keep Up with Stewart and Colbert. Heck, he might even listen to what she has to say. He might realize she has something to say.

You, sir, are living in a dream world. Letterman has made a career out of ridiculing others. He would have his biggest audience in years were Palin to appear. He would NEVER be able to pass at a chance to do a “Katie” on her.

ROCnPhilly on June 16, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Oh and by the way, Bizzaro, did Letterman really asked to be forgived (like you know “Forgive me”, “I hope you will forgive me” etc)? The stuff like “I appologize” doesn’t count and is not anything near in force than actually asking for forgiveness. The vid is no longer available and I can’t watch it but my money is that no request for forgiveness has been done and thus your point is just another stupidity.

Alexey on June 16, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Not only are you not a good debater, your reading comprehension skills aren’t so polished, either. Since I never mentioned anything about Letterman asking for forgiveness, why are you talking as though I did?

Stop trying so hard to find something to fight with me over – it’s making you look really, really petty…

Bizarro No. 1 on June 16, 2009 at 5:27 PM

Bizzaro,

:) You are goofing againg, don’t you? I mean I refuse to believe that after you repeatedly made a specific point that NT commands that we forgive those who ask for it, made this in a reply to and about people saying that they won’t forgive Lettermen and then proceeded to question whether these people are such a devout Christians, after all that you can say with a straight face that you don’t even claim that Letterman asked to be forgived. Thus you don’t claim that NT commands we forgive Letterman. Then what the heck do you claim(or ask)? You’re trully a bizarro.

Alexey on June 16, 2009 at 5:46 PM

Apology not accepted, and here’s why. Letterman claimed to be wounded that anyone would believe that it was his intent to joke about a 14 year old girl having sex with a stranger in a public place. He has clung to this strange notion of intent throughout.

Fine. Clearly, he is not apologetic, judging his intent. He claims responsibility for having told the joke wrong, or because his nasty little NY queer writers didn’t get the research right, or some such. He isn’t sorry that he said a nasty thing, only that you stupid people misunderstood his intent, which was to call Bristol Palin a slut who would happily engage in sex with a strange man in public.

Further, his intent was also very clearly to insult Sarah Palin and her daugthers as sluts.

Jaibones on June 16, 2009 at 6:03 PM

Letterman has made a career out of ridiculing others. He would have his biggest audience in years were Palin to appear. He would NEVER be able to pass at a chance to do a “Katie” on her.

ROCnPhilly on June 16, 2009 at 5:24 PM

And lose more sponsors?

Jim Treacher on June 16, 2009 at 6:19 PM

And lose more sponsors?

Jim Treacher on June 16, 2009 at 6:19 PM

I don’t beleive he would be stupid enough to call her or her daughter “slutty” again. But ridicule need not be so overt. Did Katie Couric lose CBS any sponsors?

ROCnPhilly on June 16, 2009 at 6:53 PM

oops! “beleive” = believe

ROCnPhilly on June 16, 2009 at 6:57 PM

Did Katie Couric lose CBS any sponsors?

ROCnPhilly on June 16, 2009 at 6:53 PM

Katie Couric never called Palin’s daughter a whore. I think Palin is in a slightly better bargaining position here.

Jim Treacher on June 16, 2009 at 7:05 PM

I can’t treat this as an apology because Letterman still says it’s perfectly acceptable to degrade Bristol Palin anytime Gov. Palin has the nerve to show her face in public.

But I could accept it as a truce–provided that Letterman stops telling those jokes.

This is barely similar to when Rush Limbaugh called Chelsea Clinton the “white house dog.” That was a one-off, and Rush apologized. Here, we have an ongoing campaign to degrade the Palin family by repeating the same nasty jokes over and over.

daryl_herbert on June 16, 2009 at 7:09 PM

Agree with Treacher. The point has been made. Time to move on.

ddrintn on June 16, 2009 at 7:10 PM

You guys know the phrase “bearding the lion in his own den”? Well, he just handed her a whip, a chair, and a pair of scissors.

Jim Treacher on June 16, 2009 at 7:13 PM

^ Look, Reagan (sorry to go back to him) was hated and ridiculed by most of the media. He didn’t nourish some grudge. Kill ‘em with a smile is the best strategy, especially after an apology has been offered.

ddrintn on June 16, 2009 at 7:13 PM

It was close to an apology, much closer than liberals usually get. He was still spinning lies to try to convince people that he didn’t do anything wrong, of course… liberals are inherently dishonest.

If this had come out last week, then, yeah, it would have been acceptable. But now it’s too little, too late.

malclave on June 16, 2009 at 7:39 PM

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