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

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