David Letterman defends Sarah Palin joke

Verne Gay
Newsday (MCT)

NEW YORK — Effectively accusing David Letterman of being a dirty old man, Sarah Palin ripped the CBS late night host Wednesday for making crude jokes about her 14-year-old, but Letterman claimed he was talking about her other daughter.

"I would never, never make jokes about raping or having sex of any description with a 14-year-old girl," he said on his program Wednesday night. "I mean, look at my record. It has never happened. I don't think it's funny. I would never think it was funny. I wouldn't put it in a joke."

And, Dave being Dave, he added: "Governor Palin, if you're watching, I would like you to consider coming to New York City — you and Todd as my guests, or leave Todd at home."

"All right, so there, I hope I've cleared part of this up. Am I guilty of poor taste? Yes. Did I suggest that it was OK for her 14-year-old daughter to be having promiscuous sex? No."

During his Monday night monologue, Letterman cracked that the Alaska governor suffered an awkward moment while attending a recent Yankees game: "During the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez." Last night, he explained — or insisted — that it was Bristol (18), not her sister Willow he was referring to.

An infuriated Palin responded in a statement to "Concerning Letterman's comments about my young daughter (and I doubt he'd ever dare make such comments about anyone else's daughter): 'Laughter incited by sexually perverted comments made by a 62-year-old male celebrity aimed at a 14-year-old girl is not only disgusting, but it reminds us some Hollywood/NY entertainers have a long way to go in understanding what the rest of America understands — that acceptance of inappropriate sexual comments about an underage girl, who could be anyone's daughter, contributes to the atrociously high rate of sexual exploitation of minors by older men who use and abuse others.'"

Palin has been a favorite target of Letterman. On Monday, he highlighted the "Top Ten Highlights of Sarah Palin's Trip to New York," which included such one-liners as No. 3: "Bought makeup from Bloomingdale's to update her 'slutty flight attendant' look."

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