David Letterman’s Respect for Women is the Real Joke

David Letterman’s Respect for Women is the Real Joke January 14, 2013

After I wrote my book, I had a conversation with my publisher about promotion.  They tossed out ideas about various television shows we could do to get the word out about “Not Afraid of Life.”

“What about David Letterman’s show?” my marketer asked.

“No way,” I said, “I’ll never go on there.”

“Why?” the marketer asked, apparently not aware of the rude “joke” he told about Willow.  I didn’t refresh her memory during that conversation, but I stuck to my guns.  “No Letterman.”

I didn’t want to go into it with my publicist, but here was the so-called joke:  He said, “One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game, during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.”

Mom had gone to the game with Willow, who was only 14-years-old at the time.

Child rape, don’t you get it?  Are you laughing yet?

After the public outrage, he apologized:

“The joke, really, in and of itself, can’t be defended,” Letterman said during Monday’s “Late Show with David Letterman.”

“I feel that I need to do the right thing here and apologize for having told that joke,” Letterman said. “It’s not your fault that it was misunderstood. It’s my fault that it was misunderstood.”

He apologized to Palin’s oldest daughter, Bristol, at whom he said the joke was directed. Letterman went on to apologize, “to the governor and her family and everybody else who was outraged by the joke. I’m sorry about it, and I’ll try to do better in the future.

“I told a joke that was beyond flawed, and my intent is completely meaningless compared to the perception,” he said, and claimed full responsibility for his comments.

Wow, that sounded sincere, didn’t it? My mom and dad accepted his apology, and life went on.  Turns out, he had his fingers crossed.  On Oprah’s television show, he recently said:

I’ll tell you why I apologized. I felt like Sarah Palin was somebody I wanted to continue to be able to make fun of and I felt like if I don’t apologize, if I don’t sincerely express my regret, I will not be able to go forward making fun of her. And truly, I felt bad for the 14-year-old. You know, that was just like, oh nice going, you got the wrong daughter. That was just dumb, stupid joke that fell into dumb luck and got worse.

In other words, he only apologized so he could continue to make fun of my family.  He didn’t mean to joke about Willow being raped, after all.  He meant to joke about me being knocked up.  Now, that’s a real knee-slapper.  Don’t worry, though.  This apology, which he gave on air to his wife for his sexual relationships with staff members – was sincere.  (At least until the very end.)

A notorious liberal, David Letterman’s lack of sorrow for his child rape “joke” shows just how pro-women his politics really are.  Turns out, my book didn’t need David Letterman’s help.  It was a New York Times best seller, thanks to you guys who actually care about my family.

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  • Sue Lynn

    Love you Bristol in my prayers along with your family….he is a jerk!

  • Gina

    Lettermen is not worth the time of day. Don’t let his rude antics bother you. We love you and your family!

  • shawn

    I would so move to Alaska just to date u. 😉 lol

  • Carl Hutchins

    Anyone that listens to him is a JOKE…..no man or woman has the right to degrade another human being with ridicule and relentless attacks! I take complete and total offense to his comments as should everyone else and do the right thing and boycott his show. People talk about the effects that “bullying” has on the youth as well as the adults in this world and someone that is in his capacity and with the audience he has should be respectful and held to a higher standard of civility. Thank you for holding your ground and being firm. I praise you for your efforts and moral standing. You come from a fantastic and amazingly awesome family, I’m glad you are holding up your end and look forward to the many accomplishments that you will create and be apart of. Best of luck in 2013 to both you and your family. Keep up the honest and sincere fight!!!!

  • michelle

    He is a washed up has been late night show host. He will be cancelled soon. He is unhappy with his own life so he makes fun of people. Your a wonderful mom. We all have our crosses to bare. Take pride in the woman you have become.

  • Tiffany

    I remember when he told that joke, I thought it was horrible. He’s so disrespectful.
    I’m proud of you for standing up for yourself, standing up for your family, and defending your sister’s name. I’m so glad the book was a bestseller!

  • Kirstin Fitzgerald

    I personally loved your book, Bristol. And I think it’s pathetic for a grown man to bash a teenager (pre-teen!) it’s so disrespectful.

  • Bristol,
    I haven’t posted on your blog page in a long time. I hope you’re well. Letterman is a misogynist to the core. Staying far away from him and his show is one of your better decisions. Keep up the good fight and keep doing what you’re doing.

  • Jason

    David Letterman isn’t funny, he never has been funny, and he never will be funny. He’s a hack who thinks his show is more important than anything else. Case in point: In 2008 when congress was brought into an emergency session and both John McCain and Barack Obama rushed back to Washington from their campaign trails, Letterman was enraged that John McCain suddenly cancelled his appearance on his show that very night so he could go do his job in Washington, a job that he was elected to do and was still expected to do, even if he was running for president. Sorry, Mr. Letterman – the country takes precedence over your lousy show.

  • Jason

    David Letterman is actually a sad excuse for an American. Come to think of it, most celebrities are. I haven’t watched Letterman since I graduated high school in 1999. His show is disgraceful, his comedy is mediocre at best, and what’s worse is he is an absolute PIG when some female celebrities are on there. I once saw him kiss Julia Roberts on his show and continually ask for another kiss. He’s a pig. Bristol, you made the right call by not going on his worthless excuse for a television program.

  • Go Bristol!! We love you and your family, and wish there were more people like your mom in politics too!

  • I would like to say I am surprised to hear this about Dave, but I am not. He is a pervert. It’s sad. I support you and your Mom. The truth and the light shall prevail. I don’t watch Dave anymore. He doesn’t have a viewer here.

  • I would not watch David Letterman if he was the only show on TV!!!!

    • ladyruth54

      Me either.

  • Aaron Thompson

    Surely in your bible devotional reading you would of run across a passage on forgiveness.
    If Letterman’s comment is still bothering you, shouldn’t we be praying for him instead of gathering together talking about how evil he is? Believe it or not, God loves him, too.
    Bringing up his infidelities is spreading gossip.
    Keep reading your devotionals because there are a lot of Christian life lessons you have missed.

    Forgiveness and not spreading gossip are two big elements of the Christian faith.
    He’s already been called out. He already apologized. Whether or not his apology is sincere is between him and God. We pray for our enemies. We don’t remind everyone of someone’s sin while sliding in there a tidbit of juicy gossip (he cheated on his wife).

    • J. Morales

      This post is more focused on politics and she is pointing out his blatant hypocrisy, a job that probably pretty much no one else will do. I find it hard to find fault with this.

      I can’t speak to if Bristol has forgiven him or not, that is between her and God. But even if she has forgiven him 100 times over, there is nothing wrong with pointing out his hypocrisy and by implication the larger hypocrisy of many liberals who scream about being pro-woman, until that woman is a Republican and/or a Christian.

      • melory

        Agree, good post.

  • Aaron Thompson

    How is this post helping others?
    Where is God in this??
    these are the type of responses you have generated: (your facebook posting of this)

    Frank Craig Bertinchamps Letterman is a puke.
    Deborah Jane Hampton the creep! I NEVER watch him ~ can’t stand to even LOOK @ him, let alone hear him speak!
    John Wheelock i dont watch that a hole
    George Graves I stopped watching him a couple years ago because of his remarks about you folks….he’s a guttersnipe.
    Leslie Wagner He is just a pig who sold his morals a long time ago. He is also quite ugly. But men like him tend to be rather ugly don’t you think?

    I won’t go on but please consider this when you decide to pen a post.
    We glorify God and build each other up.
    You are doing the opposite.

  • J. Morales

    Yeah, you’re only anti-women if you’re a Republican. Unfortunately that is what our culture has sunk to and pretty much no one in the mainstream news, entertainment, etc, challenges that at all.

    • Z

      I’m not going to defend Republicans, I am no fan of Limbaugh. But advocating a culture where we treat each other like meat to be lusted after constantly in terms of hookup culture and such is much more demeaning to both men and women.

  • BethfromCal

    Seriously Bristol, you need help to get over this victim mentality that you have. Frankly, your whole family has it. How many years ago was this? And if you really think Letterman was joking about “rape,” than there is something seriously wrong with your thinking. You throw that word out alot, don’t you? You suggested that Levi raped you in that tent so you wouldn’t have to take any responsibility for the fact that you were drunk and willingly had sex with him. You have issues.

  • Sarah Johnson

    WOW. Talk about LIBERAL haters…how about the overly legalist, judgmental – I- know-how-to-love Jesus-better-than-you haters? Aaron Thompson, this is a blog…you know, where you talk about things that you like/don’t like/things that are going on in your life? Have you ever boycotted something because it doesn’t represent your values? All Bristol is doing is bringing to light a dirt bag celebrity, and giving a legitimate example as to why he’s a dirtbag. It’s posts like yours that add fuel to Liberal’s fire on crazy Christian fundamentalism.

  • Thomas Hubbard

    Aaron enough of your use of the gospel as a tool to persecute. Lettermen has a nasty spirit and America needs to close their ears to it.

    • melory

      Well said.

  • Thomas Hubbard

    You know the old saying stick and stones can hurt my bones and words can not. Not true words can be very damaging once they go out of your mouth you can not take them back. Theirs those that set on their media thrones spuing out their words as they wish, knowing many are stupid enough to beleave them, America is being brain washed by the media. Go to the Bible and read James 3 on the power of the tongue, it is the most evil part of the body.

  • Aaron Thompson

    I’m not allowed to use biblical principles in regard to Bristol’s remarks about someone who did her wrong?
    Patheos is a spiritually based forum.
    She posts biblical devotionals almost weekly.
    God, her faith, her values are always front and center of most of her posts.
    One (me) is not allowed to respond?

    Is the Letterman joke not a prime example of pointing out biblical principles since these are the principles that she and her family find golden?

    Is it truly beneficial to rehash and old sin (the highly offensive joke) which only garners responses of attack on another fellow human being (Letterman) even if he’s a Liberal, Lefty or some other “title”?

    Bringing up his infidelity, to which he apologized for whether or not anyone here accepts it, is nothing but gossip and further brings on the attack towards another child of God (Letterman, whether we like it or not).

    Pointing out hypocrisies is one thing but stuff like this crosses the line.
    There are a few condolences but mostly attacks right back at this man.
    I find nothing biblical about attacking someone who did you wrong.
    Again, Bristol is the one who brings her faith into this forum.
    I am merely commenting based on a “faith” perspective.
    I have attacked no one and yet I am attacked.

    This is exactly what I am talking about.
    Nothing but hate comes from posts like this.
    I am sorry Bristol has the need to go down this path.

  • Aaron Thompson

    Perhaps there was another purpose to her post but all I gathered was pointing out that she thought Letterman’s apology for his sins (the joke and infidelity) were fake.

    I just don’t get why she would use her Christian based blog – and yes it is – to “judge” whether or not someone’s apology is genuine or not.

    The outcome? A bunch of people agreeing and calling him a liar!
    Perhaps I am the only one that finds this really troubling.

  • Tom Lehner


    David Letterman himself is the real joke – he is a typical liberal hypocrite and ever since he insulted your family I have stopped watching him. So I don’t care much about that individual but I sure support YOU

    Blessings to you and your family and don’t let that moron go on your case

  • BethfromCal

    Oh, blah, blah, blah……Glass house and all that. You just love to drum up the sympathy and fuel the hatred Bristol. If you didn’t do that, you and your mother would be page 100 on Google by now. IT’S OVER PALIN”S, quit grasping. What are you going to do next to keep your name relevent? Big Brother? The Bachorlerette? Celebrity Rehab? Maybe a whole new show, like Bristol Palin: GETS A JOB.

  • David

    Good post, Bristol.

    ## This apology, which he gave on air to his wife for his sexual relationships with staff members – was sincere. ##

    That was just a ‘Staged Event’ to hide the fact that Letterman is a Gay who is not ready to Come Out yet because it might Hurt the Ratings of his Show.
    Letterman and Chris ‘Tingle’ Matthews and Bill Maher are all Gay as well as being Trash-Mouthed Democrats.

    • BethfromCal

      Wow…you are a good little soldier Davy boy. I’m sure Bristol will give you a pat on the head for being a good bigot and homophobe!

  • If I didn’t know Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, I’d probably be advocating for idiots like Letterman to be taken out and shot!

    • BethfromCal

      Wow…another palindrone wanting someone to die. Typical of the people who idolize them.

  • Aaron Thompson

    Jay Leno:

    “Governor Palin announced over the weekend that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter is five months pregnant. Oh, boy, you thought John Edwards was in trouble before, now he’s really done it!”

    • Sarah Johnson

      WOW, really? After you drag on about how Bristol’s post is sinful gossip on a ‘faith based forum’…you post a similar statement from Jay Leno? With no commentary either. Just ASKING for debate and ‘gossip’. Wow, Aaron, shame on you. Don’t know know that ‘nothing but hate comes from posts like this?’ The hypocrisy is incredible.

      • Diggertoo

        No. He is pointing out Bristol’s hypocrisy. Why go on about Letterman when every late night talk show host has taken pot shots at the Palin family? It certainly did not keep Bristol from appearing on the Jimmy Kimmel show in her DWTS days. Where was Bristol’s outrage when Willow was spewing anti-Semitic hate all over Facebook?

  • MiddleRoader

    When this joke came out, I naturally assumed that it referred to Bristol, not Willow. I still believe it referred to Bristol, because jokes are targeted for the audience, and the audience would think he referred to her. I remember, amid the uproar, discussing this with some work friends, and was surprised that most of them did not even know Sarah had another daughter named Willow! I think Letterman should have (and did) apologize for the misunderstanding, but I never thought he needed to apologize for that joke itself, as it was par for the course in late-night comedy. I really don’t think anyone was surprised that his apology was insincere, but I believe confusing the daughters was. And Bristol is insincere in her post as well. She appeared to accept (and take offense at) the fact that it was directed at her, but then she talks about his “lack of sorrow for his child rape ‘joke’. I’m not a big Letterman (or any late-night show) fan, but I felt he was singled out, possibly because he is a “notorious liberal.” I don’t know whether Bristol has appeared on Conan or Sat.Night Live, but to be philosophically consistent, she should add them to her “no way” list. To my mind, Conan was a worse offender. Ex: In Oct. 2008, a day or so before a hockey game in which Sarah Palin walked out on the ice with Piper (then 6) and Willow (13), Conan said, “Saturday night, Sarah Palin is going to drop the first puck at the Philadelphia Flyers’ hockey game. Then Palin will spend the rest of the game trying to keep the hockey players out of her daughter’s penalty box.” (Sarah appeared on the show about a year later.) SNL has done several skits over the years that hint at incest and child molestation that frankly, made me uncomfortable. In 2008, in a skit about a bunch of reporters descending upon the Palin family in Alaska, one of them asked, “What about the husband? [Todd P.] You know he’s doing those daughters. I mean, come on. It’s Alaska!” I realize it was satire; it was mocking the excessive media coverage, but still… (Sarah Palin appeared on the show one month later. ) In a later SNL sketch, Seth Meyers says “According to expense reports, Sarah Palin charged the state of Alaska over $21,000 for her children to travel with her on official business. In fairness to Gov. Palin, when she leaves them home alone they get pregnant.” Note “children”- plural, no ambiguity there. No outrage either.

    • Truth101

      The good old white boys had to do everything they could to get their Obama in the WH. What a bunch of sick fks.

  • NanaJ

    I do not watch David Letterman or Oprah. It is sad that so many people do.

  • Ishamael

    “A notorious liberal”? What kind of Christian talks like that? Shame on you Bristol..or whoever writes this blog.

  • David

    Why are you Communist/Nazi/Democrat Retards still posting your crap on Bristol’s Blog ?
    Are all of you living off of Obama’s Gimme Programs ?
    Maybe all of you Retards should try to find something Constructive to do with your time.

  • Sunny

    David Letterman is an evil, sick man who should be avoided like the plague. His guests are either in the same sick bay as he or are willing to promote themselves no matter what.

  • wrenaroo

    Before you start touting “your book (sic) being on the N.Y. best seller list”, you might want to check what other books have been on that list too. It may at one time have been an honor for literary artists; however it has since gone the way of reality television and celebrity status, in that almost anyone who can make money with their infamy can be included. Letterman’s job is poke fun at the news of the day. If your family happens to be making news (sad that it is considered news), or your on Dancing with the Stars (for reasons most of us cannot fathom except that you are like the Kardashians in being famous for nothing); well then you are fair game for comedic commentary. You could have chosen a path of going to college and creating a quiet and respectful life for you and your son; but you chose to grab the spotlight at every chance and unfortunately have failed at each attempt. Maybe it is time to rethink the path and possibly change direction. As a single mom I know the struggle, the joy and the contentment of prioritizing what is important and what is not. Our children are always the first priority, not the money trail.

    • Rithcasper

      Although having the money to raise a child as a single mom is definitely hard to come by. She found an outlet in which to raise money and give her son the best life possible. Your comment screams jealousy.

  • Dennis McHale

    Hi Bristol, I’m going to throw you perhaps a little Tin-Hat curve ball here. You can mention it to your MOM, for its point of interest. I in fact saw your Mom earlier that afternoon at IGHL out in St.James, NY. Two towns over from my home. I was thrilled to be asked to the event by people who know how I admire your Family. Anyway, what is important was within one day after the Letterman comment hit the airways your Mom was in Texas having the CEO of Exxon come to agree to their part in making the Alaskan Natural Gas Pipeline (largest project in North America) come to fruition.

    This was perhaps your Mother’s finest achievement in her time as Governor, and had to be not only a great moment of self satisfaction, but would certainly when it would be reported nationwide would bolster her standing as an outstanding public servant. But for other than a brief second, that reporting never came. When our national media reports about happenings across the country that are relatively insignificant, surely this project had to be seen as something unique, and certainly newsworthy.

    No instead, interviewees such as Matt Lauer wanted to talk about David Letterman’s comments. Here comes the Tin-Hat part. Was it such as coincidence? Maybe Letterman simply had no clue that the next day your Mother would bring perhaps the most significant CEO on the planet to the table to agree on this massive project, when two years earlier he stated he wouldn’t even speak to her or her Administration. An accomplishment for your Mom, that is rarely seen at a State level anywhere, or anytime. So my question is: Did Letterman’s obnoxious comments happen just in the vacuum by itself? Letterman had to know his words were way beyond the pale. He even admitted so afterwards. My thoughts are did someone with a more direct political agenda get to him and told him to come up with something so vile as to steal the airtime given to anything else that might be reported concerning Sarah Palin? I don’t believe in coincidences, and I know from listening to your Mom, neither does she. She understands quite well that a well-placed nasty comment stated what seems as disconnected is in fact well-connected to the narrative one is trying to spin.

    I know it doesn’t do any good dwelling on this kind of nonsense, but my reason for mentioning it is, that sometimes it helps to know that your own thoughts aren’t so far off the mark, and in fact something that seemed so far a field, in fact was a deliberate act behind the scenes. Mention what might amount to be this well-planned distraction it to your Mom, and obviously do not reply. Maybe she has another piece of the puzzle that might confirm to herself she might share with you. Anyway, there are some of us out here paying attention, and she should know that even if most Americans got swept up in the Letterman nonsense, we are witnesses to her great accomplishments. I actually got to see your Mom receive an award at IGHL, and the next day hear the great news of her bringing the CEO of Exxon down to size. At least for a day! Ienjoyed them both. Take Care Bristol and keep the blog coming.

  • Dennis Carr

    Hey, sorry, I am two months late.. David Letterman is a lecherous dirty old man! I have seen that when any lady is on his show, you can see it in his eyes and actions.. I think he wanted to jump up and grab Jennifer Lawrence and drag her to the back of the building.. Funny, yea, he’s funny, so is a dog being run over!