Jim Treacher writes, “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.” In contrast, Jim writes:
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.
That seems fair. In 2006, Letterman began to publicly adopt a sharply partisan leftwing stance, breaking with the liberal but cooler and more politically aloof style of his late idol and mentor, Johnny Carson. And as this latest flap illustrates, he seems to be permanently stuck in the world that existed prior to the election of President Obama, where George W. Bush is still in the White House and Sarah Palin is still running to be the next vice-president. I’m sure Letterman will find another target on the right to attack soon enough.