That is why they manage to make it seem that jokes told by a performer in a role as a late night comic reflect the comic's personality. Nonsense.
A Times blog reports that DL is doing an apology do-over.
We find tonight what appears to be the real David Letterman trying to apologize to the real Sarah Palin. But, since he does this on his televised show during air-time, the performer DL muddies the waters. He should have called long distance - person-to-person - to Sarah Palin - off the air. But he didn't do that.
Letterman Apologizes — Again — to Governor Palin and Her Family
By Bill Carter
David Letterman directly apologized to Gov. Sarah Palin and her daughters on his program Monday night, saying he took responsibility for a joke that had offended Ms. Palin, her family and her supporters.
Mr. Letterman opened the desk portion of his show with the apology, in which he said he wanted to say he was sorry to “the two daughters involved, Bristol and Willow, and also to the governor and her family and everybody else who was outraged by the joke.” Two weeks ago on his “Late Show” program on CBS, he had joked about Governor Palin’s attending a Yankee game with her daughter.
The joke, in which Mr. Letterman seemingly confused Willow, who is 14 and attended a Yankee game with Governor Palin that week, with Bristol, who is 18 and an unwed mother, had to do with the Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez impregnating Ms. Palin’s daughter.
Last week Mr. Letterman somewhat defiantly said that there was a misperception going on and that he would never make a sexually charged joke about a 14-year old. But he never expressly explained that he had inadvertently confused the two Palin daughters.
Monday he acknowledged that as the host of the program it was his responsibility to get the joke right. “I told a joke that was beyond flawed, and my intent is completely meaningless compared to the perception.”
He also insisted he was confused about the daughters. “I was told at the time she was there with Rudy Giuliani,” Mr. Letterman said. “I should have made the joke about Rudy.”
The issue has been seized upon by supporters of Ms. Palin, who have called for everything from a boycott of Mr. Letterman’s advertisers to his outright firing. They have planned a rally for Tuesday at Mr. Letterman’s theater on Broadway in Manhattan.
Some media commentators said that Mr. Letterman was keeping the controversy alive for the sake of ratings, but he seemed to make a special effort Monday to get the apology right. He even taped it a second time after he mistakenly referred to Bristol Palin once as “Brooke” in the first effort.
CBS executives said Monday that they had exercised no pressure on the late-night star to offer any apology and that they had seen no real impact on advertisers from the protests.
One advertiser, Embassy Suites Hotels, sent word to Ms. Palin’s supporters that it had ceased advertising on CBS’s Web site and did not want to be associated in any way with Mr. Letterman’s comments.