Sarah Palin is milking this thing for all it's worth, continuing to pretend that Letterman intentionally made the joke about her 14-year old. In a segment I saw on FNC America's Newsroom, they ran with that presumption. Brent Bozell pontificated about statutory rape and whatnot. Bullshit. I don't believe for a second he realized that Palin had her younger daughter with her. It's obvious he intended to make the joke about Bristol, the 18-year old. I wish those people would stop lying about this. They're throwing away any moral high ground they might have had.
Letterman's shtick, from way back in the 80s when I first started watching him after Carson, is being an asshole. It can be funny when the butt of the joke is a grownup celebrity, for example. Going after Bristol was going too far. She doesn't deserve to be ridiculed on national television, just because her mother's a joke. And, when he did explain his intention and apologize, he poisoned the apology with more low blows, which made him look insincere. If he'd resisted doing that, I think the statutory rape lies would get far less traction.
Part of the problem is that Letterman has become more politically partisan in recent years. His Great Moments in Presidential Speeches was funny. Unfortunately, I have yet to see him showing Obama having a no teleprompter moment, or doing something else stupid. I realize that Obama's popularity amongst entertainers and the media makes him untouchable as the butt of a joke. But Letterman has previously had the guts to disregard popularity. Not this time. Instead, he's taken sides against Republicans pretty much all the time now, effectively eliminating half of the source material for political jokes. That's just lame.
As part and parcel of this, his show has had some climate change chicken littles, guys who predict massive catastrophe not supported by any real data. He doesn't challenge them, but gives them free reign to spread their hysteria on his show. Meh.
I miss Johnny.
Addendum: Someone remind New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb that Republicans are supposed to be the ones who keep government out of the board room.
Minor edits for clarification.