"The Palins have no intention of providing a ratings boost for David Letterman by appearing on his show," Palin family spokeswoman Meg Stapleton says. "Plus, it would be wise to keep Willow away from David Letterman."
This week, Letterman made the Palins the butt of several questionable jokes on CBS's Late Show after they visited New York and took in a Yankees game with their 14-year-old daughter, Willow.
In comments that have rallied Palin supporters to collective outrage (and were quickly converted into a fund-raising appeal by the "Team Sarah" Web site), Letterman cracked that the Republican governor had a "slutty flight attendant look," and that the worst part of the family's trip was "keeping Eliot Spitzer away from her daughter."
About their visit to Yankee Stadium, Letterman joked: "During the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez."
Letterman at LengthAfter the Palins posted denunciations of Letterman on their Facebook page (they pointed out that Letterman is 62 and called his comments "sexually perverted," with Todd saying, "Any 'jokes' about raping my 14-year-old are despicable"), Letterman took an unusually long amount of air time – eight minutes – during Wednesday night's broadcast to explain himself.
"I'm telling you, I recognize that these are ugly. These are actually ugly. These are borderline ... but again, in an act of desperation to get cheap laughs, which is what I've been doing for the last 30 years," Letterman said.
He says he was not talking about 14-year-old Willow, who was on the trip with her parents, but about 18-year-old Bristol, who's been in the news because she is an unwed teen mom championing the cause to prevent teen pregnancy.
"These are not jokes made about her 14-year-old daughter. I would never, never make jokes about raping or having sex of any description with a 14-year-old girl," he said.
As the in-studio audience tittered, Letterman continued in his slightly sarcastic tone: "Gov. Palin, if you're watching, I would like you to consider coming to New York City – even Todd – as my guests, or leave Todd at home. I'd love to have you on the show. It'd be exciting. 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 okay for her 14-year-old daughter to be having promiscuous sex? No."