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Memo to David Letterman: If Fonzie Can do It, So Can You:
Say, “I was wrong”

In one of her many (all worth your attention) posts on David Letterman, Cynthia Yockey recalls an episode of the 1970s TV series Happy Days which made a “lasting impression” on her:

It encapsulates why all of us who are outraged at David Letterman’s vile rape jokes about 14-year-old Willow Palin and his unfunny, degrading remarks about her mother, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, must get this bully fired from his show on CBS.

In that episode, the Fonz (Henry Winkler) attempts to teach Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard) how to stand up to bullies. Yesterday, after reading David Letterman’s apology to Sarah Palin, another episode came to mind, this one where instead of teaching a lesson, the Fonz needed to be taught a lesson.  You see, the Fonz did something he had never previously done; he made a mistake.  He had to admit he was wrong.

It took him the whole episode to do so, but, finally while struggling over the saying the word, “wrong,” as if he had a stammer, he did indeed say it.  It just didn’t come naturally to him.  It doesn’t seem to occur to David Letterman to say as much.  Yes, he did take “full responsibility.”  That is, to be sure, certainly a step (a very big one) in the right direction.  He did apologize.

But, he should have shown a little more class and said something like,

I was wrong to make a joke about Governor Palin’s daughter.  It is not appropriate to make jokes, particularly prurient ones, about the children of politicians, even if they are of legal age.  I compounded my error by not checking to confirm that the Governor’s took her 18-year-old daugther to the Yankee game.

Had he uttered these or similar words, it may well be appropriate to let the matter drop.  He did do the right thing, but he didn’t go far enough.  He needed to say, “I was wrong.” And as one of our readers noted in commenting on his failure to speak  those three words, he should also have added that he would “not do it again“.  For his purposes, however, this should do the trick.  The MSM will drop the issue.  Cynthia Yockey explains why we should not.

It’s too bad Letterman won’t take the time to consider Jim Geraghty’s explanation why the children of politicians should be off limits:

Kids don’t choose their parents, and they don’t choose their parents’ careers. None of those children asked to be in the spotlight, or asked to be subjects of public scrutiny; a portion of their privacy and their ability to enjoy a “normal life” has already been partially sacrificed by their parents’ ambitions.

Read the whle thing.



  1. […] Memo to David Letterman: If Fonzie Can do It, So Can YouSay, “I was wrong” […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Three Words Missing from David Letterman’s Second Apology — June 16, 2009 @ 2:20 pm - June 16, 2009

  2. He’s claiming he didn’t know that Willow is the 14 year-old, as if making the same comments about Bristol would be completely understandable (and had the writers known, they would never, ever have submitted such a crude joke). Now, why am I skeptical?

    Comment by Ignatius — June 16, 2009 @ 2:30 pm - June 16, 2009

  3. I wish Ellen would come out in support of Sarah Palin. She’s a talk show host who has some perspective on this issue. But the gay community never seems to see anybody else’s victimization.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — June 16, 2009 @ 2:37 pm - June 16, 2009

  4. no one is dropping it. Now Mahler makes a sex “joke” about Palin. Why not? All he has to do is issue a couple “I’m sorry you didn’t getthe joke” apoligies.

    This is unacceptable to all women and as anyone, male or female, that has young girls in their family

    Comment by Suzie Q — June 16, 2009 @ 2:49 pm - June 16, 2009

  5. That loud mouth Rosie has been silent too…..where is the outrage in “defense of children”

    Comment by JebnTex — June 16, 2009 @ 3:19 pm - June 16, 2009

  6. He didn’t say he was wrong because I don’t believe for one minute he actually thinks he was wrong.
    Check my blog for a photo-shop essay on Mr. Letterman’s
    Palin episode

    Comment by Edward Cropper — June 16, 2009 @ 3:25 pm - June 16, 2009

  7. The reason many on the left won’t come to Palin’s defend is that they wish they had the opportunity to tell the sick joke and they view David Letterman as one of their spokespersons. Its no surprise to find that the only JOKES are the leftists themselves. The leftists and or Liberals are just spastic hypocrites.

    Comment by JDLs — June 16, 2009 @ 3:27 pm - June 16, 2009

  8. The silence emanating from the “non-judgmental” and “non-hateful” left side of the aisle is deafening.

    Tell me again – WHICH political party is most associated with hate?

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — June 16, 2009 @ 3:58 pm - June 16, 2009

  9. The *only* pass I’ll give Letterman on this one is that I believe him when he says he was referring to the older daughter. It’s easy to imagine that one of the writers heard “Palin went to the baseball game with her daughter” and assumed “Palin’s daughter” meant Bristol.

    Of course the joke was still completely off the rails, even referring to Bristol, so that’s not much.

    Comment by Stephen R — June 16, 2009 @ 4:54 pm - June 16, 2009

  10. Um–how is the older daughter better when it comes to being raped? Isn’t rape bad at whatever the age? Plus, I think Bristol has actually tried to do something good with a difficult situation. If, say, someone contracted AIDS and then went public to show other people how not to do that, the left would LUV them.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — June 16, 2009 @ 5:05 pm - June 16, 2009

  11. I’m very uncomfortable with us conservatives asking for the firing of Letterman. Our polititians mis speak all the time. Our s make huge mistakes all the time. I recall, former Gov Allen, made ONE mistake and we’ve not heard from this good man since. If we want polititians to be honest and not meally mouthed robots we need to be careful how outraged we are over crude, or wrong STATEMENTS! I for one am not surprised a comedian made a mistake. A liberal NYC comedian had a tin ear when discussing Sarah Palin. Are we really SHOCKED, SHOCKED? I’m a fan of Dave Letterman and Howard Stern, but when they turn to politics, I turn them off, to save myself the aggrivation. Free speech should include, sometimes crude, rude and offensive speech. I’d prefer those offended, tune out Lettermans show, let’s not be storm troopers and force him off the air or out of the country.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — June 16, 2009 @ 5:28 pm - June 16, 2009

  12. #11 – Gene, let’s face it: the word “macaca” was not even a word, and yet the libs hammered this issue over and over again. It was mismanagement by the Allen campaign that made this non-issue an issue.

    Throw in the WaPo and its slutty editorial board (yes, I called them SLUTTY), and Allen loses to a nutjob who fantasizes about “punching out” GWB.

    Politics in America, folks.

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — June 16, 2009 @ 5:55 pm - June 16, 2009

  13. Everyone needs to remember what the bullies were like in elementary school. If you stood up to them, they backed down- if you kicked them in the family jewels, they cried like a girl. Ignoring the left wing bullies has never gotten conservatives anywhere; the left just takes more and more. Nothing is ever enough!

    Comment by Annie Oakley — June 16, 2009 @ 7:08 pm - June 16, 2009

  14. Forget CBS. What about ABC-BS giving the WH a whole day to run an infomercial for Socialist Healthcare? Did you ever think you’d see the media under State control in America?

    Besides, this sounds pretty damn desperate on Chairman Obama’s part.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — June 16, 2009 @ 8:35 pm - June 16, 2009

  15. The ABC thing is amazing to me. How do they at ABC think this is going to appear? Did they think we wouldn’t notice? How does any serious “journalistic entity” figure their onions will remain in tact afterwards? These people after 4 years of Obamaorgasim fest won’t be trusted to write childrens books. Like Newsweek and TIME, becoming like US Weekly and People. Not much difference, wait 4 more years. Funny and tragic.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — June 16, 2009 @ 9:21 pm - June 16, 2009

  16. It really comes down to respect. How about more “jokes” about
    erectile dysfunction?

    Comment by Knocked up slut — June 17, 2009 @ 12:06 am - June 17, 2009

  17. […] Why can’t the president just say he made a mistake to speak as he did and apologize, realizing that given his office, when he speaks, his words carry far more import than do those of a private citizen. Barack Obama could learn a lesson from Arthur Fonzarelli. […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Can the president say he’s sorry, admit he made a mistake? — July 25, 2009 @ 8:39 pm - July 25, 2009

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