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Palin says she accepts Letterman apology

GOVERNOR of the US state of Alaska Sarah Palin said yesterday that she had accepted TV host David Letterman's apology for a joke about her daughter.

Palin said the apology was accepted "on behalf of all young women, like my daughters, who hope men who 'joke' about public displays of sexual exploitation of girls will soon evolve."

On his CBS "Late Show" on Monday, Letterman said his joke about one of Palin's daughters being impregnated by baseball star Alex Rodriguez couldn't be defended.

He said the joke referred to 18-year-old Bristol Palin, not her 14-year-old sister Willow. But Letterman said it was his responsibility that people believed he intended to target Willow, who had attended a New York Yankees game with her mother. "I'm sorry about it, and I'll try to do better in the future," he said.

Letterman last week tried to make light of the joke after the first indications that it had fallen flat. Palin had called the comments "sexually perverted" and her husband, Todd, said that "any jokes about raping my 14-year-old are despicable."

Palin said Letterman had the right to joke about whatever he wanted to, and "thankfully we have the right to express our reaction."

"This is all thanks to our US military men and women putting their lives on the line for us to secure Americans' right to free speech," she said. "In this case, may that right be used to promote equality and respect."

Although Bristol, an unwed mother, was the target of his joke, Letterman didn't name her when it was originally made on June 8.

It was "a coarse joke, a bad joke," Letterman told viewers. "But I never thought it was (about) anybody other than the older daughter."



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