Friday, June 19, 2009

TOUCHDOWN: LETTERMAN'S APOLOGY ACCEPTED

Veritas Team Huddle compiled by Caroline Murphy.

There’s an old saying that goes, “If you have to explain the joke, then it’s not a very good one.” CBS Late Night’s David Letterman relearned that lesson the hard way this past week, when he/one of his writers Fumbled with a bad joke during his opening monologue. The slip featured one of the daughters of the infamous and outspoken Alaskan Governor, Sarah Palin. What would have been a joke in bad taste regardless, was taken to a whole new level when the quip intended for 18-year-old Bristol, herself a public figure, mistakenly referred to Palin’s 14-year-old daughter Willow. Controversy sparked last week the moment Dave – who claimed he was referring to Bristol – said the teen “was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez” during the seventh inning, when in fact it was Willow who attended the Yankees game he was referring to. Within hours of the Palin family formally lodging a public complaint, the media and online world was abuzz on the topic. Most berated Dave for his slip and some even went as far as to call for CBS to fire him. One advertiser followed through and cut ties with the network, while a group of about 50 protesters took up residence outside of the famous Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York. Despite Dave’s initial (and somewhat weak) explanation that he was referring to the “other” daughter, Palin fought back; accusing the funnyman of making “sexually perverted” comments. But after all was said and done and on Monday night Dave made a formal sincere apology, the Veritas team scored it as a Touchdown for Dave. He took full responsibility for his slip-up even though comedians are constantly in the business of making light of serious situations and are often unapologetic. The team felt he did the right thing when he acknowledged that his joke went too far and apologized for his comments, while at the same time stayed true to his brand by using self-deprecating humor to make a point. While telling a joke about Bernard Madoff, whom he refers to as “the most hated man in America,” he amended the list to two; “Me, Bernie Madoff,” he said. “He was waaay out in front until a couple of days ago.”

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