Palin and Michelle Obama, Two Very Different Reactions
Updated, 12:02 p.m. ET
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin isn't the only politician whose near and dear ones have been the butt of insensitive jokes. Michelle Obama was recently the subject of a racist comment made on Facebook by a Republican activist in South Carolina who compared the first lady to a gorilla, then said he meant it as a joke.
The first lady, however, didn't engage. While Palin turned David Letterman's admittedly tasteless joke about New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez "knock(ing) up" one of the Palin daughters into a full-throttled public feud, Mrs. Obama won't discuss the Facebook incident.
Prominent South Carolina Republican Rusty DePass sparked an uproar in the mainstream media and spiked his Facebook page after the blog Fitsnews outed DePass for writing on his Facebook page on Friday that an escaped gorilla from a Columbia, S.C., zoo was likely "just one of Michelle's ancestors -- probably harmless."
The first lady's office is not commenting on DePass's Facebook insult, or on his apology. ("I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest," DePass told WIS-TV in Columbia.)
Likewise, the White House press office has declined to comment on behalf of President Obama.
Palin issued a statement today accepting Letterman's apology "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 "Late Show" last night, Letterman said, "I told a joke that was beyond flawed, and my intent is completely meaningless compared to the perception," Letterman said. "And since it was a joke I told, I feel that I need to do the right thing here and apologize for having told that joke. It's not your fault that it was misunderstood, it's my fault.... So I would like to apologize, especially to the two daughters involved, Bristol and Willow, and also to the governor and her family and everybody else who was outraged by the joke."
What do you think, readers? Is the Letterman v. Palin case now closed?
Mary Ann Akers
June 16, 2009; 11:38 AM ET
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