David Letterman has (again) apologized re: his recent ‘joke’ regarding a child of Sarah Palin. While he expressed regret that he offended people, his apology falls short in several areas. In The Five Languages of Apology, Gary Chapman and I describe 4 things besides “I’m sorry” that some people are waiting for in an apology. Letterman could have been more clear in expressing what exactly was wrong about the joke. He could have offered restitution- either to the Palins or to a sexual abuse agency. He could have clarified what steps he’ll take to prevent similar mistakes in the future. Finally, Letterman could have directly asked the Palins for their forgiveness. To his credit, Letterman apologized twice. I applaud him for stepping up to the plate. I’d like to see him make a home run.
Governor Palin’s response?:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has accepted “Late Show” host David Letterman’s apology over a sexually charged joke about her teenage daughter.
“Of course it’s accepted on behalf of young women, like my daughters, who hope men who ‘joke’ about public displays of sexual exploitation of girls will soon evolve,” Palin said in a statement late Monday night… “Letterman certainly has the right to ‘joke’ about whatever he wants to, and thankfully we have the right to express our reaction,” she said.
Here is the full text of Letterman’s latest apology (from 6/15/2009):