Both Sarah Palin and her husband Todd Palin released statements on Facebook in response:
"Any 'jokes' about raping my 14-year-old are despicable. Alaskans know it and I believe the rest of the world knows it, too."I would like to point out that of the small percentage of Americans who were actually watching the show that night (probably about 3 million viewers), I am sure just about all of them thought the joke was about Bristol, who has indeed been "knocked up" (an admittedly crude term). Coverage of Sarah Palin attending the Yankees game does not mention a daughter being there at all. As an example, see this article from the New York Daily News or this story and accompanying photo slide show on Huffington Post. (In fact, there are some who are wondering whether the 14-year-old was actually at the game itself or not. She definitely was the daughter who was in New York.)
- Todd Palin
"Concerning Letterman's comments about my young daughter (and I doubt he'd ever dare make such comments about anyone else's daughter): 'Laughter incited by sexually-perverted comments made by a 62-year-old male celebrity aimed at a 14-year-old girl is not only disgusting, but it reminds us some Hollywood/NY entertainers have a long way to go in understanding what the rest of America understands - that acceptance of inappropriate sexual comments about an underage girl, who could be anyone's daughter, contributes to the atrociously high rate of sexual exploitation of minors by older men who use and abuse others.'"
- Governor Sarah Palin
So any initial connection between the joke and the 14-year-old was made by the Palins themselves -- and now to a much broader national population. And Sarah Palin continues to leverage the opportunity to garner media attention and continue her ongoing habit of using incendiary language to polarize people and rile up her base. She appeared on the Today Show and CNN, saying things like David Letterman made a joke “about statutory rape about my daughter, Willow." and "David Letterman's crude, sexist, perverted joke about a 14-year-old girl being 'knocked up' by Alex Rodriguez -- I think he's like 30-something years old -- I think that's pretty perverted."
What I find really creepy and disturbing is that Sarah Palin continues to use language like this in regards to her own daughter. No one would have ever connected the 14-year-old to words like "knocked up" and "rape" and "pervert" until she starting spewing her reactive nonsense. As a mother, I would never even want to utter words like that about my own child; to have that concept verbalized. Not to get spiritual or metaphysical or anything, since that is really not my thing, but I can't help but cringe to think that these concepts are now out there. I just wish Sarah Palin would stop saying things like that! If I were her, I would want the whole topic to quickly disappear and remain out of the national consciousness.
But I am not her, and I am not trying to remain in the limelight to shore up my political career.