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Letterman hunts for jokes in Palin feud
By FRAZIER MOORE
Associated Press
2009-06-12 09:50 AM
David Letterman joked Thursday that he things are now fine now between him and former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin because the Alaska governor called and offered to take him hunting.

She'd done nothing of the sort, of course, continuing a feud with the TV late-night host that may wind up being well-timed for Letterman in the second week of his new competition with Conan O'Brien on "Tonight" show, which airs the same time on another network.

"I'm Dave Letterman, making friends wherever I go," Letterman said at the opening of Thursday's show, a day after he apologized for wisecracks aimed at Palin and one of her teenage daughter _ even as he milked the situation for more laughs. His lengthy discourse on Wednesday blended flashes of contrition with more pokes at Palin and her family.

Letterman invited Palin to come on his show, which her spokeswoman declined with a shot of her own.

Letterman had made several jokes on Monday's monologue about the Palin family's visit to New York.

His Top Ten list featured "Highlights of Sarah Palin's Trip," and included: "Bought makeup at Bloomingdale's to update her 'slutty flight attendant' look."

But the diciest joke centered on the family attending a Yankees baseball game.

Letterman said "an awkward moment" occurred for Palin when, "during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by (Yankee third baseman) Alex Rodriguez."

Without naming her, the joke seemed to refer to Palin's 18-year-old daughter Bristol, an unwed mother.

But it was 14-year-old daughter Willow, not Bristol, who had been at the game.

Todd Palin issued a statement that said "any 'jokes' about raping my 14-year-old are despicable."

And Sarah Palin charged Letterman with "sexually perverted comments made by a 62-year-old male celebrity."

"I am not a celebrity," said a deadpan Letterman, interrupting himself as he read the statements aloud on Wednesday's show. "I'm 62 years old, but I'm not a celebrity."

He denied the joke was meant to be about Willow Palin. "I would never, never make jokes about raping or having sex of any description with a 14-year-old girl," he said, dropping his signature sarcasm.

He also invited Palin to be a guest on his show, saying, "I think we could put these differences behind us." But the offer, extended to both Palin and her husband ("or leave Todd at home," Letterman suggested), was turned down on Thursday.

"The Palins have no intention of providing a ratings boost for David Letterman by appearing on his show," said Palin spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton. "Plus, it would be wise to keep Willow away from David Letterman."

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