“In a letter sent to CBS Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves earlier today, I called for the firing of ‘Late Show’ host David Letterman over the shockingly inappropriate comment he made about Willow Palin, the 14-year-old daughter of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, during his program on Monday, June 8. As the proud father of a daughter, and as a husband, I wanted Mr. Moonves to hear from me directly about Mr. Letterman’s disparaging remarks.
Regarding Governor Palin and her family’s visit to New York City this past weekend, Mr. Letterman said the following: ‘One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game, during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.’
That Mr. Letterman thought it somehow acceptable to make light of the serious crime of statutory rape and demean the 14-year-old daughter of a sitting Governor whose family was visiting our state is outrageous. Mr. Moonves should recognize that Mr. Letterman’s vulgar remark reflects poorly on the corporation he has the responsibility of leading. I also asked Mr. Moonves to consider the demoralizing impact of Mr. Letterman’s comments on the women who work at CBS and are likely troubled that such behavior is allowed to occur in a corporate workplace.
Firing Mr. Letterman would send a clear message that CBS will not tolerate any of its employees – even an established media figure like Mr. Letterman – making demeaning and degrading comments about women.”
Mr. Leslie Moonves
President and Chief Executive Officer
51 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019-6188
Dear Mr. Moonves:
As the proud father of a daughter, and as a husband, I write to call attention to a shockingly inappropriate comment recently made by one of your employees about the 14-year-old daughter of the Governor of Alaska. The employee is David Letterman, host of the CBS “Late Show” who, as I am sure you are aware, made a vulgar comment about Governor Sarah Palin’s daughter Willow during his show on Monday, June 8. Mr. Letterman’s comment has ignited a media firestorm from outraged parents like me.
In speaking of Governor Palin and her family’s weekend visit to New York City, Mr. Letterman said the following during his monologue: “One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game, during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.”
I am sure you would agree this was a completely inappropriate remark for someone to make about any young woman, let alone a 14-year-old. That an established media figure like Mr. Letterman would show such bad judgment, and attempt to make light of the serious crime of statutory rape, reflects poorly on the Tiffany Network.
Seemingly not content to insult only Willow Palin, Mr. Letterman made the following comment about Governor Palin as part of his “Top Ten List” also on Monday night: “Bought makeup from Bloomingdale’s to update her ‘slutty flight attendant’ look.”
Mr. Moonves, as a proud father and husband yourself, I ask you to consider what sort of message is sent when an employee of the corporation you lead is allowed to make such disrespectful remarks about women? Furthermore, how can women who work at CBS not be demoralized by the fact that such inappropriate comments are permitted in a corporate workplace? Mr. Letterman should be fired for what he said. It is worth noting that he still has not apologized to Willow Palin or Governor Palin for his crude comments.
On behalf of parents across New York who are genuinely worried about a coarsening of our culture and are furious over Mr. Letterman’s rude behavior, I am calling on you take appropriate action and show that CBS will not tolerate demeaning and degrading comments about women being made by any of its employees, Mr. Letterman included.
Brian M. Kolb
Minority Leader, NYS Assembly