Deliberately misinterpreted or not, unnecessarily drawn out or not, in poor taste or…well, the consensus is actually pretty clear on that one…Sarah Palin has finally called a cease-fire on her feud with David Letterman, accepting for good the host's second, and slightly more sincere, televised extension of an olive branch.
The détente was made official this morning, when the Alaska governor issued a statement thanking Letterman, more or less, for coming to his comedic senses, and accepting his apology on behalf of the double-X-chromosome set.
"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 of the Late Show host's apology.
"Letterman certainly has the right to 'joke' about whatever he wants to, and thankfully we have the right to express our reaction."
And lest anyone forget Palin is still a star political figure and not (solely) an instigator of culture wars, she somehow even managed to work in a shout-out to the nation's servicemen and -women.
"And this is all thanks to our U.S. military women and men putting their lives on the line for us to secure America's right to free speech—in this case, may that right be used to promote equality and respect," she said.
Meanwhile, CBS was quick to clarify yesterday that the decision to extend a second mea culpa was Letterman's alone, denying that they placed any pressure on the comedian.
Still, despite Palin's acceptance of the apology, it may be too little, too late for some of her more ardent supporters.
According to the New York Times, Embassy Suites Hotels pulled its advertising from the CBS website in the wake of Jokegate and Palin supporters have tentatively planned to hold a rally outside the Ed Sullivan Theatre today, where Letterman's Late Show is filmed.
(Originally published June 16, 2009, at 6:58 a.m. PT)