Editor's note: Reader beware. This story comes from Don Washow, Alaska Dispatch's NYC correspondent. He's a new hire and we haven't had time to verify his facts. But given the rapid developments in the Letterman-Palin feud, we decided to shoot first and ask questions later, just like a blog should.
If David Letterman wasn't in enough trouble already with Gov. Sarah Palin and her supporters, now Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez is demanding an apology from the comedian.
"Not funny, funnyman," an angry A-Rod says. "Time for you to man-up and say you're sorry to me, the Yankees, the fans, and to ball players all over the world. We may love women, but we're not all womanizers."
Letterman came under attack a week ago when he made a joke about Rodriguez and Palin's daughter during the governor's visit to New York City. Palin and her 14-year-old daughter Willow caught a Yankees game while in town. "One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game, during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez," Letterman said to laughing audience.
Our Lady of The North didn't like the joke and fired back at Letterman during a couple national interviews late last week. In response, Letterman claimed the joke was meant to be about Palin's other daughter, Bristol, 18, who gave birth out of wedlock in December and has now been publicly advocating for teenage abstinence. Letterman says he got the two girls mixed up, a story that Rodriguez finds implausible.
"I even know you gotta check IDs these days," he said.
On Monday, Letterman apologized for a second time in a week, saying the joke itself wasn't even funny in the first place and that he would try better the next time around. But although Palin accepted the apology, supporters aren't buying it, including some fanatics who are determined to get the comedian fired. About 200 of them plan to protest Tuesday outside the Ed Sullivan Theater, where Letterman has his show.
As the joke turned sour over the past week, Rodriguez says, "I just bit my lip, laid low, and tried to play ball the best I could."
But the thought of it all haunted A-Rod. "He was playing fine ball, and he was laughing and having a good time, but he was really choked up inside." Yankees manager Joe Girardi says. "One early morning I caught A-Rod alone crying like a baby in the dugout. All he could say was, 'I didn't knock up Willow. I didn't knock her up. It's not fair.'"
Girardi agrees it's time for Letterman to apologize so A-Rod can move on with his life.
"Letterman's making me out to be some kind of child molester,"
Rodriguez said. "This makes me kind of understand where Mrs. Palin's coming from. When people say bad things about me, I don't know if it's because I'm good-looking, I'm biracial, I make the most money, I play on the most popular team. Kind of like her," he said, "except for the popular part."
That said, he's not a Palin fan. "I get nervous when people speak all that gibberish in church. Reminds me too much of home. It's like, the next step are the dolls and the pins. But I do love women, and this wasn't right."
Rodriguez, who is divorced, has made the tabloids in the past for his allegedly wild relationships. In 2007, A-Rod was caught hanging out at a Toronto strip club with an exotic dancer who'd been in Playboy's "Casting Calls." Last year, he was rumored to be involved with Madonna.
Asked this week about his relationship with the Material Girl, Rodriguez said, "Like my good man Levi Johnston once said, "I'm a gentleman. I don't kiss and tell."