"I told a bad joke. I told a joke that was beyond flawed ... It's not your fault that it was misunderstood, it's my fault ... I'm sorry about it and I'll try to do better in the future," David Letterman said on "The Late Show" last night.

After a week of controversy, the apology was spot-on and came not a moment too soon.

There's also a lesson here for politicians or any other public figure caught in a media firestorm: Address the crisis swiftly and honestly. Letterman himself made as much clear to his audience, saying, "As they say about jokes, if you have to explain the joke, it's not a very good joke."

In other words, if you're explaining, you're losing.

It also reminds us that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) indeed can be formidable on the national stage.

With Letterman's apology, hopefully the controversy can come to an end and, with it, the overreaching calls for Letterman's termination.

Here's also hoping Letterman can get back to what he does best, poking fun at deserving targets, like Regis!