David Letterman's recent skirmish with Sarah Palin might be just what the late night host needs, reports the AP. Just as a repentant Hugh Grant, post-prostitution bust, launched Jay Leno into the ratings stratosphere in 1995, so might the Palin flap put Letterman back on top. And her timing is impeccable—all eyes turned toward Dave as new rival Conan O'Brien entered his crucial second week.
Palin has refused invitations to appear on the show in the wake of Letterman's joke about her daughter getting "knocked up" by Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez, but the AP thinks the fallout will likely help Letterman pull more viewers than Tonight for the first time since 2005. But though one experts cedes the advantage to Conan—"By and large, late-night comedy is a young wise-guy's business," he says—there's nothing like a good old fashioned feud to boost the oldster.