A controversy erupted Thursday afternoon when Politico reported that Olive Garden was pulling its Late Show advertising in the wake of the controversy over Letterman's Palin jokes. Olive Garden then denied this. Regardless, the "Fire Letterman" crowd wants more blood.

In an email sent out tonight by one of the organizers, Palin pal John Ziegler, the group claimed victory and implied that the fight has only just begun:

This is John Ziegler, the Los Angeles radio talk show host and documentary film producer who went to New York to speak at Tuesday's rally outside the taping of David Letterman's show.

I wanted give you some major news about this cause. Despite the media doing their very best to try and diminish our efforts and pretend that the issue is dead, several the members of this list have received e-mails from "Olive Garden" announcing to them in very strong language that the restaurant chain is pulling their advertising from David Letterman's show for at least the remainder of the year.

We hope/expect that this major development will create some news coverage on Thursday and hopefully other advertisers will follow suit if you keep the pressure on.

Regardless, congratulations!! You have already made an impact and we still have a chance for some sense of accountability and justice here.

Ziegler then went on to offer his followers a treat for all of their hard work, a discount on some stupid DVD he's been going around peddling:

As a big thank you for those of you who have supported this cause, I would like to offer you a special discount on my highly acclaimed (endorsed, on air, by both Governor Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh) documentary on the media coverage of the 2008 election which got me involved into this issue to begin with.

How many of the sheep receiving Ziegler's email do you think are actually stupid enough to buy his garbage? Just curious.

Regardless, Zeigler's email points a major flaw in Olive Garden's claims that the termination of their Late Show ad buying just so happened to coincide with the protests—The fact that an executive at the company sent out emails filled with "very strong language" announcing their allegiance to a handful of extra-chromosome wingnuts and disgruntled Hillary supporters. A flack for Olive Garden told the Times' Bill Carter that the person who sent the emails to the group, company guest relations manager Sherri Bruen, isn't "an authorized spokesperson for the company." Yeah, okay. Can we just go ahead and call "shenanigans" now on this?

This is all so unfortunate—On the handful of occasions in life where I've eaten at Olive Garden I've really enjoyed those breadsticks and that gluttonous never-ending pasta bowl thing. Too bad I'll never eat there again.

Olive Garden Backtracks on David Letterman Ads [Politico]
Olive Garden Says It Did Not Cancel Ads on the Letterman Show [New York Times]