Thursday, 05 January 2006

Letterman’s swing to the left

This morning, while dropping the little phisch off at school and running an errand, I caught a bit of Laura Ingraham. She was discussing and taking calls about David Letterman’s treatment of Bill O’Reilly when the latter appeared on the former’s show earlier this week.

I’m not an O’Reilly fan in the least, and I am an infrequent watcher of Letterman, but when I have tuned in, I too have noticed the late night host’s slide toward the radical left.

The late night shows, Leno and Letterman, have always poked fun at whomever is the current President, and the Congress. That’s not the issue here. Carson did the same, and it’s to be expected. They are public figures, and one of the great things about our country, as opposed to, say, the workers’ paradise ninety miles off the coast of Florida, is that we can poke fun at our leaders without fear of reprisal. We have come to accept, and expect, such fun-poking from the late-night hosts.

Within the past couple of years, however, both Leno and Letterman have increasingly been slinging barbs, instead of zingers, with regard to the President in particular, and conservatives in general. Leno, at least, remains funny and charming about it, and tries to be balanced. Letterman, however, appears bitter, his comments aren’t funny, and he certainly isn’t interested in trying to be fair.

From the clips I heard, O’Reilly was trying to keep things light, quipping that Dave should tune in to O’Reilly’s show, and maybe they would “send him a hat.” Letterman’s response was something along the lines of, “So long as it’s a Cindy Sheehan hat.” Cindy Sheehan, Dave? She’s so last year. No one even showed up for her book signing.

Letterman’s strength has always been his and his staff’s writing. Among the reasons I’ve tuned in less and less to Letterman is that strength is waning, and he’s allowing too much of his political beliefs come through in what is supposed to be an entertainment show. No one tunes in to Letterman or Leno to listen to political rants, from either perspective, or to discuss world events. People tune in to get the latest entertainment gossip, watch the “interviews,” and get a good laugh. Letterman has become fallow ground for the latter.

posted on January 5, 2006 1:20 PM




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