When I was a kid, my brother and I used to beg our parents to let us stay up on weeknights to catch the first twenty minutes or so of David Letterman’s show on NBC. It aired pretty late in the evening, so if we got to see the opening monologue and whatever humorous bit preceded the guests, we were happy.
Back then, Letterman was the king of innovative and original comedy. His show was different than others in that it presented a style of lowbrow humor that appealed to our inner adolescence. The viewing masses tuned into watch watermelons dropped from the tops of buildings, loud and obscure displays of talent, and a host dedicated to entertaining his audience while refusing to take himself seriously.
People felt comfortable watching Letterman’s presentation because they viewed him as one of them. He didn’t come across as an elitist celebrity, but rather a common man who checked his ego at the door and only wanted to make us laugh.
My how times have changed.
These days, if you flip on Letterman’s show for a laugh or two before you go to bed, there’s a decent chance you’ll find yourself witnessing an angry tirade overflowing with shallow and tired, left-wing propaganda rhetoric. Some nights, the rancor is so bitter and uncomfortable that you have to wonder if the MSNBC hosts watching from home are even wincing and squirming in their seats.
Such a moment took place on Tuesday’s show when NBC News anchor, Brian Williams, was Letterman’s guest. The two were discussing the Obama re-election campaign’s recent use of last year’s successful Osama Bin Laden raid as an argument for why the president deserves a second-term. Letterman was clearly frustrated over the criticism the president has received for invoking the operation into a political argument. He vented that frustration by launching into the kind of cursory, fuming outburst you would expect to find at a rabid anti-war rally along the campus of Berkley.
Not surprisingly, Letterman once again trotted out the typical trite lines about President Bush “not caring” about capturing Bin Laden, and the Iraq war being waged to increase Dick Cheney’s stock portfolio while we “grabbed up all the oil.” He also treated us to his new, nonscensical theory that the Bush administration actually didn’t even want to capture Bin Laden because they were worried about upsetting their “Saudi Arabian royalty buddies.” How terribly creative.
Williams, of course, offered only a half-hearted attempt to dismantle the nonsense.
Letterman then predictably sung the praises of President Obama’s unmatched courage and intelligence and hailed him as the greatest gift to our country since The Statue of Liberty.
Now, I get it. Letterman is a true liberal ideologue and a fierce partisan. He has a very tall soapbox at his immediate disposal five nights a week, so he feels compelled to use it to try and sway his viewers into seeing the world the way he does. That’s certainly his prerogative. It’s just a sad reality that the days of David Letterman as a comedic genius who just wanted to entertain us are long gone.
There was one legitimately interesting moment in the interview, however. It was the last sentence that Letterman spoke in the segment. He threw out this question to Americans, regarding President Obama: “What more do we want this man to do for us?”
It’s the kind of question that could only be asked with a straight face when coming from a disconnected, far-left elitist who clearly has no clue as to the challenges and concerns of the common American, nearly four years into the Obama administration.
Only someone like Letterman could see a chronically high unemployment rate, a crippling and ever-increasing national debt that we’re burdening our children with, anemic U.S. economic growth, a workforce participation rate at historic lows, record-breaking gas prices, and failing social safety nets… and ask what more we could possibly expect from the leader of our country.
Only someone like Letterman could listen to the administration’s every-day stoking of class envy and the promotion of nonsensical tax increases, and wonder how we could possibly be unhappy with the president.
Only someone like Letterman could watch his political party divide us into demographics over fake disputes, and label their opposition as racists, and wonder why we aren’t happy with our president.
Only someone like Letterman could witness the economies of European nations crumble and their citizens riot in the streets, and wonder why Americans aren’t eager to follow our president’s push for the same types of policies that led to those environments.
Only someone like Letterman could expect us to be content with a president who refuses to put forth serious national budgets, and demagogues the reforming of our entitlement programs that are quickly becoming insolvent.
Only someone like Letterman could wonder why we’re not applauding the president for routinely distracting us from our nation’s problems, rather than actually fixing those problems.
Mr. Letterman, I’ll tell you what ‘more’ we want from this president. We want him to start showing us and our children some of the same respect that you clearly have for him.