I’m with the sentiment, but seriously, isn’t the substance of Ayotte’s vote, and her craven choice of the NRA over her constituents’ overwhelming support for the measures she opposed more worthy of mockery than the fact that her jacket maybe makes her look like a realtor, or that she has Ron Burgundy’s book collection behind her?
The level of the politician-owning game has been raised over the last decade. If Letterman wants to compete, he and his writers need to step it up a notch.
If you missed President Obama on the Late Show last night, here he is:
The line that’s getting a lot of attention is Obama’s reminder that the president represents everyone, a line he had to deliver that’s the obvious rejoinder to Mitt Romney’s nasty, condescending remarks about ignoring the 47 percent of people who will never vote for him. And that’s a line that Obama probably had to deliver. But I think the real power of this appearance is that it reveals how that video gives Obama the tool he needs to connect all the themes of his campaign, and to draw a final, and perhaps deadly, comparison with Mitt Romney.
“The American people, they work so hard,” Obama told David Letterman. “The progress we’ve made since the Great Recession is because we’ve got single moms out there working two, three jobs to help make sure their kids can go to college. And we’ve got small business owners who are keeping their doors open and keeping their employees on even though it means they may not be taking down a salary.”
In other words, we all built that. The hope that we placed in Obama, as he said in his convention speech, he placed in us. And that hope, as Obama described it, is a pact. It’s an agreement between the people who are building their lives with everything they’ve got that if a step in that process fails, or the business plan they built to get themselves from one class stratum from another, from a limited array of options to a richer one, fails, that there will be something there to help them regroup and formulate the next plan.
Mitt Romney hates being called entitled or privileged, so much so that in the video Mother Jones uncovered, he insisted “I have inherited nothing…There is a perception, ‘Oh, we were born with a silver spoon, he never had to earn anything and so forth.’” He seems to have forgotten that people who received decidedly more modest assistance from the government rather than stock portfolios from their fathers don’t like being called the inverse of privileged: lazy and selfish. “There are not a lot of people out there who think they’re victims,” Obama said on Late Night. “There are not a lot of people who think they’re entitled to something.” If Obama’s team plays this right, Romney may get a reminder that he and the people he scrambled to dismiss and distance himself from have something in common. It’s not only Mitt Romney who isn’t defined by the help he got along the way, no matter the source.
Zach Wahls Tells Letterman About Growing Up With Two Moms |
Ever since testifying before the Iowa legislature on behalf of his two moms in January of 2011, Zach Wahls has become a rockstar spokesperson for same-sex families. Most recently, he became a co-chair for the Family Equality Council’s Outspoken Generation project along with Ella Robinson, daughter of Bishop Gene Robinson. Now, he is promoting his new book, My Two Moms, and last night he appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman to recount his story and debunk some conservative arguments against marriage equality and same-sex adoption. Watch it:
I’d be curious to hear a comic of David Letterman’s stature weigh in on the question of whether or not women can be funny. But when it comes to who gets to appear on his show, it turns out that it might not matter that much what Letterman himself thinks. The show fired Letterman’s comedy booker, Eddie Brill, after he told the New York Times that “There are a lot less female comics who are authentic. I see a lot of female comics who to please an audience will act like men.” In the process, he reignited the debate most recently fueled by Christopher Hitchens about whether or not women can be funny, or whether they’re funny in the same ways as men, or whether men and women find other things funny.
But I actually think the more important point here is less in positing an answer to those ultimately unempirical questions and more in pointing out the critical importance of gatekeepers in diversifying entertainment. Letterman is, of course, the CEO of his show, so his opinions matter. But just as important as his feelings about about female comics is whether he cares enough to make sure everyone on his team is on the same page about booking. It’s the same across the entertainment world. It’s a good thing for Bob Greenblatt at NBC to want to find stories with more diverse casts and a great show about a black or Asian family, but he’s also got to make sure that the folks who are reading pilot scripts know that he’s got his eye out for something like that. We need good executives at entertainment companies, but we also need good gatekeepers, because those roles aren’t always the same. It may take time to get there, but hopefully Letterman will replace Brill with someone who knows how to find the best female comedians. And it’s good to see the Daily Show finally hiring a black woman to deliver reports:
Two Of Letterman And Groban’s Top 10 Are Pro-Gay |
Last night, David Letterman invited Josh Groban onto his show to help with the Top 10 list. Over the course of the list, they made fun of a certain Minnesota counseling clinic and celebrated a recent victory for gay and lesbian rights. Watch it:
Letterman Mocks Limbaugh’s Heat Index Conspiracy Rant |
“These geniuses at the Weather Channel have come up with a new index, a new indices,” CBS late-night comic David Letterman complained last night. “It is the feel-like temperature.” Letterman parodied Rush Limbaugh’s rant about the heat index being a government plot to exaggerate the current heat wave, even though it first used in 1978. “Mind your own business! Don’t tell me what it feels like, all right? I am going to go out — come on. Another sign of a meddling bureaucracy trying to tell us what we feel like! That’s like someone coming into your home and saying, ‘Oh, sure, Dave’s telling jokes, but they’re not funny.’ I’ll decide, okay? Leave that up to me!”
It seems that David Letterman had the guts to do what noone else in the press has done and question John McCain about some of his “questionable associations,” specifically G. Gordon Liddy, the guy who was so crazy and crooked that the other insane criminals on the Nixon plumber squad had to restrain him. McCain told Letterman “I’m not in any was embarrassed to know Gordon Liddy.” Steve Benen observes:
That’s an interesting response. Liddy is, of course, a convicted felon who has “acknowledged preparing to kill someone during the Ellsberg break-in ‘if necessary’; plotting to murder journalist Jack Anderson; plotting with a ‘gangland figure’ to murder Howard Hunt to stop him from cooperating with investigators; plotting to firebomb the Brookings Institution; and plotting to kidnap ‘leftist guerillas’ at the 1972 Republican National Convention — a plan he outlined to the Nixon administration using terminology borrowed from the Nazis.” Liddy also once famously gave his supporters advice on how best to kill federal officials (he recommended shooting them in the head because they might be wearing flak jackets).
Despite this scandalous past, McCain has accepted thousands of dollars in contributions from Liddy, attended a fundraiser in his honor at Liddy’s home, and told Liddy that he’s “proud of” him.
Also remember, Liddy can be fairly described as “unrepentant.” When asked if he regretted his felonies, “A vein twitches angrily on one of his scales, but he replies in a level voice, ‘No.’”
McCain is proud to know a man who had no regrets about his serious crimes against American democracy.