Thursday, January 05, 2006


Comedian David Letterman's never been one to rock the political boat. The story of how he caved in to censorship of a Bill Hicks abortion routine back in the 90s has since cast a shadow over my appreciation of his goofy comedy (that and the repetitive inertia that seems to have plagued the show in recent years).

Because of that history it was even more surprising to see the way he went after Fox blowhard Bill O'Reilly the other night. It seemed to genuinely piss him off that O'Reilly went after Cindy Sheehan, and he wasn't buying O'Reilly's "war on Christmas" nonsense either. He's also been recently slamming Bush in way that no other high profile television comedian has (with the obvious exception of Jon Stewart and crew). Maybe this means that the political winds have changed, maybe not (it would have been nice if he would have stepped up to the plate a few years ago).

In any case, here's a bit of the dialogue that ensued the other night :
Letterman: How can you possibly take exception with the motivation and the position of someone like Cindy Sheehan?

O'Reilly: Because I think she's run by far-left elements in this country. I feel bad for the woman.

Letterman: Have you lost family members in armed conflict?

O'Reilly: No, I have not.

Letterman: Well, then you can hardly speak for her, can you?


O'Reilly: I'm not speaking for her. Let me ask you this question.

Letterman: [referring back to O'Reilly's phony "War on Christmas"] Let's go back to your little red and green stories.

Letterman: What about, why are we there in the first place? [applause] The President himself, less than a month ago said we are there because of a mistake made in intelligence. Well, whose intelligence? It was just somebody just get off a bus and handed it to him?

O'Reilly: No.

Letterman: No, it was the intelligence gathered by his administration.

O'Reilly: By the CIA.

Letterman: Yeah, so why are we there in the first place? I agree to you, with you that we have to support the troops. They are there, they are the best and the brightest of this country. [audience applause] There's no doubt about that. And I also agree that now we're in it it's going to take a long, long time. People who expect it's going to be solved and wrapped up in a couple of years, unrealistic, it's not going to happen. However, however, that does not eliminate the legitimate speculation and concern and questioning of Why the Hell are we there to begin with?
(transcript courtesy of A la Gauche, a blog that proves there are indeed still left wingers in the supposedly deep red state of Georgia)

Crooks and Liars has the video.