Here’s a rare harmonic convergence: the liberal Associated Press and conservative L.A. talker John Ziegler agree for possibly the first time ever. As AP puts it: “Letterman threw spitballs from his own glass house.”
Of course, the “spitballs” tossed by a liberal late night host in 2009 means something very different than the relatively benign, centrist humor Johnny Carson served up.
Fortunately, riding to Letterman’s defense (along with the Washington Post’s Tom Shales) is Maureen Dowd, who’s eager to give Letterman a Clintonesque pass, and compares him to the days of Don Draper and Roger Sterling trolling the Sterling-Cooper intern pool. But I thought the point of a fiercely moral show such as Mad Men was that (a) how wrong that is and (b) how far society has come since Boomers such as Dowd made the Long March through Culture, as Roger Kimball would say.
Meanwhile, Roger L. Simon notes that Letterman has comitted another sin — he’s become sclerotic and boring:
My problem with Letterman is this: I don’t find him funny. For all the Letterman writers composing those lists of ten and the fancy guest like the president, etc., I’d much rather watch “Red Eye,” which probably doesn’t have much of a writing staff and so far hasn’t had any administration guests, to my knowledge, but has a much cleverer host and funny sidekicks. Letterman’s predictable comedy (with its pathetic and inaccurate nastiness about other people’s private lives, i. e. Palin) is an indication of how square liberals have become. Greg Gutfeld, the putative conservative, is considerably more hip – and more decent.
Which may explain why that late night show is cleaning up with a key TV demographic.