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David Lettermen

The host of "Late Show with David Letterman", a late-night talk show broadcast on CBS since 1993.

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Lettermen's remarks about Sarah Palin and her daughter were absolutely uncalled for.

  • Jun 12, 2009
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These late night comedians have been getting away with it for years.  But I can no longer sit idly by while David Lettermen makes absolutely viscious remarks about former Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol.  Are there no standards at all anymore?  As far as I am concerned these types of highly personal and hurtful comments have no absolutely no place on television.  It is time that good people speak out about the cesspool that TV has become.  For me what makes this incident particulary egregious is that these were not "off the cuff" remarks but rather something that was written in advance as part of Lettermen's silly "Top Ten" list.   Didn't anyone on his staff have the good sense to think twice about using these lines?  And what about the audiences that laugh at this stuff?   Suppose for a moment that it was your wife or daughter that he was talking about?  Now I am not somebody who believes in silencing people like Lettermen.   Personally I think that most of his humor is infantile.  But I do think that people should vote with their feet and walk away from programs that they find repulsive.  Perhaps if  Mr. Lettermen and the folks at CBS notice a precipitous decline in the ratings then maybe he will decide to tone it down just a bit. Or is this the only way he can get a laugh?   How are we ever going to have much needed national discussions about the important issues of our day if discourse has been reduced to this?  No wonder so many good people  of both parties refuse to run for public office.   It's time that all good people take a stand!       Wise up Mr. Lettermen! 

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June 30, 2009
Letterman's comments weren't exactly nice and all, but I don't think that makes his whole show and comedy so absolutely terrible. Remember, people do this a ton. Rush Limbaugh called Chelsey Clinton a dog and everyone just sort of shrugged that off. Was Letterman's joke in bad taste? Sure, but so was Sarah Palin exploiting it for political points. Also, it should be noted that before there were late night television shows you could see FAR FAR worse political cartoons in the paper. The problem now is that everybody saw this one and knows about it. But people have made far worse jokes in other instances (an Ann Coulter book where her "jokes" are sometimes very very tasteless). I agree it was a terrible joke, but that doesn't make David Letterman a terrible person. Remember, Palin also incited a lot of people to go and kill Barack Obama. While Palin didn't WANT that, it's what actually happened at some of those rallies. I don't see why we can just wash our hands of that, but David Letterman cracks a joke and suddenly he's public enemy number one. I'm not trying to insult, only wondering why Letterman's remarks--as a joke (again, a very bad joke) is something to get up in arms about. But people who decided they needed to kill a Presidential Candidiate and his family (as the CIA has reported, people are targeting his family--including his children and some have mentioned that they were inspired to do it because of Palin's remarks of him "Paling around with terrorist") because of remarks made by Palin is something that we can just overlook and ignore. I don't get that. I'm up for condemning Letterman, but it's not like Sarah Palin was so innocent herself, and people took her remarks far more seriously. I'm not excusing Letterman just because he's a comedian, but at least we're treating him as though he IS a comedian. Sarah Palin was a Vice-Presidential candidate who some people claim inspired them to want to kill our current President and his family because of her remarks. I just don't understand why Letterman's comments should be damned but Sarah Palin shouldn't have to be questioned about what some admitted she inspired them to want to do.
June 15, 2009
Hey Paul - looks like this one was a hit! Thanks for posting it, I'm glad you did.
June 14, 2009
I suspect it is all about ratings for Letterman and he sees his chance to finally pass the Tonight Show now that there's a changing of the guard on that one. I used to love his humor and think he was very clever - but the last few years he uses to many one-sided political jokes for my taste and I can't watch him anymore. Imagine the outcry if he had said something similar about the Obama kids- he would be off the air now.
June 12, 2009
Thanks for YOUR comments. As you know, I've been in TV and radio for a very long time so I know how it all works. One of the reasons I started my own radio station was because of the very thing you address in this article......rude and crude behavior on the airways. They no longer belong to the people as in the past. We so desperately need programming that will build America up not drag us down. Many television executives that I used to meet with think this is entertainment and that it's Okay. I hope you write more reviews of this nature, and I for one will support you all the way. Thank you for telling it like it is and that not everything in life should be a joke, especially when it's at someone else's expense like Bristol Palin.
June 12, 2009
Nice review Paul and so right on. There ARE power in numbers and people must speak up about this kind of behavior. The way to stop this is to write letters to the advertisers refusing to buy the products on these type of shows. When people stop buying the products and the advertising dollars quit rolling in, then and only then will these kind of programs become defunct. All shows in radio and television are about the bottom line.....forget about the quality. Money talks......unfortunately. As for myself, I've quit watching anything that I think is repulsive. I don't want to be exposed to that kind of "stuff." It truly is the dummying down of America. Commonality has become all too common! And yes, we are losing a lot of good people who in the past would have run for public office. Who wants to live in a glass house!
More David Lettermen reviews
Quick Tip by . December 06, 2009
Rude, crude and I find his humor juvenile.
About the reviewer
Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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Television personality, talk show host. Born April 12, 1947, in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Harry Joseph Letterman, a florist, and Dorothy, a church secretary who now appears regularly as a correspondent on his late-night talk show. He has two sisters, Janice and Gretchen.

Letterman is best known for his gap-toothed self-mockery, and his brash, wry, somewhat cynical sense of humor, which was, at first, unconventional, attracting a cult following, but which has gone on to define the young, hip, media-savvy generation that is his main audience, and inspire countless comedians and talk show hosts who have followed him.

Letterman studied radio and television at Ball State University, in Muncie, Indiana (B.A. 1969). He worked in Indianapolis as a radio talk-show host; the host of a children's program and a late-night movie; a news anchor; and as a television weatherman, where his brand of humor was already evident, if not necessarily appreciated. One night he reportedly upset his bosses when he congratulated a tropical storm on being upgraded to a hurricane.

In 1975 Letterman moved to Los Angeles and wrote material for popular sitcoms, including Good Times. His big break came when he began appearing on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, whom he has since referred to as his mentor. In 1978, he became Carson's regular guest host, and in 1980, he was offered his own show, the daytime David Letterman Show. The show only lasted for three months, but was a critical success, and ...

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