That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.
Did David Letterman abandon the tradition of late-night host neutrality in his biting comments about John McCain? It was classic Dave — like the rants he used frequently when he hosted his show on NBC, the type that aren’t confined to just one segment but are referred to over and over again throughout the telecast.
Letterman was clearly miffed that McCain told him personally that he couldn’t be on the show because he had to return to Washington DC to resolve the economic crisis, but then they caught the GOP nominee appearing with Katie Couric just down the street. “This just gets uglier and uglier,” Letterman said. “It’s like we caught him getting a manicure or something.”
Jay Leno and Letterman have a tradition of not wearing their partisanship on their sleeves, even as many journalists have tried to guess their affiliations. Although Letterman’s routine was aimed at a personal slight, it was passed around so extensively in the liberal blogosphere, and it feeds into perceptions of McCain as out of touch. What’s more, Keith Olbermann was McCain’s replacement. Letterman’s comments will be seen as an attack on McCain, and perhaps invite criticism in the same way that Oprah got flack for backing Barack Obama. (And Letterman would love that).
The risk is that Letterman loses McCain supporters, but won’t that be made up by the show’s core audience of college-age and upscale viewers taking a look at the show again if they see it as taking on a new energy and edginess? (Video via The Daily Dish).
“EW” Cover: Speaking of late night hosts, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert recreate the New Yorker Obama cover for the latest issue of “Entertainment Weekly.” It seems like so long ago. Their interview here. (Via Towleroad).
Silverman Plea: Sarah Silverman encourages young voters to head to Florida to boost Obama’s prospects there among Jewish voters, part of a campaign called The Great Schlep.com. It’s easily the funniest — or most offensive — get-out-the-vote effort around. “If Barack Obama does not become the next president of the United States, I am going to blame the Jews,” Silverman says. (Via The Page).