Apple’s free ride: Now David Letterman hawks the iPad as well

First, all the frenzy on Modern Family’s iPad-themed episode… now on tonight’s “Late Show with David Letterman,” iPad gets some serious airtime as well.

Wow. If you’re Apple, why buy advertising time? You’re getting millions of dollars of free promotion this week! (Even if, as you see in this clip, Dave touts the amount of radiation burning off it.)

Above, Dave marvels at the new gadget — and brags that he got one before that tech-savvy “little Jimmy Fallon” did.

And here’s the kicker: In the case of “Late Show,” not only is this not product placement… Apple didn’t even loan this iPad out to Letterman. A spokesman said the show borrowed this iPad from someone who has a review copy. (That someone is going to be mighty pleased to see Dave licking the screen.)

(UPDATE: And that “someone” is the Chicago Sun-Times’ Andy Ihnatko, who loaned his iPad to the Letterman folks for the bit.)

The iPad has actually been making the rounds for months; Stephen Colbert whipped out one at the Grammy Awards in January, you might recall.

And by the way, considering the amount of ink all of us journos have spilled on the iPad today… we’re awaiting a nice package in the mail, Mr. Jobs.

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