Dan Gainor

No doubt. The TV funnyman managed to make his audience yuck it up over his indiscretions. Network after network helped excuse the inexcusable. CBS’s Kelly Wallace portrayed Letterman as a victim of a $2-million extortion scheme, not a guy who used his staff like Match.com. “David Letterman told his audience he had been blackmailed and then made a remarkable personal admission.”

Remarkable certainly. It’s not everyday someone tries to hide a non-apology in a comedy skit. Few places brought up Letterman’s previous attacks on the Palin family and others. The Washington Post’s/CNN’s Howard Kurtz did do that and asked if Letterman’s actions would hurt him with his audience. “This is a guy who comes into your bedroom at night,” Kurtz said. Only if you work for him.

Letterman made a career bashing others. He especially loved beating up conservatives with jokes about Sarah Palin’s “slutty flight attendant” look. He even mocked Sarah’s 14-year-old daughter in a joke about her getting knocked up by Alex Rodriguez. He made excuses for that, too, but eventually apologized.

CBS didn’t excuse it completely. They went on a YouTube jihad to pull all copies of the video, according to The New York Times.

Then there’s the Excuser-in-Chief and his apologists. After being told the Obama folks were living large and in charge in Copenhagen, we discovered they were just clowning around. Obama’s Olympic-sized failure turned into a five-ring circus as his adopted home town of Chicago was dropped quicker than a Michael Moore diet.

Naturally, it wasn’t Obama’s fault. “One of the things that I think is most valuable about sports is that you can play a great game and still not win,” he said in the Rose Garden. He didn’t play a great game. He didn’t get out of round one.

The Times described the scene saying his visit was first “predicated on the theory that Mr. Obama’s star power overseas — ‘the best brand in the world,’ as his advisers have put it — was luminescent enough to make the difference.” Oops.

But the media didn’t want to blame him. The networks were especially bad, with Cuteness Herself Katie Couric leading off that night’s CBS “Evening News” saying, “Tonight, Chicago hope dashed. Despite a high-powered, star-studded U.S. appeal from Oprah to the Obama’s, the Olympics are awarded to Rio.”

MSNBC’s Ed Schultz took it even farther, blaming conservatives for Obama’s failure. “This is a failure of the Republican Party. The right-wing talkers in this country that openly, openly campaigned against the Olympics by denigrating our president again.”

Excuses, excuses. Welcome to the Not Me decade.


Dan Gainor

Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow and director of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute.
 


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