Douglas MacKinnon

“Hate her!” So said actress and liberal activist Susan Sarandon a few years ago about fellow liberal Hillary Clinton.

A well-known self-described liberal Democrat in Hollywood once said that the thing that bothered him most about some of his fellow liberals was their “hate.” It’s not enough, he said, “that they disagree with Republicans and conservatives, but they have to hate them and hate everything they stand for.”

Over the last seven years, a large number of these liberal activists, actors, and entertainers, have professed their outright hatred of George W. Bush. Through their rants in columns, in books, and on television and radio, they have spewed varying degrees of unhinged loathing of this president. Chief among these “haters,” is late night talk show host, David Letterman.

In discussions I’ve had with people in the industry, Letterman has oftentimes been described as “quirky,” “eccentric,” or “bizarre.” When I served as former Senator Bob Dole’s press secretary, I got to see some of this strange behavior up close and personal.

Like all of these shows, “Late Show with David Letterman,” has a “green room.” That being the room they park the guests before and after they make their appearance on the program.

During this particular taping, both Bob and Elizabeth Dole were going to be on the show – a show in which I got to write part of the “Top Ten” list. This came about because the “Late Show” writers had written a few jokes that offended both Doles, so the producer replaced the objectionable material with several “Top Ten” lines I had drafted earlier in the day – just in case.

The segment between the Doles and Letterman went very well. Letterman was warm, respectful, engaging, attentive, and funny. It was after the segment, and after the taping of the show, that we got to witness some of the “quirkiness.”

After the program – which is taped from 5:30 to approximately 6:30 PM – Letterman and his staff have to do “post-production” to get it ready for the 11:35 PM airing. At least at that time, to go to post-production, Letterman had to walk from the stage and go past the green room to head upstairs to fine tune the show.

Douglas MacKinnon

Douglas MacKinnon is a former White House and Pentagon official and author of The Secessionist States of America. (Skyhorse Publishing, 2014)

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