Thursday, January 3, 2008

Letterman's Laudable Lead

Sporting a gray beard after 8 weeks off the air, David Letterman's show opened with an introduction by Hillary Clinton in a cameo appearance. His main guest, Robin Williams, delighted in ribbing Dave about his beard, and was his usual hyper self throughout his presence on camera. Dave Letterman managed to get his writers back on the show and even transformed it into a forum for the strikers to restate their demands.

Dave is not a member of the Writer's Union. Prior to reaching an agreement with the unionists, he personally shouldered the salaries of non-writers on his shows who were affected by the strike. His own production company, Worldwide Pants, provided a comprehensive agreement that would include payment for writer's work distributed over the internet. This was the bone of contention of the Writers Union that compelled them to stage the strike. The residual income from CDs and internet broadcasts which studio heads claimed were practically nil.

In contrast, Jay Leno opened his show too, with a script he crafted himself. Leno is a member of the Writer's Union, and he may have violated rules by doing so and even crossing the picket lines. His guest, Presidential wannabee Mike Huckabee also crossed the picket line claiming he didn't know that the issues with the Tonight Show remained unsettled.

The efforts of Letterman are far worthier that those of his late night competitor. By compensating non-union workers for 8 weeks and settling the dispute with the Union over residuals, he demonstrated inconspicuous virtues.... justice, fairness, and empathy. Having watched Letterman since he still had a full hair on top and a lot leaner, brewing with all the sarcasm about not getting the Johnny Carson slot which Jay Leno won; I found him witty in a sardonic way. Sometimes acerbic and cynical, at other times mocking and derisive. His irreverent manner is akin to an over aged rebel who has not quite overcome the angst of his lost youth. Like a spoiled child who can't have his way but looks more like a boy who morphed into an old man right in front of the TV set; or a retarded old man with the brain of a 9 year old. There were occasions though when he would release his insightful analyses and masterful arguments that show the high level of intelligence he possesses. Why he would choose to appear like a dope is beyond me. Looking at his earnings, I can understand why. Being dopey is where the money is. Nevertheless, I like Letterman and I like his show. Its great for bashing those that deserve to be spat on.

On the other hand, there's Jay. One can only surmise that the sense of urgency he had in opening on the same night as Dave was to preserve his narrow lead in terms of viewership. He couldn't negotiate with his writers nor with the Union, so he decided to trample on all of them. After expressing support at the outset, with doughnuts to boot for the strikers, he displayed his true sentiments: His show, his stardom, his ratings, and his earnings. The Union can go hang as far as he's concerned. The show was bland and un-entertaining. His previous words in support of the strikers now appear as empty as the holes on the doughnuts he gave away.

Then we have Mike Huckabee, who claimed ignorance of the unsettled dispute. What kind of President will he become? What sort of half wit - with an aging voice and a slightly off tune bass guitar, who does not know the conditions of his destination, and, upon seeing it, disrespects the norms of people therein - thinks he deserves the highest post of his country? An arrogant half wit? I think he did damage to his chances in Iowa with this half witted arrogance.

David Letterman should be praised and emulated. While he may be a kind man with a bad mouth, or a gentle boy with mean tongue, he's got real heart. It may be the heart of a hyena, but still a heart .
Mike Huckabee showed a lot of heart...for his ambition. And Jay Leno, well....he showed his heart is in the right place when it mattered most... in his bankbook.



ZenDenizen said...

On a related note, did you ever see the made for cable movie about their rivalry? Good stuff!

Noelevz said...

I was just passing by and I must commend you for a very amazing site! keep it up!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Yes Zen, I saw that film, with actors very closely resembling both Jay and Dave. I was wondering then if the chin on the guy who played Jay was added for the film.--Durano,done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Noelevz, thanks for dropping by. I'll drop by your site shortly. --Durano, done!