Press reports have Senator McCain expressing nervousness on the show because he begged off a prior scheduled appearance in order to travel to Washington to engage the financial crisis. In both instances, he was mocked, neither deservedly.
If Letterman were a true friend, he would have understood that McCain could not "do comedy" as the economy crashed. He would have cut his longtime guest some slack. But Letterman is a selfish egomaniac and, being another person who is never told no, he was hurt. Yes, McCain went across town to give an interview to Katie Couric, who, despite her credentials being thinner than Sarah Palin's gams, is the presumptive head of the CBS News Dept. and an interview, again, as the economy was crashing, makes some sense.
Sydney Brillo Duodenum is an old student of Letterman's, watching him since he was on morning television, following him too late in the evening in college and, now 20 years later, deliberately avoiding his hackneyed schtick, but for a few nights a month. Letterman, always mean and nasty - that's the core of his humor - is now a mean, nasty, and vindictive old man, a condition that came upon him with the birth of his first child. Strange but true.
Letterman has mocked McCain and will continue to mock McCain. And when Senator Obama appears on Letterman for his "endorsement" a week or so before the election, McCain will have been burned again.
There is no one who watches Letterman whose vote is in doubt, no one who developed second thoughts because of Letterman's top ten strained jokes about McCain. Letterman's audience is narrow and coastal. Now, it is possible that McCain thinks by appearing on Letterman he gets some free national press. Indeed, let's have another round of mocking reports of the doddering old Republican presidential candidate dunking himself like some Hydrox cookie into liberals' favorite late night glass of warm milk. What can happen but that he will dissolve and be consumed. A little dramatic perhaps, but these are the events that tell a man's soul and concerns. SBD cannot fathom how a man of McCain's stature cannot see past this stovepiped approval circuit. What's next? Another visit to The View shrews?
McCain should not give a rat's ass about Letterman, should not apologize for bailing on his show, and should have gone on Leno to talk about American cars and their mechanics.
Tonight, McCain states the reason for missing the prior appearance: "I screwed up."
You certainly did and you certainly have, Senator. And while you may have screwed up, we remain screwed.
Update: Yes, indeed, McCain did himself a great service by allowing David Letterman to draw an equivalence between G. Gordon Liddy and William Ayers. Twins, those two are. Why, just the other day, SBD heard G. Gordon Liddy reminiscing about that nail bomb his girlfriend and some other friends were putting together for later deposit at a dinner dance attended by officers at a major U.S. military installation, but it blew up in their faces. Har, har. He's a professer of something now, so it doesn't matter. An instant classic in the moral relativism of the Left. And Letterman is of the Left.
Letterman then mocks McCain (again, to his face) about McCain's clearly ludicrous insinuation that Senator Obama and William Ayers had any kind of working relationship, asking, "Are they double-dating, are they going to dinner, what are they doing?" Letterman asked. "Are they driving across country?" No, Dave, they just spent ten years using a dead man's good money to corrupt the minds of children. Letterman reveals himself to be an asshat.
The A.P. tries to explain how this was good for McCain:
While McCain risked a rough appearance — "I haven't had so much fun since my
last interrogation," he said — it gave him the chance to show courage in the face of fire. Letterman reaches about 4 million people a night, a number sure to increase with McCain as guest. With clips on the Internet and Friday morning news, countless more people will undoubtedly learn about their encounter.
"Courage in the face of fire?" What?!?
McCain better hope that "countless more people" see his Al Smith Dinner routine than this shameful, suck-up to Letterman.
Update II: Surprise, surprise, surprise.