Letterman Monday: Remarkable

I hope you were able to watch David Letterman’s first post 9/11 show this past Monday. As Bill Carter writes in the NY Times, it was a a remarkable hour of television. As Dave Pell writes in the current issue of his NextDraft newsletter, we are a generation of cynics, more attuned to debates over burning the flag than loving it. But watching Dave give his monologue, asking for patience as he works his way through his feelings out in full view, saluting Giuliani as the personification of courage, comforting Dan Rather through tears, was just amazing. Anyone who can keep a nightly show going strong for 20 years has a pile and a half of brains, no doubt, but Letterman’s show persona was a little too long on the sneer in recent years to attract me. But I’m sure Monday we saw the true Letterman, no persona, and I was moved and impressed. By the time Regis Philbin showed on set, I guess things were getting more back to normal if not comical and so I won’t be a convert. But for one night, for about 40 minutes, I saw amazing television.