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Look Back and Laugh: Letterman Jokes About Sex Scandals

John on October 1, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Apparently someone tried to blackmail David Letterman by threatening to out several affairs he has had with female staffers on his show. Now, for the record I don’t support anyone trying to blackmail Letterman or anyone else. It’s creepy and wrong. The guy has a six year old and I feel very sorry for that kid who is about to have a rough couple years. I hope the guy who did this goes to jail for a decent stretch.

That said, it also occurs to me that this is more than a bit…ironic. Letterman has made a career out of mocking philandering politicians, especially those caught sifting through the staff. It has been a recurring part of his monologue for years. I find it a little hard to feel sorry for the guy who was only too happy to shame and embarrass other people’s families with one-liners all these years. Even if Vitter and Craig and Haggard deserved it…what about their wives and kids? I don’t think Dave ever gave it a thought.

Some representative examples, pulled from’s Political Humor site:

  • “Gov. Mark Sanford disappeared…and it turned out he was in South America. And then it turned out he was down there because he was sleeping with a woman from Argentina. Once again, foreigners taking jobs that Americans won’t do.” –David Letterman
  • “Ladies and gentlemen, here is great news. Senator Larry Craig from Idaho is looking for interns. What parent doesn’t want to hear, ‘Well guess what, Dad, I got accepted into Larry Craig’s intern program’? But if you’re interested, Larry Craig is now accepting applications from interns. Just slide your resume under the stall.” –David Letterman
  • “But did you hear about this? Senator Craig from Idaho plans to fight a disorderly conduct charge. He wants to change his plea to ‘not creepy.’ … Earlier today Senator Craig said he’d like to turn over a new page. I believe his name is Kevin” –David Letterman
  • “Several prominent Republicans are calling on Sen. Larry Craig to resign. And a couple are asking for his phone number.” –David Letterman
  • “The guy was arrested for lewd behavior in the men’s room, and I’m thinking, ‘Well, hell. I’m lucky if I can get a hand dryer to blow’” –David Letterman
  • “There’s another scandal in Washington. One of the senator’s from Idaho, Larry Craig, was arrested in airport men’s room. Gives new meaning to the word caucusing.’” –David Letterman
  • “Sen. Craig said he made a mistake by pleading guilty. And I was thinking, maybe that was your second mistake.” –David Letterman
  • “The way I look at it, anyone who spends more than two minutes in an airport men’s room is guilty of something.” –David Letterman
  • “My idea of getting lucky in the men’s room is when the motion censor works on the faucet” –David Letterman
  • “David Vitter has admitted he dates hookers in Washington, D.C., and also in Louisiana. He said in his defense he always selected the girl who made the lowest bid, so he’s fiscally prudent.” –David Letterman
  • “There’s another one of those prostitution scandals down there in Washington, DC. Louisiana Senator David Vitter admitted that he’s been visiting Washington area prostitutes. And I thought about this, ‘Whoa, wait a minute, a politician, paying for a hooker? I didn’t see that comin.’” –David Letterman
  • “They have prostitutes in Washington D.C., and it now turns out that senators and congressmen and important, powerful people are dating the prostitutes. … And there’s a senator from Louisiana, David Vitter, admitted he’s been dating prostitutes. And he was very generous with one girl, he paid her with a new highway project in her home state. … One thing I’ll say for this guy from Louisiana, this David Vitter, at least he went to a professional and left the congressional pages alone.” –David Letterman
  • “How about that Florida congressman Mark Foley? Whoa. At least the Democrats wait until the interns are 18.” –David Letterman
  • “The Republicans reacted quickly. They transferred Foley to a different parish.” –David Letterman
  • “Have you all been following this scandal in Washington with ex-Congressman Mark Foley? Well, a couple of days ago, he checked himself into rehab. … It had gotten so bad he had to go out and develop a drinking problem.” –David Letterman
  • “The ex-congressman, if nothing else, is contrite. He says when he gets out of rehab, he wants a fresh start and to turn over a new page.” –David Letterman
  • “I read this in the paper this morning: New York City has a priest shortage. So you see, there is some good news in the world. … To give you an idea how bad it is, earlier today in Brooklyn an alter boy had to grope himself.” —David Letterman
  • “It’s sad. Spitzer said there is so much left undone — Amber, Ashley, Rhonda.” –David Letterman
  • “Eliot Spitzer was a Hillary Clinton superdelegate. … Also, Spitzer was on Hillary Clinton’s vice president list, possible running mate. Boy, she can pick ‘em, can’t she?” –David Letterman
  • “Bill Clinton’s official portrait was unveiled at the White House yesterday. Don’t kid yourself, there’s already trouble. Yesterday, Clinton’s portrait was caught hitting on Dolly Madison’s portrait.” —David Letterman
  • “Here’s a nice thing. You remember President Clinton, he had the heavy-set girl thing. He had a dog Buddy, who sadly died a couple of months ago. Well, President Clinton has gotten himself a new dog. You know, I think it’s changing his life, kind of brightening him up. He’s teaching the dog to sit up, to beg, to roll-over, you know, just like he did with the interns.” —David Letterman
  • “President Clinton may be getting his own TV show on NBC. He could be the first president to ever be both impeached and canceled. They’re going to pay the guy $50 million. And that’s not all. If I know Clinton, he’s going to be getting a little something extra under the table.” —David Letterman
  • “President Clinton wants to buy a condo here in Manhattan. I’m thinking, just pray to God he doesn’t buy the place above you. In the middle of the night, you could hear that 200-pound intern drop to her knees.” —David Letterman
  • “You know who was in town this weekend, went to a Yankee game? Sarah Palin … One awkward moment, though, during the game. Maybe you heard about it, maybe you saw it on one of the highlight reels, one awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game. During the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.” –David Letterman

You get the idea. What would Letterman be saying about this mess if it were happening to some politician instead of himself? I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be offering sympathy.

Update: Allahpundit has video of Dave’s statement from last night’s show. [The clip has been pulled by CBS, here's a partial replacement.] He tries to play it for laughs, but the last minute or so he really slips into full-on politician mode. He’s clearly looking for sympathy and makes himself out as a protector of his family and the others involved. But again, if someone had tried to blackmail a member of Congress for $2M and that person admitted to multiple affairs with staffers to foil the plot, would Dave have offered sympathy? I don’t think so.

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