Letterman on Bush & Cheney: 'Is There Any Humanity in Either of These Guys?'

Channeling Keith Olbermann, David Letterman on Wednesday night proposed to guest Scott McClellan that President Bush and Vice President Cheney “just couldn't care less about Americans” since “all they really want to do is somehow kiss up to the oil people so they can get some great annuity when they're out of office,” and so he marveled: “Is there any humanity in either of these guys?” Letterman's conspiratorial rant:
My feeling about Cheney, and also Bush, but especially Cheney is that he just couldn't care less about Americans. And the same is true of George Bush. And all they really want to do is somehow kiss up to the oil people so they can get some great annuity when they're out of office. [audience applause] “There you go Dick [hand motion of distributing cash], nice job. There's a couple of billion for your troubles.” I mean, he pretty much put Halliburton in business and the outsourcing of the military resources to private mercenary groups and so forth. Is there any humanity in either of these guys?
McClellan only disagreed about Bush:
Oh look, I still have personal affection for the President. I can't speak to the Vice President's thinking that well because he's someone who keeps things to himself and he believes in doing it his way and he doesn't care what anybody else thinks. He's going to do it the way he feels is best and that's not always what's in the best interest of this country -- as we've seen.
Video: The “Big Show Highlight” for the Wednesday program includes the above exchange. It starts about 45 seconds into the 1:40 in length Flash video clip. Go to the Late Show's video highlights page and click on the top left clip titled “What's the Deal With Dick?”

Earlier in the interview on the June 11 show, Letterman wondered: “Is Cheney a goon? I don't mean that to be like a smart ass, but he seems like he might be a goon.” McClellan, the former Bush White House Press Secretary hawking his Bush administration-bashing book, didn't disabuse Letterman of the notion.

On Monday's show, Tom Brokaw chided Letterman with some historical context after Letterman forwarded standard liberal claims about how the America of 2008 is in a "horrible" state thanks to the awful President George W. Bush, and when Letterman fretted about government inaction on global warming, Brokaw pointed out how he's a big carbon-producer since he drives a big vehicle and flies executive jets.

My June 10 NB item, with video, “Brokaw Scolds Letterman on 'Horrible' U.S.; Environmental Hypocrisy,” recounted:
Tom Brokaw came aboard Monday's Late Show to promote his book, Boom! Voices of the Sixties: Personal Reflections on the '60s and Today, but soon chided David Letterman with some historical context after Letterman forwarded standard liberal claims about how the America of 2008 is in a “horrible” state thanks to the awful President George W. Bush, and when Letterman fretted about government inaction on global warming, Brokaw embarrassed the late night host by pointing out how he's a big carbon-producer since he drives a big vehicle and flies executive jets.

On the terrible state of the nation, Letterman contended “everything...has gone so lousy in the last eight years” so “things are horrible in ways they shouldn't be horrible.” Brokaw pointed to his book about 1968, and delivered a friendly lecture:
Let me remind you that forty years ago this year, Doctor King was killed, Bobby Kennedy was killed, we had the Chicago riots, 16,000 people were killed in Vietnam, Lyndon Johnson decided not to run for re-election, the Kerner Commission said we are two societies -- one white, one black, separate and unequal -- we had urban riots and in the fall we had as cantankerous and as contentious and in many way as mentally violent an election as we've ever had...
Similarly assuming the present is the worst ever, Letterman complained: “People are all talking about, 'okay we're going to change the emissions by 2035, by 2020.' That's too late. I mean, it's a hundred degrees now!” Letterman pleaded: “It's got to come from the government. They have to lead us.” Brokaw agreed, but then made the host uncomfortable:
BROKAW: The government has to lead and those of us who drive -- uhh uhh -- big carbon-emitting vehicles or fly in airplanes that have only two passengers on them-

LETTERMAN: Alright, alright, that's fine Tom.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center