David Letterman Bemoans Treatment of 'Poor Bill Clinton' During Lewinsky Scandal

In a teaser for a CNN interview airing next Tuesday, liberal comedian David Letterman denied a partisan bias and said he is a "registered independent." He also pitied former President Bill Clinton for getting "hammered" by the press during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, in an interview that will air on Piers Morgan Tonight with guest host Regis Philbin.

"Poor Bill Clinton. No president that I'm aware of got hammered harder than Bill – President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky situation," mused Letterman. "We beat up on him. We still use him as a reference."

Letterman also denied he has a partisan bias, saying he is a "registered independent" and that "You go where the material takes you." But even the liberal MediaIte is calling his bluff, insisting that he is a liberal hack and pointing to his harsh treatment of Bush versus his defense of Obama as evidence.

"Has your husband ever come home and said to you, 'Oh, that John Boehner, what an idiot?'” Letterman asked Michelle Obama in March, in a particularly egregious exposition of his bias.

A transcript of the segment, which aired on May 24 on Newsroom at 3:47 p.m. EDT, is as follows:

REGIS PHILBIN: Now you see, over the years talk show hosts have not gotten involved in politics. Because they fear –

DAVID LETTERMAN: It's all different now.

PHILBIN: – that if one portion of your audience is a Republican or Democrat, they don't like what you're saying, they're going to tune you out.

LETTERMAN: That's right.

PHILBIN: Does that bother you?

LETTERMAN: Well – you – I know what your point is, and I have been guilty of appearing to be playing partisan politics. However, I'd just like to say that for the record, I am a registered independent. You go where the material takes you. Poor Bill Clinton. No president that I'm aware of got hammered harder than Bill – President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky situation. We beat up on him. We still use him as a reference. And then we were desperate. We thought, well this was so easy and then we got George Bush, and within a matter of days we realized our prayers had been answered, he's just as good in terms of material.

PHILBIN: (Laughing)

LETTERMAN: So we – it may appear that we have a slant one way or the other, but if a guy drops his dog, or a guy straps his dog to the roof of a car, or if a guy gets a shoe thrown at him, well this is where the material is going to be.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014