Shocking Headline: Letterman Gives Tea Party Best Showcase Ever

Here's a headline I'm sure you never dreamed of seeing: "David Letterman Gives the Tea Party the Best Showcase it's Ever Had."

So wrote Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker Wednesday about the previous evening's interview of Sandpoint, Idaho, Tea Party President Pam Stout on CBS's "Late Show."

Tucker went on to call the segment "quietly remarkable" which seems an understatement not only given Letterman's nonconfrontational approach with Stout, but also because at one point, he even said there were "many things about this [Tea Party] movement that I admire" (videos in three parts embedded below the fold with commentary, h/t Hot Air):

Tucker finished his piece noting, "[N]obody else is doing interviews with people like this on TV."

Of course not, for the goal of the Obama-loving media is to depict Tea Partiers as racist, homophobic, dangers to society, and Stout is clearly none of that.

As Ace wrote Wednesday:

Not only did this woman clearly come to play-- she makes a great rational case for Tea Party politics -- but on a sub-rational level, well, she's Just Like You, isn't she? She never before was particularly political (Just Like You), she's just a normal, patriotic American woman (Just Like You), and she was embarrassed to have to nominate herself for the Tea Party group's presidency (Just Like You -- hey, we all hate public speaking, don't we?). [...]

It's the fact that Tea Partiers, when allowed to present themselves on both a human and political level, will tend to acquit themselves rather well that keeps the media from doing this at all.

Exactly, a point the Weekly Standard's Mary Katharine Ham agreed with:

Letterman invited a Tea Party activist onto his show, treated her kindly, did not seek to delegitimize her concerns at every turn, but nonetheless asked some tough questions. The result was a friendly, interesting interview.

As Hot Air's Allahpundit noted:

[T]his ends up being one of the most efficient (if possibly inadvertent) debunkings of tea-party craziness to ever hit big media...She's virtually the antithesis of the media narrative about tea partiers; imagine the surprise of the casual news watcher who's been told the tea party is some kind of militia tuning into this. 

Indeed.

Maybe if newsers across the fruited plain spent more time actually interviewing Tea Party members rather than their enemies, Americans would have a much better understanding of a movement that could have dramatic impact on elections and our nation for the foreseeable future.

Or would that be too much like journalism? 

As a post-facto aside, Letterman did display some typical, liberal media ignorance during this interview when he blamed 2008's financial crisis on deregulation enacted by Republicans.

As NewsBusters has repeatedly reported here, here, and here, the two major deregulatory bills largely responsible for the collapse of the financial services industry were the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000.

Both passed with major bipartisan support AND were signed into law by Bill Clinton.

FSMA passed the Senate by a vote of 90-8 with 38 Democrats saying "Yea"; it passed in the House 362-57 with 153 Democrats saying "Yea".

This bill was supported by high-profile Democrat Senators such as Evan Bayh, Joe Biden, Robert Byrd, Tom Daschle, Chris Dodd, John Edwards, Diane Feinstein, Ernest Hollings, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Mary Landrieu, Pat Leahy, Carl Levin, Joe Lieberman, Daniel Moynihan, Harry Reid, Paul Sarbanes, and Chuck Schumer.

In the House, the bill was supported by high-profile Democrats such as David Bonior, Sherrod Brown, James Clyburn, Elijah Cummings, Harold Ford, Dick Gephardt, Steny Hoyer, Sheila Jackson-Lee, William Jefferson, John Murtha, Jerry Nadler, Nancy Pelosi, Charles Rangel, Debbie Stabenow, Ellen Tauscher, and Bob Wexler.

As for the following year's CFMA, the initial version passed the House 377-4. 180 Democrats, including Pelosi and Frank, voted in favor of this bill.

Months later, this became part of a larger, end of the year consolidated appropriations act, H.R. 4577, which passed the House by a vote of 292 to 60. Only nine Democrats voted against it.

It was later approved with a voice vote by the Senate -- without objection -- and signed into law by President Clinton on December 21.

As such, Letterman was completely wrong about this issue.

Wouldn't it have been glorious if the mild-mannered, soft-spoken Stout would have corrected the "Late Show" host?

Now THAT REALLY would have been entertainment!

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.