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Late Night Revelations

David Letterman reconsidered. Jim Jeffords reviled. John McCain revisited. Plus more.

11.24.02

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LETTERMAN OF THE YEAR
Re: Paul Beston's Life and Death on 'The Late Show':

Thanks for a great article. I watched the show with Warren Zevon, and couldn't break away. I have been a fan of Mr. Letterman for decades, enjoying his skill as a interviewer and also as a creative comedian. He is certainly the best in the business in both categories.

Mr. Zevon shows similar high skill levels in his music as well as his own comedic mind. It was refreshing to see Mr. Letterman show his friendship and appreciation to Mr. Zevon, and allow Mr. Zevon the opportunity to show his both to Letterman and to his music fans everywhere.

I can't imagine any other TV personalities who could match Mr. Letterman's ability to do a program like that. Most wouldn't even try, or their producers wouldn't let them (wisely).

Mr. Zevon's music will live for a long time.

Regards,
-- Richard Renken

This article brought just the right light on that incredible Farewell: Warren Zevon Late Night Show. Warren Zevon is not on my play list. David Letterman is. I was deeply moved by the courage both of these guys displayed on that program. Paul Beston captured in words better than I could explain what a truly amazing event this show was. It was a first in TV in my experience and it left a lasting impact on me.

Please personally thank Paul for his great insight on this very important broadcast event. The show was certainly not the usual fare from "Late Night," and David Letterman became a great man that day. I suspected he was when I saw his first show after 9/11. David Letterman is real, and Paul correctly captured the moment in words.

Thanks for publishing this great article.
-- Dave Grasser

For the first time ever I regret I don't watch Letterman. Thanks, Paul
Beston, for the great piece on Warren Zevon, since I wasn't "there" to enjoy it.
-- Roger Ross
Tomahawk, WI

THE MILK OF HUMAN KINDNESS
Re: The Washington Prowler's Jeffords Sinks Lower:

I would suggest that rather than welcoming Jeffords back as a Republican, one of the first things that the new Republican leadership ought to look at is the Vermont milk situation and seriously consider repealing whatever Jeffords (and Leahy) got for that last year.
-- George L. Hadley
Normandy Park, WA

The Republicans should not take Jeffords back under any circumstances. He is a turncoat just like Bob Smith, who did not get to represent his State. A wishy-washy person cannot be trusted. You either know who you are, are you don't.
-- Dottie Marks

Please feel free to tell Senator Jeffords that he stabbed the party in the back for minuscule short term personal gain in the form of public attention he coveted so badly.

He is a traitor to the Republican Party. The party itself as well as a free America are both better off without ole Benedict.

I say he made his bed and now he should enjoy it to the fullest. Good riddance!
-- Mike Villani

NO MORE CLOWNING AROUND:
Re: George Neumayr's Daschle Disconcerted:

Great article! Thanks for telling it like it is. God bless!
-- Janet Callas

John McCain thinks Rush Limbaugh is a clown? If he does, he likely is projecting his own self-image onto Limbaugh. Not that Limbaugh does not act the clown -- e.g., when he extols the Pittsburgh Steeler teams that criminally conspired with dishonest field officials to deprive the noble Roger Staubach of Super Bowl conquests. The difference is Limbaugh signals the grease paint is going on and you shouldn't take him seriously from that point. (He is sometimes very subtle -- witness his days-long rant about the injuries caused by youth soccer. I believe he was satirizing the anti-tobacco do-gooders and being prescient about the trial lawyers' fast food foray, but I'm not sure even now.)

On the other hand, although it is true that lately -- as lamentably with most of us as years pass -- McCain is indeed physically better formed for Curley (i.e., of the Three Stooges) roles than the heroic roles of Heston, Peck and Henry Fonda , perhaps there is a darker explanation for the course of his life after his release from prison camp. His record --unfaithfulness in his marriage, hypocritical peddling of senatorial influence to the savings & loan rogues and other wealthy associates and supporters, and shameless attacks against Southern Christians during the 2000 primaries -- suggests a pact with no less than the forces of evil or, at least, in terms the trial lawyers can understand, wrongdoers.

I may not be entitled to judge Senator McCain -- for reasons which include, as John Kerry would hasten to aver, I have not served -- nevertheless I pose to him the question "Quo Vadis?" Where are you going and with whom -- with Barney Frank, Jeffords, Kennedy, Bernie Saunders, Jim McDermott, stalwarts all of the nether powers, or with George Bush and his legions? ( I note that Robert Bennett's detailed and meticulous indictment of Riegle, Glenn, McCain and Cranston in connection with the savings & loan corruption largely has been forgotten -- the same Robert Bennett who last his soul in the course of the monstrous conspiracy to preserve the political career of a Frailty demon who never had a soul. As a sometimes civil litigation defense counsel, perhaps I can understand Bennett's actions, but never forgive him.)
-- J. R. Wheatley

LAYTON ON THICK
Re: Reid Collins's What Would Jesus...?:

Like many people, the question of "What to drive?" depends on the circumstances. However, there may have been times when the only thing sufficient would have been a van. Even a Suburban isn't big enough for Twelve Disciples. But, when the sun went down on a Friday evening, you can bet whatever he would have driven would be parked until sunset Saturday while he observed Shabbat.
-- Jerome from Layton

What a stupid story. If Jesus is coming in poverty he won't have the money to buy his own car.
-- Joseph

GOING FOR FORTY
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Jack and the Black Cats:

I appreciated your article about JFK. I am one of those extremely rare people in the world today that happens to believe that Kennedy was actually killed by a bullet fired from the rifle of Lee Harvey Oswald, no second gunman, no conspiracy. We here in America watch way too many movies. I was 11 years old in November of '63. By 12 I had already read the Warren Commission Report and have studied the evidence of this case off and on for the last 39 years. I live in the Dallas area and can take you to just about every house that Lee Harvey slept in.

All of that aside, I wanted to comment on the news about JFK's ailments. This was the best story that anyone could come up with, it being the 39th anniversary and all. Now you just wait until next year rolls around. I predict that after the first of the year we will begin hearing about some "new evidence" or some "new revelation" that someone is writing a book about that will be out in, you guessed it, November 2003, the 40th anniversary of the assassination. You see there is still loads of money to be made off of Kennedy's death....
-- Tony Creswell

HAVING LOST IT
Re: Reader Mail's Daschle Dittoheads:

"The winners of 2002 are starting to lose it.

"Your articles are as wacko as they come. You are arrogant and antagonistic towards noble ideals. In short, you are nothing more than a shrill tome of shallow thoughts.

"Consider me an offended American citizen who has every right to tell you just what I think. But in that regard, thanks for giving readers the ability to react to your readings. Got to hand it to you for that. Most right-wing slander machines require you to sign up and pay for that (like Rush Limbaugh).
"-- unsigned"

It figures a totally ignorant rant like this would go unsigned. My favorite is the "most right-wing slander machines require you to sign up and pay for that (ability to react)" line.

This proves that the vast majority on "the left" are nothing but puppets for the DNC. First, every single right-wing slander machine has an e-mail address you can write to freely. Just because you aren't acknowledged doesn't mean they don't read your worthless logic. It's just that by the time they get to the 1,000th badly written diatribe using the exact same wording, they are taking a break and massaging their sore mouse-wrist!

As to the "noble ideas" Mr. Unsigned frets about, I suggest he get over his own version of Utopia and look closely at the real world. Nobility and other far-fetched ideals are best left to children and not to the average American living in the reality of ever increasing government spending for failed programs. An idea may be noble, but if its implementation is impossible what's the point?
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, TN

MYSTERY TIME:
Re: Enemy Central's A Bad Case of the Crazies :

Who wrote "A Bad Case of the Crazies"?

I haven't laughed this hard since watching the vitriol(ic)-dolls-eyed Pelosi take over "power" of the left. What a good start to an early Saturday morning.

Please send my compliments to the artist who penned this article.
-- Tim Ball
(columnist)
ArenaFan.com

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