In praise of David Letterman
In recent days David Letterman had a fatwa issued against him by jihadists for having the nerve to make a joke about a jihadist. The edict required that as a Jew, his tongue should be cut out for speaking blasphemy. Mr. Letterman is not Jewish, but Radical Islamists never let facts interfere with fatwas.
Once again, Radical Islam shows that it does not contain an ounce of peace or tolerance. Islam is a religion with many peaceful practitioners. Radical Islam is a virulent cancerous ideology that must be eradicated from the Earth.
David Letterman joined Salman Rushdie, me, and many others in receiving death threats.
(Although to be fair the worst fatwa against me was issued by the NOW.)
Too many people have been silenced out of fear, giving the terrorists another victory. Thankfully, Mr. Letterman did not back down.
I confess to having been very disappointed with Mr. Letterman in recent years. I was a fan of his for almost twenty years since I first started watching him as a senior in high school. Going to bed had to wait until after the Top 10 List. Somewhere along the line Letterman became meaner and angrier. He was always a tad caustic, but eventually that gave way to viciousness. I wrote Mr. Letterman a heartfelt open letter pleading with him to stop the hatred. A few months later, I voted with my feet. After almost two decades, I fired him from my television set and did not look back.
Yet if there is one area where Letterman and I are on the same page, it is on how to deal with Radical Islam. You hit back, and you hit back hard. Soldiers need to kill the enemy. Scholars need to educate Americans as to the threat. Letterman is a comedian, and his job is to be funny.
Anybody can make fun of white, Christian, Republicans. Liberals find this “edgy,” and “sophisticated,” but it is actually quite boring. Making fun of Radical Islamists is edgy. One comedian wrote in her book that she makes fun of Christians but not Muslims because she does not want to get blown up. Naturally this comedian is a liberal.
Too many comedians use their platform to become bullies. Bullies go after people they know will not fight back, but would never dream of attacking somebody who could do them harm. This is the one area where Letterman redeems himself despite often resorting to liberal bullying himself.
Letterman was masterful after 9/11. The entire comedic world was waiting for him before proceeding. His very first interview after he returned was with Dan Rather, and it was Letterman at his finest. He helped America heal.
Letterman has said and done some pretty awful things in his life, but he has also been a genuine victim in greater disproportion than most entertainers. He had a stalker in the 1980s who used to break into his house. There was the plot to kidnap his son. Now he is getting death threats from people who do not bluff.
I stopped watching Mr. Letterman because I got tired of him attacking my beliefs and disguising it as comedy. He must be given praise for standing up for the most fundamental belief in America, that being the right to free speech. Censoring him is unacceptable, and self-censorship is heart-wrenching. Thankfully Mr. Letterman did not give in.
We need more jokes, not less. We need more cartoons like the Danish cartoons. We need South Park and Family Guy to have their fun without being cowed off the air.
I myself told the world that I had a half-naked picture of Muhammad with a goat. I received plenty of hate mail for insulting an entire religion. Only when people clicked on the link did they realize that the half-naked Muhammad was boxer Muhammad Ali in his boxing trunks. GOAT stood for “Greatest of all time.”
Letterman unloaded a verbal fusillade, and despite disagreeing with his politics, I want people to read or watch every one of them.
One of Letterman’s funniest bits is his annual Kentucky Derby routine that occurs the Friday before the race. He has the caller of the race on and they both scream “and down the stretch they come” randomly.
Mr. Letterman, I do not see myself coming back on a long-term basis. Yet to thank you for remaining vigilant, I will tune in next year on Kentucky Derby Friday. If that goes well I might drop by more often. I might not.
For now, thank you for playing a vital role in winning the War on Terror ten years and today. As the tenth anniversary of 9/11 approaches, you helped strike a small blow for freedom and liberty against the forces of evil and barbarism.