- The Washington Times
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Retired late night kingpin David Letterman has a new gig on Netflix, poised to host a half dozen talk shows for the online giant — this after a previous 33-year run on NBC and CBS which yielded 6,000 shows. Though news organizations are already suggesting guests for Mr. Letterman’s new project, the host himself has a wish list.

“I’d like to talk to President Trump. I’ve known the guy for 25-30 years. I’d like to go back to New York where he was a kid and start there. I’d like to just ask him about the change in him as a man, where did it come from, how did it begin and where is it going,” Mr. Letterman told Variety on Tuesday.


It wouldn’t be the first sit-down for the two. Mr. Letterman has conducted 21 interviews with the businessman-turned-president dating back to 1986. Over the years, the encounters have ranged from contentious to comedic; they also could prove to be cordial exchanges between two guys of essentially the same age. Mr. Letterman appears to have mixed feelings about Mr. Trump.

“I’m disappointed that this man is representing me and my country. It makes me sick. But we always looked forward to having him on. He was a great guest. He was just a big, wealthy dope who’d come on and we would make fun of his hair. I would refer to him as a slumlord. But now, this goon — I don’t know. He’s demonstrated himself to be a man without a core, a man without a soul. Is there a guy in there?” Mr. Letterman told GQ in late May.

“I would love to have 90 minutes with him in a TV studio, just to talk to the guy. I would just like to say, ‘All right, Don: What the [expletive] happened?”

The president’s presence, Mr. Letterman knows, would mean automatic, bodacious ratings. Mr. Trump is good for the business. News, commentary and entertainment all benefit from the generous Trump effect — whether it’s a personal appearance, video clips, parody impressions or a Trump-bashing session among liberals. Earlier this year, a Forbes analysis revealed that such late night hosts as Jimmy Fallon and Trevor Noah enjoyed significant boosts in their audiences simply by mentioning Mr. Trump in their monologues.

“Dumping on Trump pays off for late night,” Forbes concluded.

THE DEMOCRATS’ FAVORITE REPUBLICANS

Republican senators who were instrumental in the recent undoing of President Trump’s healthcare plan undoing are doing pretty well in the polls, at least among Democrats. It’s easiest just to look at the numbers.

According to a new Economist/YouGov survey, 42 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of Sen. John McCain of Arizona; 36 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of Democrats agree.

Also, 28 percent overall have a favorable impression of Sen. Susan Collins of Maine; 15 percent of Republicans and 47 percent of Democrats agree.

And 26 percent overall have a favorable opinion of Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; 13 percent of Republicans and 41 percent of Democrats agree.

ECLIPSE PANIC STORY OF THE DAY

The coast-to-coast solar eclipse on Aug. 21 is drawing intense interest from both the public — and the public’s protectors. Local authorities are treating the event like a “natural disaster” and are preparing for the worst, says Chris Melore, reporter for CBS 3, the network’s affiliate in Philadelphia. Some 12 million people are directly in the eclipse path, and another 7 million are traveling to prime viewing spots.

“Small towns and less populated states are preparing to see their populations double or even triple in the week leading up to the solar event. Several counties in Idaho and Oregon have already issued emergency declarations. Local officials are citing increased public safety risks, financial damage, and excess costs of cleanup and property damage for the alerts,” writes Mr. Melore.

“On the East Coast, officials in South Carolina are reportedly stocking up on bottled water and port-a-potty services to prepare for the influx of tourists. The Red Cross is also setting up emergency shelters in the 12 affected states to help with possible emergencies that may overwhelm local governments,” he adds.

ELDER WISDOM

Senior citizens are not blaming President Trump for the Republican Party’s failure to repeal Obamacare, says a new poll from the Association of Mature American Citizens, a 1.4-million member organization that supports conservative viewpoints.

“Moderate Republicans are taking the full brunt of blame for the health care failure,” says CEO Dan Weber, who notes that 30 percent of the respondents blame the GOP, but only 1 percent blame Mr. Trump.

“This is not surprising. The conservative base is still extremely enthusiastic about President Trump. People still view the president as a ‘speaks like me’ outsider who went to Washington to wage war against an out-of-control bureaucracy,” says Mr. Weber.

The poll found that 26 percent blame Sen. John McCain; 22 percent fault the Senate, 15 percent the Democratic Party and 6 percent the House.

Trump needs to brush himself and his administration off from the health care fight and be ready for Round 2 on the upcoming budget and tax fights. Trump can salvage his polling by becoming a champion for middle class tax cuts that they so desperately need in the upcoming tax fight,” advises Mr. Weber.

FOXIFIED

Fox News Channel wins the basic cable TV derby for the 31st week in a row, besting such rivals as HGTV and TBS as the most-watched cable network in the nation, according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox News is still top dog in cable news. The numbers: Fox drew 2.2 million in prime time hours, followed by MSNBC with 1.7 million and CNN with 1 million. Throughout the day, Fox news drew an average of 1.3 million viewers, to MSNBC’s 969,000 and CNN’s 720,000.

POLL DU JOUR

69 percent of Americans rate the national economy as good; 89 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of independents and 66 percent of Democrats agree.

67 percent of Americans feel confident about their personal finances; 83 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of independents and 60 percent of Democrats agree.

47 percent overall say President Trump’s policies are preventing U.S. jobs from moving overseas; 77 percent of Republicans, 44 percent of independents and 26 percent of Democrats agree.

46 percent overall approve of the way Mr. Trump is handling the economy; 85 percent of Republicans, 44 percent of independents and 18 percent of Democrats agree.

37 percent overall say the economy is improving; 69 percent of Republicans, 32 percent of independents and 18 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A CBS News poll of 1,111 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 3-6.

• Yays and nays to jharper@washingtontimes.com


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