David Letterman is not just wearing his political views on his sleeve, as a one of his shows production executives recently pointed out. Now he's allowing his show to be used as a platform for leading Democrats to advocate action on liberal causes.
On Sept. 21, President Barack Obama appeared on CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman" and used his show to promote his health care/health insurance reform initiatives. But the very next night on Sept. 22, he had former President Bill Clinton on to publicize the efforts of the Clinton Global Initiative, one of which is to give aid to nations with rampant poverty.
Letterman set up Clinton to make a point about global warming. The "Late Show" host said he didn't understand how in this day and age people can still not have access to clean drinking water.
"I mean, when you say these things - your mind, your brain starts to spin because it's 2009 and people still don't have clean water," Letterman said. "They don't have clean water. We're not talking about food and people are starving, dropping dead by the billions."
Clinton concurred and even invoked the name of Norman Borlaug, known to some as the father of the Green Revolution, who didn't subscribe to radical theories of anti-development that some environmentalists have in recent history.
"A billion people go to bed hungry every night, which is really tragic," Clinton replied. "Norman Borlaug, the creator of the green revolution just died at 95. We still have a billion people go to bed hungry every night. There's a reason to that and it can be fixed. A billion people have no access to clean water."
That's when Clinton made his pitch to fight global warming, using hyperbolic imagery and contending if something isn't done, there will be fighting over water in 20 years.
"If we don't do something about global warming, it will get worse because the water will dry up that's drinkable," Clinton continued. "And, there will be more fights over water. We may have more fighting over water in 20 years than we do over oil."
Letterman, still befuddled about the state of humanity and inquisitive about Clinton's cause, asked the president how it was possible to have hungry and thirsty people still.
"It takes so little, but yet why do we still have people who are hungry and thirsty in this world?" Letterman asked.
Clinton explained it wasn't necessarily that people are coarsened and ignorant of the plight, but instead that there's no infrastructure in place to deal with the issues and cited his work to combat malaria.
"Partly because we're not organized to deal with it," Clinton replied. "It's relatively inexpensive. The $5 bed nets last a long time and really protect families for a long time. The malaria medicine that works today against drug-resistant malaria costs more, but the Gates Foundation - bless Bill and Melinda Gates - they've worked with us. They've given us money to put out medicine that drastically cuts prices in 11 African countries. And between the prevention of the bed nets and the right medicine, we can get rid of malaria."