The proudest moment in his career, Late Show writer Bill Scheft boasted at a Friday comedy writer panel held at Washington, DC's Newseum, was when he got David Letterman to try to undermine guest John McCain's Bill Ayers talking point by raising McCain's relationship with G. Gordon Liddy -- as if a political dirty trickster were the equivalent of a terrorist involved with bombings which killed people, could have killed hundreds more if his attempts worked and remains unrepentant. At the event, organized by the Writers Guild of America, East, and shown Saturday night on C-SPAN, Scheft declared of his effort to discredit an anti-Obama point: “I'm more proud of that than any single joke that I've written.” That earned applause from the audience.

Later, to a chorus of “yeah” from other writers on the stage representing The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Late Night, as well as another Late Show writer (Tom Ruprecht, who is in front of Scheft in the screen shot, the best I could get), Scheft insisted the only reason the comedy shows don't make fun of President Barack Obama is because he's “a little too damn competent and we ain't used to that.”

Earlier in the day, some of the participants delivered stand-up acts and's “page 2" recounted this “joke” from Scheft: “Former Vice President Dick Cheney -- I actually don’t have a joke here, I just like to say former Vice President Dick Cheney.”

As NewsBusters reported Monday, comedians just can't bring themselves to poke fun at Barack Obama.

This problem apparently is troubling CBS "Late Show" host David Letterman:

The challenge for us here at the "Late Show": what are we going to do to make fun of the President, because that's what we do, we take cheap shots at the President. And, we didn't know what to do the first four years of Clinton. We thought, "Wow, what's going on there?" And BINGO, in comes the heavy set intern, and BOOM. That was great. And then Bush proved to be another mother lode, I mean, what a rich deep vein that was. But now we're, thank you, but we don't know what to do with Barack Obama because he comes in and he hits the ground running, and whether he's doing anything good, he's at least doing stuff. He's gone crazy, he's always doing stuff. And I said, "Oh, God, I'm going to have to go back to telling toothpaste jokes."

Realizing this wouldn't be good, Letterman got one of his writers to finally come up with some Obama jokes, but as you'll see from the embedded video below the fold, they all bashed -- wait for it!!! -- Bush (h/t Hot Air):

One would think it's bad host etiquette to call your guest a goon.

Yet, David Letterman on Tuesday's "Late Show" did exactly that to Fox News's Bill O'Reilly.

He also told the "Factor" host, "You're too smart to believe what you say." 

All in all, it was a friendlier encounter than we've seen in the past with the following notable lowlights (video part I embedded right, part II below the fold):

At the taping late Monday afternoon of CBS's Late Show, host David Letterman asked guest Katie Couric about “this bonehead Rush Limbaugh,” prompting Couric to plead: “Dave, don't do this to me, please! Don't do this to me.” But Letterman was just getting rolling with insults as he asserted Limbaugh's attire on Saturday at CPAC made him look “like an Eastern European gangster.” Focusing on Limbaugh's physical appearance, Letterman recited how Limbaugh's “got the black jacket on, the black silk shirt and it's unbuttoned, like, 'oh yeah, when you think Rush Limbaugh, you think ooh let's see a little flesh.'”

CBS posted the exchange as the “Big Show Highlight” preview for Monday's show. It's now the lead video in rotation on the Late Show's home page where it is displayed under the “Rush in the Flesh” heading. You can also view the Flash video clip from this interior page. [Update: video added to this post]

Audio: MP3 audio clip which matches the video clip (32 secs, 200 Kb).

Marveling on Monday's Late Show about how people were lining up during the inauguration “to buy merchandise with any depiction” of President Barack Obama, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams expressed his pleasure at seeing so many people “that excited about our new chief executive after a line of what the ordinary voter would maybe describe as bad choices or choices of evils, for years, generations.”

All the Presidents going back for “generations” before Obama were “evil”? Williams likely meant to say past presidential victors were seen as the “lesser of two evils,” but a greater percent of voters cast their ballot for Ronald Reagan in 1984 (58.7%) -- when plenty of Americans outside the media were excited about re-electing that President -- and George Bush in 1988 (53.7%) than chose Obama (52.8%).

Williams soon insisted “none” of his personal excitement over Obama's presidency “is about a party” since, he quite seriously maintained, “none of us have a party in my line of work. We all try to call balls and strikes down the center.” Yet, Williams proceeded to trumpet how “we have a dazzling family in the White House. I don't think they take a bad picture” and tout how Obama “has an enormous brain. He's a hugely capable man.” Then, the “down the center” Williams endorsed Obama's “stimulus” plan: “If we can rebuild the United States, which everybody agrees it needs doing, and put these people to work, use that trillion dollars to help fellow citizens who are going to have it rough in these coming months and years...”

During this week, NBC’s Tonight Show host Jay Leno took a couple of noteworthy jabs at the anti-Bush mainstream media in America, on Monday joking that the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President Bush was "offered his own show on MSNBC," and on Tuesday quipping that "he was so anti-Bush, at first people just assumed he was an American journalist."

By contrast, CBS’s Late Show host David Letterman used the episode to jab Fox News as he cracked on Tuesday that the "hot head" Iraqi journalist with "poor journalistic skills" was "offered his own show on Fox News." Below are transcripts of the relevant comments from this week’s Tonight Show on NBC and the Late Show on CBS:

Did you know that the election of Barack Obama is the most historic moment in American history?

You didn't?

Well, it is according to "Desperate Housewives" star Teri Hatcher, who during a discussion about her butt -- what is it about liberals and gluteus maximi? -- actually told David Letterman so (video embedded below the fold, those disinterested in hearing her talk about her rearend should forward to 2:00):

No place is safe from expressions from foreigners pleased by Barack Obama's election. On Monday's Late Show, in the midst of demonstrating how to prepare a recipe for squid, British chef Jamie Oliver paused to tell David Letterman: 
Can I just say, on behalf of all the people of England, congratulations on your new President. We like him very much.
Letterman replied: “Oh, that's nice to hear. Thank you very much.”

Obama-supporting actor Alec Baldwin was David Letterman's guest on CBS's "Late Show" Wednesday evening, and actually had nice things to say about Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

As Letterman moved the discussion towards Baldwin's cameo appearance with Palin on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" a few weeks ago, the "30 Rock" star said, "She was lovely," and told Dave a delightful story about what she said when they first met:

She said to me, (imitating Palin) "'I've been talking to your (conservative) brother Stephen and we've been chatting, trying to figure out how to knock some sense into you."

Although the interview with Letterman did include some Bush, McCain, and Palin bashing -- what would you expect -- it did have some delightful moments that NewsBusters readers should enjoy (video embedded below the fold):

Appearing on Tuesday's Late Show, Josh Brolin, who plays George W.

align="right"Catching up with an item from a few days ago: Barry Sonnenfeld, a movie director (Men in Black) and now the Emmy-winning executive producer and director of ABC's dramady Pushing Daisies, predicted on Wednesday's Late Show that amongst the things he's “worried” President Bush will do before leaving office is “go out by pushing the button and destroying all life on Earth.” That was too much for David Letterman, hardly a Bush fan (in June he asked if Bush has “any humanity?”), who responded: “It's just a little bleaker than I would have hoped for -- the idea that he would actually detonate the planet in a moment of despair.”

Sonnenfeld, who speculated about Bush hiding bin Laden, also wondered why Americans wouldn't vote for the “really smart” Barack Obama over John McCain who “finished second to last in his graduating class in college” and Sarah Palin, who “went to five different colleges,” and so “I'm thinking maybe she's got other talents than intelligence.” 

With some mix of seriousness and humor you can judge yourself by watching the video clip (though how funny is it to joke about the President as some kind of religious zealot out to murder millions?), Sonnenfeld told Letterman he's “worried since it's October that George Bush will do one of three things: Either find bin Laden, who've they've had somewhere for eight months waiting to bring out” or “let's start a war with Iran. That's always a possibility.” Then:

And here's the third thing -- and I don't know much about the Bible and I'm not a big rapture guy -- but I believe George Bush is and what better way, if your polls are so bad, than to go out by pushing the button and destroying all life on Earth?

Audio: MP3 clip (2:05, 750 Kb)

align="right'Perfectly encapsulating the coastal left's blind derision of Sarah Palin as an inexperienced “beginner” and thus unqualified, when the very same smart aleck cheap shots about her could be directed at the man with whom they have fallen in love, Barack Obama, David Letterman on Friday night asked guest Brian Williams if the nation can risk “a beginner in the passenger seat” (what about in the driver's seat?) and, in a sexist cheap shot, imitated Palin adjusting her hair during a 9/11 crisis as he impersonated her voice: “How's my hair?” That led an uncomfortable Williams to lean back and sigh, prompting Letterman to acknowledge “that's unfair. I'm sorry.”

Letterman, however spent the first half of Friday's Late Show before Williams came out and most of his time with Williams ridiculing Palin, and McCain for choosing her. Though the NBC Nightly News anchor Williams tried to separate himself from the remarks, and made some gentle counter-points as he preferred to joke about how he's the only one of the three anchors yet to get an interview with Palin, Williams never made the obvious point that much of Letterman's upset over Palin's inexperience could be directed to the top of the competing ticket. Or certainly could have been when he emerged last year as a candidate, but was not.

Audio: MP3 clip (1:20, 500 Kb)