Donald Trump has been almost everywhere on television over the past year as a result of his Presidential campaign, and when you stop and think about the late-night landscape, it’s a shame that David Letterman is no longer the host of a show. This is no slight to current “The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert, who did a fine job interviewing the candidate earlier this year. It’s a little more of a burn against current “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon, who gave a widely-panned interview earlier this fall where he was criticized for throwing a series of softballs at the candidate for him to answer.
Letterman was known for his biting and at-times wonderfully uncomfortable interviews (take a look at what he did to Paris Hilton or Justin Bieber during his time on the show), and based on what he told the New York Times in a rare interview, he would have hit Trump hard with a question right away about Trump’s mocking of reporter Serge Kovalesk:
“I would have said something like, ‘Hey, nice to see you. Now, let me ask you: what gives you the right to make fun of a human who is less fortunate, physically, than you are?’ And maybe that’s where it would have ended. Because I don’t know anything about politics. I don’t know anything about trade agreements. I don’t know anything about China devaluing the yuan. But if you see somebody who’s not behaving like any other human you’ve known, that means something. They need an appointment with a psychiatrist. They need a diagnosis and they need a prescription.”
Trump was a frequent target of humor for Letterman while he was on the air, but he claims in the interview that he never took him altogether seriously beyond just a billionaire who was a part of the fabric of New York. After he announced he was running for President, Letterman claimed that many decided that many decided to continue considering his candidacy a joke — perhaps to their own detriment:
“Right out of the box, he goes after immigrants and how they’re drug dealers and they’re rapists. And everybody swallows hard. And they think, oh, well, somebody’ll take him aside and say, ‘Don, don’t do that.’ But it didn’t happen.”
Regardless of your political affiliation, it’s easy to say that we’re missing out on good TV with this interview not taking place.
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