Jewish World Review Jan. 9, 2006 / 9 Teves 5766
David Letterman and the culture war
Even though the war on terror dominates the headlines, the
culture war in America is almost as intense. On one side you have
traditionalists, people who believe the country was well-founded, does
mostly good things, and has become the most powerful nation on earth by
adhering to Judeo-Christian principles like generosity, justice, and
On the other side of the culture war are the
secular-progressives (S-P's) who believe that the USA is fundamentally a
flawed country, which has caused considerable misery both within and
our borders. The S-P's want drastic change and a new direction for America.
The two most intense issues in the culture war right now are
to deal with terrorism and what role spirituality should play in the public
The S-P's want little or no public displays of God or religion.
That's what drove the attacks on Christmas images and traditions; knock
the big Christian holiday, and the secularists achieve a big victory.
On the terror front, traditionalists largely want aggressive
action to wipe out the "evildoers," and if lraq is the battlefield, then so
Secular-progressives are appalled by the Iraq war and generally
believe the USA has no right to act unilaterally to hunt down terrorists or
So the stage was set for my recent appearance on the David
Letterman show. I am a traditionalist; Mr. Letterman tends to mock
traditionalists. And he often does it very well.
|FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER|
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Our discussion began with the Christmas controversy. Dave did
not see it as a big deal. When I pointed out the absurdity of a library in
Memphis, Tennessee OK'ing a manger scene but then telling the woman
it that she had to remove Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the three Wise Men, Dave
said he did not believe the story. And, generally, that was the opinion of
the liberal media: There was no Christmas controversy -- the whole thing
fabricated by religious zealots bent on establishing a theocracy.
Dave's skepticism must have come as a surprise to Memphis
resident Brandi Chambless, the woman ordered to remove statues of the Holy
Family and their visitors from the East. But, hey, the shepherds could
staring into an empty stable.
The subject quickly shifted to Iraq, a conflict both Letterman
and I believe has been poorly managed. We also found common ground on the
terrific performance of the U.S. military.
But then Cindy Sheehan came up. Uh-oh.
Dave, as well as many in the entertainment community, feels
Ms. Sheehan should not be criticized. He believes she is above reproach
because her son, Casey, was killed in Iraq.
I do not see it that way, so sparks flew. My contention is that
Ms. Sheehan is entitled to grieve and dissent in any way she wants, but her
grief is being exploited by far-left elements.
And when Ms. Sheehan told Mark Knoller, a correspondent for CBS
radio, that the terrorists in Iraq were "freedom fighters," she insulted
thousands of other Americans who lost loved ones in Iraq.
Simply put, terrorists who blow up civilians, women and
are not freedom fighters in any sense. They are murderers, and I called Mr.
Letterman on Sheehan's support of them.
I hope you saw the program. It was a rare display of the
war on television. I told Dave I respected his views and he should respect
mine. I enjoyed the joust.
By far more important, is the wake-up call many late-night
viewers got. We in America are becoming a deeply divided country along
cultural lines. The more we all understand what the issues are, the better.
The culture war is real, and now, everybody watched Letterman that evening
Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the
Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author
of, most recently, "Who's Looking Out for You?" Comments by clicking here.
Bill O'Reilly Archives
© 2004 Creators Syndicate