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Dead Tree Alert: Dave in the Hot Seat

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Illustration by Francisco Caceres for Time

Illustration by Francisco Caceres for Time

Because I am a TV critic and it is the law, my column in this week’s TIME is about David Letterman, where the scandal may go from here and how Dave is unlike (and like) the politicians he jokes about. Thus it re-encapsulates some of the things I’ve been writing about Letterman here this week, as well as during his June dust-up with Sarah Palin. The big-picture part of which has to do with the politicization of pretty much every cultural controversy in America:

Whether Letterman rises or falls, he is guaranteed his own chapter in the Holy Book of Partisan Grievance, that august tome through which, with every new controversy, culture warriors feverishly flip for examples of the other side’s hypocrisy. You wanted Imus fired for what he said! Well, you defended Limbaugh for his drug use! What about Bill Clinton! What about Newt Gingrich! Dan Rather! Mel Gibson! On and on, back through time, like warring ethnic clans tracing the righteousness of their spite to payback for the reprisal for an atrocity in the 13th century…

If you’re not exhausted with the scandal (which I wouldn’t blame you for), you can read the rest here.