Talk:Late Show with David Letterman

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(Various topics begun with talk contribs that, from 2006 to 2013, erroneously appeared in the section "The Letterman Monologue after 9-11")[edit]

The contents of the following subsections were
(at various times from 2002 to 2006) posted in the absence of any section headings on this talk page, or
(at various times from 2006 to 2011) added erroneously within said "... Letterman Monologue..." section
(or conceivably moved, after posting in their original sections, into that section).
Today, i retrofitted more or less appropriate subsection headings.--Jerzyt 08:58, 31 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(Early article text)[edit]

I wrote the text. I have no problems with it. But.. it included a lot of information about Late Night with David Letterman - much of which was on both pages. So I was making an effort to separate the information between the two pages. -Jazz77 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:55, 11 November 2002‎

(Bit players)[edit]

The article now makes mention of the various 'extras' on the Letterman show - Biff Henderson, Stephanie Birkitt etc. Now I've always assumed that these were actors playing the part of assistants - i.e. Biff never really does any behind the scenes work. Does anyone know if this is actually the case? DJ Clayworth 15:07, 3 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I think you'd find that extras are actors who have no lines, or are mentioned in the script only as part of a crowd -- even if some wordings are suggested or specified in the script. Thus i think (while there's no reason AFAIK to think Biff and Steph, at least, are not stage manager, and "asst" (is Steph the name of the producer (line producer?) with the desk just off-camera at audience-right?) or writer, respectively, in addition to their on-stage appearances), it is wrong to call them "extras".
BTW, in thinking about this, one should bear in mind the similarity of the woman on Letterman whom i speak of, and the jacketless male producer, seated at a desk kind of among the audience (and perhaps calling camera cuts), on Ferguson (another Worldwide Pants production), whom Craig addresses (perhaps ad lib as he at least pretends) probably at least once a week. I'm inclined to believe that both of them are controlling aspects of the show (including cuts from camera to camera) in real time, and that being heard speaking to them is a parallel to breaking the fourth wall: a flouting of the conceit that television performances flow effortlessly, in effect magically, from performer to viewer, much like the conceit that an actor is the character, who by convention is supposedly unaware of the presence of the observing audience.
--Jerzyt 08:58, 31 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I erased the remark concerning the Ed Sullivan theater's "proximity" to the World Trade Center. They were not "close" beyond the fact that they were both on the same island: The WTC was at the end of Manhattan while the Ed Sullivan Theater is in Midtown. The big deal was that Dave was broacasting from New York when everyone was still a nervous wreck, not because he was partically nearby the WTC. --Feitclub 19:41, Sep 27, 2004 (UTC)


When does the show actually screen on US TV? Dysprosia 05:17, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • Monday to Friday at 11:35:00pm to 12:37:30am on CBS Television Xm2631 — Preceding undated comment added 09:14 & altered [twice] :15, 25 August 2005
So why not mention that in the article?--Lakonislate (talk) 13:30, 9 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I currently uploaded an image of the show's logo graphic. I would've have liked to see an image from the actual opening sequence of the show. A transparent logo would be better. If anyone has one, feel free to change it. Xm2631 — Preceding undated comment added 09:13 & [saved twice within the minute] :15, 25 August 2005

Where did the Lseleven.gif image come from? I do not think it is appropriate for the site. There was no special "11th Anniversary" episode of the Late Show, so having that image is bound to create confusion. The logo is a nearly verbatim copy of the Late Night (not Late Show) logo, and using such a logo is bound to create even more confusion in an article about the Late Show. From what I know, no Late Night-esque logo has ever been used on the Late Show. Also, I'm guessing that the logo was created by some random fan out there, not by CBS or Worldwide Pants. Personally, I think there is no reasonable choice but to remove the logo. --Rookkey 02:08, 27 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Letterman Monologue after 9-11[edit]

The link to the video of Dave giving the monologue on the first post-9/11 "Late Show" no longer works. Perhaps someone can put a link to the transcript of the monologue instead. -- Jalabi99 07:20, 18 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Done. -- Jalabi99 03:42, 20 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Janet Jackson[edit]

The article says this: "When asked by Letterman about the incident she said "Jesus Christ" and had to be censored. If the incident had not occurred, this phrase may not have been blocked and yet it was due to a five second delay ordered by CBS."

Can someone tell me for what reason a taped show would need a five-second delay as they have a 6-hour delay between tape and air? —  MusicMaker 17:12, 14 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You're absolutely right, and the article should be edited to reflect this, which kind of defeats the purpose of mentioning her appearance at all. Should it be removed completely?Locano 04:57, 23 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I actually disagree with the removal, as it was just days after her infamous Superbowl performance, and it was her first appearance after the halftime show anyway.Thankyoubaby 05:55, 13 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If we're going to remove it, let's go all the way and get rid of that weird broken image that says "Janet Jackson on Letterman". I, however, think it was a pretty memorable interview, although I'm not certain how much publicity it got. Sir Lemming 14:37, 11 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Late Show Bear"[edit]

What happened to it? I haven't seen anybody put away the "Late Show Bear" for a while... ViperBite 15:12, 21 June 2006 (UTC) They probably just dropped it for a little while. -- 04:29, 29 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Um...somebody tagged the section for merge, but there's no discussion. So, I'll start it. I support a move of "late show guests" form Letterman's bio to the Late show article. --MPD01605 (T / C) 04:13, 20 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Support. This article should be about the person and not about the show. --Maitch 20:30, 16 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I removed the following sentence from this section:

"At one point in her interview she crawled on the studio floor on all fours calling for an imaginary cat."

I don't seem to recall this ever happening on that night. But unless someone can provide proof, I don't think it should be in the article.

--Lc 04 00:48, 23 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I did a quick search for keywords. The only mention of the act above is the Wikipedia article. PrometheusX303 12:33, 23 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I just saw the interview in YouTube and there is no such a floor crawling. Letterman didn't thank her for "almost being here", he said "thanks for being here" as he often does. Carlosp420 06:22, 28 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, Dave did say this, but at the very end of the show before the credits before he said Goodnight. --Lc 04 02:28, 29 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The next host[edit]

What will we do when David stops being the host of this show? Will we just start a new article called "The Late Show with (name of Host)"? Or will we move it to the new name? Just curious about this...--Chile14 03:40, 1 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Probably the same as The Tonight Show. That article gives a brief overview, but there are more detailed presentations at The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Interestingly, there is no The Tonight Show with Steve Allen to cover 1954 - 1957 or The Tonight Show with Jack Paar to cover 1957 - 1962. --rogerd 04:35, 1 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It would be wisest to wait until the new host and title are announced in any case, but it will be awhile before Dave leaves. After all, after Late Night With David Letterman, it's been Late Night With Conan O'Brien... and the full title of the Steve Allen Tonight Show was Tonight, at least originally, while Jack Paar's edition was Tonight Starring Jack Paar. 16:24, 26 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Characters, possibly recurring[edit]

Does anyone know about that lady who sometimes shows up at the Late Show. She seems to look Korean, and is the costume designer for the show. She usually likes to disrupt the show by sitting down on the couch, putting on make up in front of the camera, or giving Dave some water during that hot day. Does anybody have a clue about what I'm talking about? I can't find her in any of our articles.--Edtalk c E 14:22, 18 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

you're a tool. you sound like a tool. and she's just one of many random comedy bits involving the show's staff. and "that hot day" proper or parallel grammar with the rest of that sentence. no one likes a knob who can't speak their own native language. and don't assume she's korean. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:30, 2 September 2006
Dave calls her "Sue" and she interrupts almost every night these days, always ending in her yelling an insult and storming off. There is also a guy who interrupts Dave's monologue a lot, and there were some skateboarders at one point. Clearly a decision has been made to add more of these random characters to recent shows. There are sometimes people who show up outside the window behind his desk. It's fun. A mention could go in the show "sketches" category. Rugz 06:01, 29 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
She's Sue Hum, costume designer for the show. "The guy who interrupts" is Johnny Dark. Fitfatfighter 09:41, 28 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pat Farmer[edit]

Not the politician, Pat Farmer of The Late Show. What is he, staff? He normally does the "special reports". "Bird-Flu" and "Behind Pirates of the Carribean 2". Both of them he ends up dying. --Yancyfry jr 04:12, 7 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I believe he is usually referred to as a stagehand. --taestell 01:21, 8 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pat Farmer should be mentioned. He goes out does special reports on things and dies during it. -- 04:06, 22 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Guest Hosts?[edit]

Since it's a relative rarity to have Late Night without Letterman, wouldn't it be a good idea to mention the guest hosts (especially after the bypass surgery)? None of those episodes had "the greatest city in the world" in their opening, either. 16:17, 26 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think a piece on Bruce Willis's transformation from guest to host during the heart attack would fit in well here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ‎ (talk) 15:44, 2 February 2007

Memorable episodes[edit]

The stuff in this section is basically the same as part of the David Letterman article (like the heart surgery / February 21's episode sections). I'm not sure what should be done, eg. whether there should be two concurrent pieces or whether one should link to the other. Specifically, the Heart Surgery part of David Letterman vs. the February 21, 2001 'memorable episode' of the Late Show with David Letterman. The latter has less information than the Heart Surgery bit, and I don't think there's any sense in that. — mæstrosync talk&contribs, 00:54, 8 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Michael Richards' apology is not important enough to include on this page! A few weeks from now no one will even care or remember it. It is insignificant to the show. It should be completely removed. What do you think? Rugz — Preceding undated comment added 21:24, 22 November 2006‎

How can the Crispin Glover episode not be mentioned? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:17, 12 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Richard Simmons[edit]

He has had a fairly long history with the show, a mention of him in the article seems appropriate. 05:06, 1 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Definitely. Sir Lemming 14:38, 11 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't think that was Tom Brokaw[edit]

However, Letterman did not let NBC have the final laugh on the matter. On the very first show, after Letterman was introduced, Tom Brokaw accompanied him on stage and wished him luck "within reason". Brokaw then proceeded to retrieve a pair of cue cards stating that "These last 2 jokes are the intellectual property of NBC!", and carried them off stage. As I recall, that was Marv Albert. Does someone know for sure?--Idols of Mud 17:32, 9 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It was definately Tom Brokaw Rugz 19:49, 9 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Australian Telecast[edit]

A LOT of this page is dedicated to expaining the Australian broadcasts of the show, which is totally useless to anybody outside Australia. I think the entire section should either be deleted or a similar section created for every country it is broadcast in. (I favour the former). ChefEm 10:35, 22 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Letterman vs. Leno[edit]

There is no discussion of how Letterman trounced Leno when he move to CBS and how Leno managed to regain the lead? Mark83 00:48, 8 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Guest Hosts[edit]

Wasn't there a something on this page to do with guest hosts when Letterman was ill or something?
Cause I know Paul has hosted, as well as Drew Carey and just recently, Adam Sandler and Motzaball...
Mosdefau2 14:10, 21 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Great moments in presidential speeches ;; who is doctored into the image?[edit]

If you are familiar with this segment "Great moments in presidential speeches" ... take a close look at the clip of the Inaugural address of John F. Kennedy. At the extreme right, there is a man who is clearly "doctored in" to the video. Who is this man? dr.ef.tymac 07:11, 24 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Late Show announcer Alan Kalter. - Mike Beckham 07:18, 24 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Usually, yes, it's either Kalter or Costume Designer Sue Hum... but there was a new guy in there last night. Lambertman 11:48, 24 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
...who wasn't Tony Mendez. Lambertman 03:49, 26 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Small Town News[edit]

I don't think it can really be argued that Leno is much more known for his "Headlines" bit than Letterman is for his "Small Town News."

Does anyone know how far back Small Town News goes? I'm guessing he did it during "Late Night," but I'm not sure if it actually precedes Headlines, which I assume he did during his guest-host stints for Carson.

And I'm curious if anyone has any speculation as to why the Late Show has decided to regularly have Small Town News air on the same night as Headlines. Km9000 23:38, 1 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, that is my point. You think the Leno bit is more notable than the Letterman one, probably because you watch Leno. My wife and I have been watching the "Small Town News" bit on Letterman for years without realizing that Leno has something similar, because we can't stand Leno and don't ever watch him. Why don't we just note that they are similar routines and leave out any opinion about which one is better known. I also looked at The Tonight Show with Jay Leno article and saw that there was no reference to the Letterman bit in that article. --rogerd 01:50, 2 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Small Town News preceded headlines by at least 6 or 7 years. Dave was doing Small Town News on his morning show in 1980 even before he did it on Late Night. Leno didn't begin guest hosting for Carson until 1986. NIST91 17:20, 26 May 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]
   Dave had been on NBC doing "Late Late..." immediately following Carson, and a lot of us expected him to succeed Carson. But when Carson retired (one suspects NBC might have preferred to stick with Dave, but that NBC was willing to give him a better combination of $ and artistic control) NBC end up giving "Carson's show" to Leno, and Dave went to CBS. NBC insisted that most of the running jokes Dave had created were their intellectual property -- probably rightly, since NBC got paid to let him continue doing Top Ten over on CBS.
   CBS gave him two things he apparently really wanted:
-- he could set up his own production company (Worldwide Pants) to produce the show (so everything was WP's IP, not the network's), and
-- basing the show in NYC instead of SoCal. (I don't recall whether he did a Top Ten on the last page of the NYTimes Sunday Magazine before or after the breakup, but the category was Ways That NYC Could Be Better; one was that there would be a place to get the news, that would get greasy ink all over your hands -- which at the time WAS already true of the NYT. In any case, i think "... from New York, the greatest city in the world" is something he believes in his gut.)
But a lot of his stock-in-trade wasn't so clear cut, or perhaps so worth threatening to litigate over; it might be worth researching -- is obviously fake news a humor genre that goes back to "humorist, social commentator ..." Will Rogers? Or Mark Twain (who spoke of current events under discussion "even in Podunk")?
   There could still be room for further research to add to the article, if this hasn't already been reflected there.
--Jerzyt 10:07, 31 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Widescreen in HD[edit]

Ok, so I know that the HD show is broadcast in widescreen, but was the show ever broadcast in widescreen before that, like on standard def digital tv? I would like to add that the show also changed to widescreen as a standard when they changed to HD, but I'm not positive if the first HD broadcast of this show was indeed the first widescreen broadcast too JayKeaton 18:53, 27 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When Dave announced on the show that they were now broadcasting in HD, they would make some jokes about the fact that they were now seen in widescreen as well (like the HD cameo, where a walk-on guest could only be visible on the edge of a wide screen). Not a definitive answer, but since they got new cameras for the switch-over, I'd have to assume that the previous ones would've had to be regular 4:3 anyway.Km9000 07:30, 26 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Is there any source for calling the segments of the show "Acts"? To my knowledge, they've always been called "segments". Furthermore, the "audience sweep" lasts for all of 15 seconds: I don't think it could properly be called an "Act". 07:23, 5 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On Mike McIntee's "Wagoo Gazette" official online recap, he breaks the show down by "acts," and includes the audience sweep as its own act. Nothing wrong with calling them "segments," but if it's good enough for McIntee, I figured it's good enough for Wikipedia.Km9000 03:26, 25 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Names of often played musical pieces in the show?[edit]

I was searching for a list of songs often played before/after commercial breaks without luck. Could this be included into the article?— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:13, 24 July 2007‎

I don't really think that that would be an exclusive list. Paul is pretty good about switching up the music; I don't think he plays any songs more frequently than any others. —  MusicMaker5376 00:12, 25 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Musical Guest Insulted Letterman On Air?[edit]

Does anyone remember an episode, probably from the early 90s, where a musical guest insulted Letterman right after performing a song, on air? I vaguely remember the insult sounded kind of "British", something along the lines of "you wanker" or "you tosser". I think the band had wanted to play a cover song, but they weren't allowed to or something along those lines. 02:09, 10 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Notable Episodes changes...[edit]

I had originally added Top Twelve code into the Memorable Episodes section. Someone else then amended the section to Notable Episodes. This code has been removed as someone decided the change to the Top Ten didn't compare to Sept 11 or Carson's death. My take on this is who decides on what is a Notable Episode? What are the critera and who is deciding on behalf of Wikipdia? Especially since this section has been amended to Notable Episodes. The Top Ten list has been a staple of the show since its beginning. It was mentioned on the show's website how big a change it was; Letterman himself mentioned on the show that night how big it was. Is this Notable? Yes, and I'd like to re-add it.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Starn1973 (talkcontribs) 14:19, 19 September 2007‎ - Starn1973.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Starn1973 (talkcontribs) 14:20, 19 September 2007‎

The community as a whole decides what is notable. You're comparing the modification of a comedy bit (and a resultant list that was about as painfully unfunny as any celebrity-presented Top Ten ever has been) to major events that transcend the show and affected Dave and many of his viewers on a personal level. And, despite what Dave - who's been known to exaggerate/shovel a load o' crap for comic effect - or the website may say, the length of the Top Ten has been screwed with before: there were a long series of Top 11 lists ("Top Ten Extra!") and at least one Top Nine. Lambertman 22:23, 19 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fair use rationale for Image:Lshowtitle cleaned.png[edit]

Image:Lshowtitle cleaned.png is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

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BetacommandBot (talk) 20:09, 2 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Notable Guests Split[edit]

The section is fairly lengthy, and it probably could use its own article just to make the Late Show article a little neater. Since someone has suggested it be merged but the topic hasn't been discussed, here's a new discussion. If no one rejects the idea, I'll go ahead and split the section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Googolme (talkcontribs) 17:32, 5 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

PS. I went ahead and split the section Googolme (talk) 18:35, 21 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Then perhaps you should point to a page that actually exists. Then again, I haven't looked, somebody could've edited this on the main page. -- (talk) 03:47, 31 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Episode Structure should include 1993 - 2008[edit]

The section on "Episode Structure" is now slanted toward current shows. It should be rewritten to be all-inclusive of every show from 1993 to 2008 because things were a lot different in the early days. For example "Act 5" audience sweep didn't occur until several years into the show when Letterman stopped doing his own gags during that break. Also need to mention the original announcer Wendell in the "Act 1" segment as Kalter didn't start until 1995. Phrases such as "on most nights" and "often consists" should be removed from these section to make it more encyclopedic. Rugz (talk) 22:37, 21 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The billboard[edit]

I don't think the billboard item is quite right. I remember that Jay Leno put up a billboard on top of a building near Times Square with his picture saying "We're #1!". Since his show originates from L.A., this could only have been a direct attempt to annoy Letterman. To show he couldn't care less, Dave put up a billboard with his picture and the slogan "We're #2!". But maybe there was also a billboard some other time that said "We're #3!". Does anybody have a citation for any of this?Slobone (talk) 08:07, 30 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Late Show redirection[edit]

The Late Show redirects to this page. It shouldn't, as there's an Australian TV program called The Late Show which ran from 1992-1993, produced by the national free to air network, ABC-TV.

Instead, The Late Show should ideally go to a disambiguation stub, as I'm sure there would have been other programs with this title too. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:42, 3 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re: my reversion[edit]

I stated in my edit summary that "Madonna is mentioned elsewhere in the article", which I thought was true. Was the section deleted, or am I imagining its prior existence? - Dudesleeper / Talk 10:05, 14 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm fairly certain that Madonna had always been in the Notable Episodes section. It should probably be reinstated, as it was fairly big news at the time. —  MusicMaker5376 15:04, 14 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, there was a separate section a couple of months ago, but someone (not me) incorporated it into the Notable Episodes. A good idea, methinks. —  MusicMaker5376 15:05, 14 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've reinstated it since there isn't a discussion about its removal on here. - Dudesleeper / Talk 15:48, 14 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Cool/Not Cool[edit]

Has the "Cool/Not Cool" segment replaced "Great Moments in Presidential Speeches", or are they alternated? - Dudesleeper / Talk 14:11, 20 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've been getting to bed earlier lately, but I've only seen "Cool/Not Cool" the one time. — MusicMaker5376 17:35, 20 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There has been at least threethis one dated June 18 – , and i think it was the only Bush pisstake in last night's show, which prompted my question. - — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dudesleeper (talkcontribs) 18:36 & :37, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Alan Kalter's celebrity guest[edit]

Can anyone find sources (preferably more than one) that says that this frequently included segment has gone far beyond running gag to the point where it has become tedious beyond belief? This really needs to be made known. I've got to the point of changing channels whenever it comes on. Koro Neil (talk) 10:55, 29 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Joaquin Pheonix?[edit]

Is Joaquin Phoenix's appearance notable on here? Lazylaces (Talk to me) 04:47, 13 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm not a huge fan of the notable appearances thing. In a strange way, it might be construed as point-of-view. For example, someone who was watching the show who has issues similar to Phoenix wouldn't have thought his appearance odd. Kind of a stretch, but it's just my opinion. - Dudesleeper / Talk 00:27, 14 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well it became notable due to the ensuing media coverage, about whether or not it was all a big put-on. Similar to the current Palin brouhaha. Speaking of which... Tarc (talk) 15:29, 15 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Palin incident[edit]

It has probably earned enough coverage now for a brief mention here, as there has been much talk and coverage of the event in recent weeks. I'd very much like to pry it off the main Dave Letterman article, as it has more to do with something that happened on the show rather than with him personally. Thoughts? Tarc (talk) 15:28, 15 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Since someone already tried to paste it in, I fixed it up and restored the citations. So, here we are. Tarc (talk) 13:00, 16 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Whether this section deserves to be in the article or not is a subject for legitimate debate. However, if it is going to be included, having the article saying that Palin accepted Letterman's apology, without including any context for her remarks -- in which she clearly qualified her acceptance of the apology with other comments -- smacks of editorializing contrary to NPOV. Ithizar (talk) 18:24, 16 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What it "smacks of" are people piling on in this article to get their ideological digs in. There is no reason to include so much verbatim text of who said what. Cover what happened, summarize, and move on. Tarc (talk) 18:26, 16 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Removing the information seems to me to be an attempt to get an "idelogical dig" in. The fact that you feel the matter is now closed and that the apology was openly accepted, and that I feel the controversy still exists and that she was attempting to qualify her statements, proves that there is more than one point of view. Perhaps the solution would be to reword the matter into one or two simple sentences that acknowledge the full breadth of Palin's statement without including detailed quotations? Ithizar (talk) 18:29, 16 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Go create a David Letterman-Sarah Palin controversy article if you feel that strongly about it (but I wouldn't be surprised if such an article would face resistance). Re-hashing the entire episode here is inappropriate. --ZimZalaBim talk 18:34, 16 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have re-edited once more in an attempt to satisfy the points of view being expressed here. I deleted the reference to 'who were visiting New York at the time,' because Letterman insists he was not referring to the daughter who was in New York and therefore such statement seems to promote Palin's POV. I also reworded the sentences about Palin's apology in a way that avoids lengthy direct quotations and yet still preserves NPOV by ensuring that it is noted that her statement was not a simple "apology accepted." If folks here don't find that acceptable, we may have to get some additional comments here because 1 or 2 people on either side does not a concensus make. Ithizar (talk) 18:43, 16 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm not certain this incident will stand the test of time. Is it really such a big deal? WP:RECENTISM could be at play. I think we should remove the entry and wait and see if it is still 'notable' in a few months. Barrylb (talk) 05:22, 17 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I understand your concern, but I think we have to take this in the context of an article about a TV show. This incident may not be something that the general public remembers as a newsworthy article in a few years, but it is certainly notable in the history of the TV show. If the show itself is notable enough to warrant an article, then I feel major events in the history of the show are as well, and an event which caused enough controversy to prompt pickets and calls for the host's firing certainly qualifies. Ithizar (talk) 17:20, 17 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment. Sorry this was not a noteable show but an instance of humor that missed the mark. And unless every joke that also misfires goes in it becomes the very definition of WP:Coatrack and WP:Undue. a month from now this will really be forgotten, let's not abuse an encyclopedia to make a point. -- Banjeboi 20:24, 20 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agree - it's a tabloid story that has no place in encyclopedia. Rugz (talk) 04:29, 21 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The popular reaction is what makes it not a tabloid story. The story itself is brief and briefly summarised: a joke was told that may or may not have confused which daughter was referred to (I say nothing as to its appropriateness without the age aspect, except to say that it was fairly typical of many late night jokes), a high-profile mother was upset, an apology was given. In and of itself, it is a blip on the radar. However (and this is a big however): the popular reaction continues not only to be strong, but also to divide along ideological lines. This is unusual for late night talk shows. Because Sarah Palin represents a particular style of Republicanism, that reaction reflects the degree of support/rejection/irrelevancy: definitely of interest in the first Obama year where Palin still represents a "what if". I looked up this story to see if any advertisers had dropped as a result. Not altogether surprised to find a similar battle going on here (and even moreso on the bio talk page). Incidentally, the talk there is correct insofar as mention belonging here, if anywhere. - Tenebris —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:50, 22 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You raise a good point that it may make sense if shown to actually affect the show. -- Banjeboi 23:27, 22 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are literally thousands of late night jokes which are talked about in the news the following day and beyond. It's what they do. There is nothing about this particular incident that makes it more profound than any other. It did not alter the outcome of an election, nor did it change the course of American history. Just because it is the subject of gossip, even to a fever pitch, does not make it encyclopedic. Use WikiNews if you must. Rugz (talk) 02:59, 23 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Neither doesdid the existence of the Late Show With David Letterman, for that matter. By your argument, Rugz, this entire article has no purpose. Let's not confuse measuring instruments with causality. - Tenebris — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:14, :15, & :17, 23 June 2009‎
Wikinews seems like a fine idea they have rather low standards from what I've seen, soem good editors there but a lot of muck like this finds a happy home there as well. This just seems completely unneeded for this article - a bad joke justifiably seen as unfunny; conservatives are "outraged" because this is just so important and Letterman apologizes, Palin accepts apology and we move on to the next days' news. -- Banjeboi 17:05, 4 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia's notability guidelines state that for a subject to be notable it must have received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the topic being discussed. This topic definitely satisfies those guidelines. It has been covered in numerous reliable, mainstream news outlets, at least three of which have been cited. The fact that it did not alter an election or change the course of American history is irrelevant. This is an article about a television show, not World War II. Madonna's appearance, Letterman's heart surgery, and the "feud" with Oprah Winfrey did not result in major historical events either, but they are notable within the context of discussing the television show. So is this. If we want to discuss removing the entirety of the "Notable Episodes" section, I'll listen to that argument. But as long as the section remains, so should the Palin incident. Ithizar (talk) 03:02, 6 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sorry, WP:OtherStuffExists doesn't support adding negaitive information that seems to violate WP:Undue, WP:NPOV and WP:Undue. This content is already on the Palin article as it lends to her public image. If there is any rliable sources this was more than a blip to this show then present them here so concensus can be determined for using it. -- Banjeboi 04:20, 6 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This article is about the show, not a repository to list it's thousands of controversial jokes which may or may not have received tabloid or entertainment news coverage. Rugz (talk) 18:45, 6 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fine. Then I maintain that the entire "Notable Episodes" section should go, as it is all similar material. Ithizar (talk) 00:18, 7 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In order to meet halfway on the Palin enthusiasts I've moved the text to a new section called "Controversies and Criticisms" and out of "Notable Episodes." I think our standard for "Notable Episodes" should be those episodes which are must-see that one would actually go back to pull the tape to watch again. Rugz (talk) 03:58, 7 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That sounds very reasonable to me, and I appreciate your efforts to find a "middle ground" to allow a consensus to be reached. If others are satisfied with this solution, I am as well. Ithizar (talk) 05:24, 7 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The "must-see" you describe is purely WP:OR. Need a WP:RS to support that kind of analysis ("Some Renowned TV Critic's Top 10 Letterman Episodes", or "10 most watched episodes" based on Arbitron or syndication use or requests for copyright permission to reuse, for example). Making a whole controversies/criticisms is even worse because it highlights this event as the best-known or most extreme example of it. Giving even more weight to this is not the way to compromise with those who think there was already too much. DMacks (talk) 14:43, 7 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I've removed this as still being quite undue and unneeded. This really seems like it's only serving to soapbox about Palin and Letterman in various ways and it's the very definition of recentism. Yes it was the news of the day, because it was controversial and Palin milked it a bit. And then Letterman apologized - ZOMG! And now everyone has moved on to the next day and the next joke and some other trivial scandal. Is there any evidence of this poor joke changing the show itself? In any way? If there is a psecial Palin-focussed episode then perhaps that would be notable and would reference this bad joke when it happens but until then this is just degrading content that makes Wikipedia look like we follow the scandal sheets and blogs. We don't - we aren't a newspaper and we certainly aren't a gossip sheet. This is an encyclopedia. -- Banjeboi 10:39, 7 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ McGevna, Allison (June 11, 2009). "David Letterman Slammed For Sex Jokes About Palin's Teen Daughter". Retrieved 2009-06-14.
  2. ^ a b Saul, Michael (June 11, 2009). "Sarah Palin attacks David Letterman over 'sexually-perverted' joke". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2009-06-14.
  3. ^ "Fire David Letterman cry spurs on serious apology". June 16, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16.
  4. ^ "Letterman Apologizes to Palin for 'Bad Joke'". June 16, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16.
Honestly, it is getting awfully tiring to deal with this issue ping-ponging between this article and the main Letterman article, and it needs to come to a resolution soon. It certainly does not belong on the BLP of David Letterman, and outside of a stray holdout or two, that angle is pretty much dead as far as I'm concerned. For inclusion here, I'm on the fence. Yes, recentism and tabloid-ish, but it may have had a sufficient, if brief, moment in the sun. It isn't a notable episode per se, as it was a one-liner in the opening monologue, and the apology and explanation was given in a subsequent episode, so if kept it'd warrant a new section. It'd also need some significant trimming, keeping to a basic frame of; initial joke --> OMG she's 14 response --> OMG I wasn't taking about the younger one + apology. The protests were insignificant, as were Letterman's use of them for Top 10 material. Tarc (talk) 14:35, 7 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Although I've been a strong supporter of keeping the information, as I do believe it was notable, I want to work constructively with those here toward consensus on this issue. And I can understand your comments about wanting to keep it brief and keep insignificant information out of it. As such, I've gone ahead and removed the information about the protests and about Letterman's subsequent Top 10 lists. Any suggestions on how to further trim the section without eliminating the pertinent facts? Ithizar (talk) 16:35, 7 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with Benjiboi (and now also Tarc, thanks to edit-conflicts) this time it appears to be much ado about very little. Lots of things that do make the news one day are quickly gone and wind up being irrelevant or at best a relatively minor issue for the topic at hand. WP:NTEMP and WP:NNC. It's too much about too little. But I'll qualify by adding ", this time." If and when this proves to be more than flash-in-the-pan one of many controversial jokes, I would certainly support inclusion on the Late Show page. I definitely would not support inclusion on Letterman's page, because this isn't about him personally except that he happened to deliver the joke and host the show that is involved in the issue. DMacks (talk) 14:43, 7 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Mostly concur, and would support including if the issue is shown to somehow have actually influenced this show. I remain unconvinced this was simply just a blip and the flames are being fanned by folks to bring shame on Letterman and Palin - which is not what this encyclopedia is for. In short there remains no consensus to insert this content in any form as of yet. That could change but certainly hasn't yet. Any mention, by the way, would have to be several sentences long to explain sveral aspects thus making it by default too much about too little - ergo WP:Undue. -- Banjeboi 03:44, 8 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have protected the page due to continued warring. There doesn't seem to be a clear enough outcome here yet to conclusively say that this is just reverting against consensus and I note that the IPs that have been reverting have not as yet made any contribution to this discussion. These IPs also have very short SPA contribution histories with similarities both to each other and to other editors in this discussion, all of which points strongly to sockpuppetry. Please establish a firm consensus now here on the inclusion/exclusion of the material. Once that is done further reversion can and will be treated as outright disruption and warring against consensus. If the IPs don't engage and continue warring then the full protection can be dropped to semi. I urge all interested parties to make their case here as the edit warring stops now. Mfield (Oi!) 17:12, 8 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's fairly obvious that the Palin enthusiasts are only interested in making sure Letterman has a stain in his legacy and are not really interested in making a good Wiki article about the show. The man has delivered nearly 100,000 jokes in his career, lighten up. Rugz (talk) 21:19, 8 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What's the point of participating in the discussion here? Everyone claims to be working toward a consensus, but keeps insisting that the page reflect their preferred version while the discussion goes on. Everyone keeps making changes and then insisting that no one else make changes until a consensus is reached. And this is usually how disputes seem to go. No real constructive discussion. Just people digging their feet in the ground and insisting they're way is right. Not to mention comments like the one above questioning the motives of other editors, instead of suggesting ways to reach a consensus. So how does participating here do anything better than just continuing an edit war? Doesn't seem much different to me. (talk) 01:08, 9 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't know that discussions here are always without purpose. A little farther up, I had been involved in a discussion over how to best trim the information, make it short and to the point, and include it in a way that is encyclopedic and would gain consensus. Unfortunately, it seems that others in the discussion are so adamantly opposed to its inclusion that they simply ignored that discussion and kept deleting the information. I still maintain that this satisfies Wikipedia's guidelines for notability, and that it is noteworthy in the context of the television show. Did it alter the course of human history? No. But anytime a talk show host makes a gaffe significant enough to receive mainstream, non-tabloid, national news coverage and be forced into an on-air apology, that is notable in the history of the show. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that others here are willing to even discuss the point. Ithizar (talk) 02:42, 9 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you were that knowledgeable about the show, you would know that this has happened to Letterman hundreds of times before resulting in on-air apologies. Can you name one other time? Why are you not advocating those be mentioned as well? Rugz (talk) 04:11, 9 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, no. The mainstream news folks are notoriously incestuous reporting on quite trivial "scandals" of all sorts; interpreting and guessing meanings into the the most trivial of subjects so they are seen by the viewers as being the best choice for information. Witness the feeding frenzy of every minute aspect of Micheal Jackson's death. Yes, mainstream media discuss this - no it's really not that notable. It hasn't seemed to do anything for this subject, or likely even Palin. -- Banjeboi 03:00, 9 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't know what form the the info about Palin should take, but I do know it needs to be included. Many people close to Palin have mentioned as a contributing factor to her resignation. Wikipedia doesn't leave out information just because it took place in front of a backdrop of popular entertainment and gossip. All the major news networks have covered it, do we now have a higher bar for inclusion than CNN? This incident will resonant as a key indicator of Palin's character. Eventually it will be documented in Wikipedia. The question is how long will we leave the encyclopedia incomplete? Datacharge (talk) 00:14, 12 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Check again. This article is not about Palin's career. It's about the Late Show With David Letterman. Rugz (talk) 02:02, 12 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If something that occurred on the Late Show with David Letterman had an effect on Palin's career, then it is appropriate for the Late Show article. Ithizar (talk) 01:34, 13 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, it's not. Unitanode 02:01, 13 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How did it affect Palin's career? Tarc (talk) 02:24, 13 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So Joaquin Phoenix's interview is worthy of a paragraph but Palin isn't worthy of inclusion. Wikipedia isn't paper. How does it look when people come to this page on Wikipedia and see a glaring omission, something that they have heard a lot about that isn't even mentioned. It certainly doesn't make us look good.Datacharge (talk) 02:35, 13 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"But other stuff!" is never a terribly convincing argument. Tarc (talk) 02:48, 13 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Regarding the "other stuff" argument, remember that according to WP:Other stuff exists, that can be a valid point in a discussion. It might not be too, but the guideline states, among other thing, "sometimes these comparisons are invalid, and sometimes they are valid." It also states, "[w]hen used correctly though, these comparisons are important as the encyclopedia should be consistent in the content that it provides or excludes." That is what is being discused here. Being consistent in the content that we provide or exclude. It does not seem consistent to me to include the vast majority of content currently in the "Notable Episodes" section while rejecting the Palin content as being non-notable because it did not have some drastic impact on the history of the show. Virtually none of the incidents in "Notable Episodes" had such an effect, and that does not seem to be the standard generally employed. Ithizar (talk) 13:57, 13 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As long as this article is longer than a page the Palin incident deserves a mention. Look if your afraid I am some Palin zealot trying to get her name mentioned, let me assure you that's far from the case. I simply want to correct a rather embarrassing gap in Wikipedia's coverage.Datacharge (talk) 02:55, 13 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You've offered no valid sources which support the claim that it has changed Palin's career. Wiki is not for original research or personal opinions, the claim must be sourced from a reliable publication. And you've offered not one reason why this incident supercedes the hundreds of other Letterman jokes/apologies/controversies which got media attention in the last 30 years, none of which are mentioned in this article. If you were truly concerned about missing important information you would go out and source all of those as well, not just Palin. As for your imaginary "gap in Wikipedia's coverage," Wikipedia is not a news agency, go to [| WikiNews] for that. Wikipedia has higher criteria for conclusion, which includes consensus -- that hasn't been reached. Furthermore we're not debating Joaquin Phoenix are we? Rugz (talk) 05:35, 13 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We are not debating Joaquin Phoenix specifically, but what we are debating is what qualifies as notable for the purpose of the "Notable Episodes" section. Discussing other items in that section, such as Joaquin Phoenix, is relevant as Wikipedia guidelines specifically call for us to be consistent in what is or is not included. Right now, this article is not being consistent. Ithizar (talk) 14:00, 13 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Unfortunately I don't have time to fill every gap in Wikipedia's coverage which is why I try to fix the ones I see. I'm not looking for a huge entry just a couple sentences. Can we reach a compromise?Datacharge (talk) 06:42, 13 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you Ithizar I think that does the job quite nicely. Short and to the point. I think it's probably less than 1/20 of the size of the talk page discussion over it.Datacharge (talk) 06:13, 16 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, sorry, if there is evidence this poor joke led to Palin's resigning as govenor - dubious, IMHO - then please post it here so others can see if and what might be useable. As of yet we have no evidence that this was terribly notable at all and mounting concerns that is only being used to disparage Letterman and likely Palin as well. To insert it here we really should have some strong sourcing that the joke impacted this show is some profound way if at all. -- Banjeboi 11:56, 16 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is your opinion and your standard, which you feel that you can continue imposing regardless of the discussion here. It does not gel with what the consensus here has been nor with Wikipedia's policies. Should you insist on reverting these edits, then I feel it is necessary at this point to go to mediation, as the discussions are no longer constructive. Ithizar (talk) 23:54, 16 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So you're saying you don't have any reliable source cite to support the claim that this episode strongly affected Palin and led to Palin's resigning as govenor? It seems this claim (as yet uncited) is the key to why this episode is more notable than other poor-taste jokes (at least according to the recent direction this discussion has gone). Without a cite, "X's action affected Y in the manner of Z" is completely WP:OR in all respects, and WP:BLP forbids WP editors from analyzing people's actions like that or ascribing additional notability to it. DMacks (talk) 00:09, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, I'm saying that whether or not the incident strongly affected Palin does not determine whether it is notable or not. This is not an article about Governor Palin, it is an article about the Late Show with David Letterman. The question is whether the episode was notable in the context of the TV show. And since that episoded garnered nationwide media attention, led to a protest rally, generated a reply from Governor Palin herself as well as from other politicians, resulted in an on-air apology by Letterman, and continues to be referenced in jokes by Letterman to this day, it is indeed notable. (talk) 00:02, 19 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I simply don't understand why some editors are unwilling to have a couple sentences in this article about the Palin incident. Is it really signifigantly less notable than the other episodes mentioned. I am very confused. Doesn't the fact that we have had pages of dialog on this with more than a dozen participants indicate at least a sentence is in order. In my 5 years of using Wikipedia I have never been more confused about an editorial decision. This doesn't make any sense to me. I have never been involved in a mediation request, but I am starting to agree that it might be necessary. There doesn't seem to much give anymore in the discussion. Those against inclusion seem to be unwilling to include this information no matter what compromise is made. As to it's influence on Palin, please read this link: (talk) 02:07, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I read it. What's it supposed to be proving? Letterman's a comedian. He makes jokes about lots of people. Is this joke more notable because Palin and her supporters twisted it to mean something he didn't mean, and had some faux outrage for awhile? I don't think so. We simply can not have sections on every joke Letterman does that makes the butt of that joke angry. Unitanode 02:29, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, a perfect example of trivial mention, sweeping a bunch of these together makes a piles of dust, not a good encyclopedia. And you missed the zinger there - "along with all the other media scrutiny and brickbats thrown her way." Non-partisan sources have been talking about the decision as being a political move to position herself on the national stage so she can freely move around the country and not get bogged down in a state where her influence is - how to put it, tainted by numerous scandals. Let her name Letterman as the reson she quit then you'll have your feeding frenzy. Letterman picks on all politicians and public figures. That Palin tried to milk this and similar incidents into something they weren't only suggests she was planning her "surprise" resignation a while ago. -- Banjeboi 02:29, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The problem I'm having is that the decision for noninclusion seems to be political Benjiboi's remarks are a good example of this. Wikipedia should be as NPOV as possible, you might be right about Palin's motives but that doesn't mean we shouldn't include information about this if we have reliable sources, and thousands of articles in mainstream publications have been published.Datacharge (talk) 02:35, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Your questioning of Benji's motives aside, the number of news articles is not relevant to this discussion. Having a section on this joke, in my view, gives it undue weight. If it was that important to Palin's career, it should be in her article, not this one. It simply does not stand out as notable in the history of The Late Show. Unitanode 02:39, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And it is in her article. -- Banjeboi 02:45, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Aha. I don't watch that article, so I wasn't aware of that. That's all that's really needed, in my view. Unitanode 02:47, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Words explicate motives. Can you really say that this is less notable than the other episode mentioned? And if not why shouldn't it be included if not for political reasons. We could argue all day what I want to know is whether your willing to compromise at all to reach consensus?Datacharge (talk) 02:51, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please stop[edit]

I'm asking you to stop re-inserting this until you have found consensus for inclusion. Unitanode 02:59, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Could you please link to the policy that says it's consensus for inclusion not deletion that matters. It may well be there but I'd like to review it if you have it handy.Datacharge (talk) 03:05, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're now both edit warring and editing in a non-collegial manner. I'm not going to revert you, but don't be surprised if you're blocked for edit-warring, as there's clearly no consensus here to add the information, and it appears that there's at least a majority of editors that are against adding this material. Edit-warring against consensus is really frowned upon. Unitanode 03:18, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, please see this guideline for adding material. The material was added, it was reverted out, and it should be discussed now, instead of you edit-warring to force it into the article. Unitanode 03:22, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I very much hope that more attention is shed on this article. I'm afraid I have to disagree with you on a number of points regarding interpretations of Wikipedia policy and our present conflict.Datacharge (talk) 03:26, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I note with interest that you make no specific points as to your "disagreements" with me regarding policy. You simply can't keep trying to force your views into the article without establishing consensus first. The material is on Wikipedia, it's just in the much more appropriate article, Sarah Palin. Unitanode 03:29, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am afraid the subject of disagreements would be a lengthy one. Please check the Palin article, it's not there.Datacharge (talk) 03:32, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then put it there. And if you honestly think that I am a sockpuppet of Benji, well, I can't help you. Benji and I have had some, well, vociferous disagreements. What you posted in the above diff is completely beyond the pale of rational discussion, and is disruptive in the extreme. Unitanode 03:36, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am sorry I made a mistake, and removed it as soon as I realized. Please accept my apologies. What happened was I clicked on Benji talk page in the discussion and his user page on the edit history and made an idiotic mistake thinking they were different users. Stupid I know. Datacharge (talk) 03:38, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • That explanation doesn't make sense to me. In a discussion you and I were having, you somehow clicked on Benji's talkpage/userpage, and then accused me of being his sockpuppet. Huh?!? Unitanode 03:49, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That wasn't what I was trying to say, I'm sorry if that's the impression I gave. I did not intend that mistaken comment to be directed towards you. Datacharge (talk) 03:50, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Could you clarify then why you accused me of using sockpuppets and who exactly you are accusing of being my socks? -- Banjeboi 18:54, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I really think it belongs in this article as well given the other "notable episodes", though its placement there does alleviate the problem. I'd love to reach consensus. Can you give any ground on this?Datacharge (talk) 03:49, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think so. You see, in the pantheon of Letterman episodes, it's simply not notable, in that it hasn't had any really appreciable effect on the show. The information is where it belongs, in my view. Unitanode 03:51, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think this conversation is going anywhere. I think it's time to bring in outside opinion. As far as effect what about the ratings boost? Datacharge (talk) 03:54, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
An appreciable effect on the show? Show me anywhere in Wikipedia's notability guidelines that such a standard is the one to be used. If it is, then 99% of the other noteable episodes listed should be removed, including last night's Paul McCartney episode, since they haven't had any appreciable effect on the show. I also agree with Ithizar and Datacharge that it's time for some outside opinion/mediation, as there is apparently no consensus to be reached here. (talk) 03:57, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See this. Datacharge asked, and was told explicitly that he should discuss it here (and get consensus) before adding it again. Don't add it again, or the page will likely be protected. Unitanode 04:04, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
LOL. He was told explicitly not to add it? You're now saying 'don't add it again'? Who are you to be telling anyone explicitly or otherwise what they can and cannot do? This is a community project and no one, even administrators, can be dictatorial. There is a legitimate disagreement here, but in the midst of it, several people are trying to simply bully their way to their desired outcome. That's why I think it's time to go outside this group here and get some outside intervention. Otherwise, this silly bickering will continue and the page will just end up protected yet again. Ithizar (talk) 04:47, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
LOL all you like, Ithizar, my point was, he asked for an outside view, the editor looked at the situation, and told him specifically that he needed to try to gather consensus to add it here at the talkpage. The material exists on the project, it just shouldn't be here. Unitanode 04:52, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Correct me if I am wrong but it seems like Unitanode is just deleting rather than reverting to avoid Wikipedia's three revert rule. Is that "legal"? In any case I certainly won't be playing that game.Datacharge (talk) 04:07, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sure you won't. That's all I'll say, as to say more would be untoward. Unitanode 04:14, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not going to because it is a violation of the Wikipedia policy if not in letter than in spirit.Datacharge (talk) 04:16, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Warren Zevon's last performance[edit]

Could someone add something about Warren Zevon's last performance on the Late Show and that he is one of the few 'guests' to ever be the only guest in an entire episode? s —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:24, 29 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Potential sockpuppetry here[edit]

This edit was the IPs first in about 5 days, and followed User:Datacharge's strange accusation that Benji and I were sockpuppeting. This doesn't look good, and I'm considering opening a WP:SPI. I'd like the opinion of some other editors here before doing so, however. Unitanode 04:17, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In question[edit]


  1. 07:09, 4 July 2009 (hist) (diff) m Hammar Marshes ‎ (Fixed a small mistake) = Datacharge's first edit in almost 20 months.
  2. 04:43, 6 July 2009 (hist) (diff) Late Show with David Letterman ‎ (Undid revision 300532406 by Benjiboi (talk)) = IP's first edit.
  3. 00:10, 12 July 2009 (hist) (diff) Talk:Late Show with David Letterman ‎ (→Removed) = Datacharge started editing regularly again.
  4. 03:40, 12 July 2009 (hist) (diff) Star Trek Nemesis ‎= IP's last edit, before...
  5. 03:52, 17 July 2009 (hist) (diff) Late Show with David Letterman ‎ (Undid revision 302535453 by Benjiboi (talk) - Prove it. Cite the -specific- policy.) = IP's first edit since Datacharge started editing regularly.
  6. Over half (6 of 11) of the IP's edits have been to LSwDL or Talk:LSwDL.
  7. The VAST majority of Datacharge's edits have been to these two pages, or related discussion.


Please do, you will find there is no substance to that accusation. I suppose my mistake (see above for explication) opens the door for these kinds of accusations, and for that I am doubly sorry.Datacharge (talk) 04:25, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh, brother. Earlier in this mess, I was accused of using that IP as a sockpuppet. Now there is supposedly substantial 'evidence' that Datacharge is using it as a sockpuppet. I call BS. The only "evidence" is that the IP happens to be making edits that favor Datacharge's POV about what should be included. Nothing more. Ithizar (talk) 05:28, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your edit history doesn't match the IP's. Datacharge's does. Unitanode 12:36, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I will note that this particular question has attracted my attention as a checkuser; I will say that the IP does not appear to be Datacharge, but refrain but commenting further at this time. If anyone here is logging out to edit war, I will say gently that they should stop doing so promptly, as that can have some unfortunate repercussions. – Luna Santin (talk) 05:53, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. I just find it an odd coincidence that the IP's edit history so closely matches Datacharge's then. I appreciate your looking into it. As for the larger issue of the content itself, I don't have the stomach for this, and I don't like how frustrated I've let myself become over it, so I do believe I'll step away from it now. Regards, Unitanode 12:36, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requested protection[edit]

I have placed a request on Wikipedia:RFPP that this page be temporarily semi-protected from editing by anonymous IP's so that the unproductive and antagonistic edits by anonymous IP's may be stopped and that, hopefully, we can work in good faith toward a consensus solution or, if necessary, get outside intervention to help achieve one. Ithizar (talk) 05:00, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, I see that my request has been denied. Oh, well. I suppose this situation will just continue deteriorating. Ithizar (talk) 05:03, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Unitanode posted this article on the Administrators' noticeboard and I have posted it on the Content noticeboard. Hopefully more editors getting involved will resolve this dispute.Datacharge (talk) 05:11, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The article has been full protected due to edit-warring. Enigmamsg 06:07, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ithizar, your noble revert and Wikipedia:RFPP when taken together seem to have backfired. Oh well, they were both good choices in my opinion. To be honest I am beginning to lose my enthusiasm for this fight (for the 2nd time) it is far to much effort for such a relatively minor issue. Nonetheless I do still find the omission troubling and surprising, particularly given the POV reasons given for the removal of this information. Hopefully more editors will come in and break the deadlock.Datacharge (talk) 06:30, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I came across this on RfPP. FWIW, I think it should be included. Enigmamsg 06:39, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Obviously I think it should be in there as well, but now I worry that if the "inclusionists" win editors who are probably more valuable than a paragraph about Palin will be alienated. This whole process has been an educational experience for me.Datacharge (talk) 06:50, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Well, we have all argued ourselves horse(so to speak). For the sake of whatever chance we have at a social life I propose we make every effort to come to some kind of consensus before the protection expires in three days. The current participants in this debate, myself included, have hardened their positions to a point where meaningful dialog is difficult. We need new blood whether it comes informally (I hope), or in the form of mediation. I hope in the coming days a solution can be found that even if it is not liked by everybody is at least not hated by editors. After all we all have the best interest of Wikipedia as our goal.Datacharge (talk) 07:20, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You have been asked repeated now for reliable sourcing to show this incident had any meaningful impact on this subject; the only new source is this which supports that even the big row over this still didn't boost his ratings past the competition. I'm sorry but until there is some sourcing that helps establish this incident as being notable I see little reason to include it verses the hundreds of other political jokes that backfire and the many times Letterman has apologized, this really seems much ado about nothing. We aren't at the whim of a conservative or liberal social agenda to either include or disinclude. We follow the sources not write the news. -- Banjeboi 19:01, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am still waiting for you, or anyone else who is opposed to the inclusion of this information, to explain how it differs from most of the other content in the "Notable Episodes" section and why you do not wish to be consistent in that regard. None of the incidents listed, except perhaps Letterman's heart surgery, had "any significant impact on the subject." They did not cause a long-term change in ratings. They did not alter the course of the show. They are notable simply because they were episodes in the history of the show that stood out as being particularly interesting to the audience and which got some attention outside of the show itself. The Palin incident is no different. Remember, that Other Stuff Exists does not only caution us against using a "well, that article did it this way" rationale, it also makes it clear that sometimes the "other stuff" argument is valid because Wikipedia is supposed to be "consistent in the content that it provides or excludes." I do not feel we are being consistent here. If you do, I would sincerely ask you to please explain how to me. (talk) 19:37, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We have already agreed from last week that it would never be included in the "Notable Episodes" section because the controvery is not an episode. If included it would be in a "Controversies and Criticisms" section. Please stop using the "notable episodes" section as a red herring argument as it does not apply to this debate. Rugz (talk) 12:59, 18 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We have agreed on virtually nothing. When the "Controversies and Criticisms" section was suggested, I agreed that it might be an acceptable compromise. That doesn't change my basic opinion that this still fits equally well in the "Notable Episodes" section. This was a notable incident that happened on an episode of a TV show. Hence it is a "notable episode." Anything else is just playing semantics to avoid having to maintain consistency with the rest of the article. Ithizar (talk) 20:44, 18 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I (and at least some others opposed to the Palin mention) have not said "include the other stuff also"...don't put words in our mouths (for the record, I think there are others that could be removed as well). The Palin issue seems striking here in that it rests on uncited claims related to others, so it's got a more pressing need to be explicitly supportable rather than just inclusion for the sake of consistency. DMacks (talk) 19:49, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think it rests on uncited claims at all. I, for one, am not attempting to argue that it deserves inclusion because it somehow contributed to Governor Palin's resignation. Or that it change the course of Letterman's show or career. And I reject the idea that those are the standards for whether or not an episode is "notable" in this context. The fact is that this is an episode of the program that garnered significantly more attention than the average episode. Hence, it is notable, in the context of a TV show, which is all we're discussing here. Ithizar (talk) 07:55, 18 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please see all the sources that have been mentioned in the discussion above. Maybe the solution is to start massively trimming the notable episodes. Maybe a solution would be to add something but let Benjiboi or Unitanode decide what that should be.Datacharge (talk) 20:12, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The "other stuff" argument remains a red herring, it's an understandable argument but frankly the only one of all those is the last one about Paul McCartney and even that seems to justify itself. There are two about the John McCain no-show that should be combined unless they are edited better. The smoking gun that would warrant including this content would be along the lines - because of the jokes poor reception Letterman vowwed never to joke about children again or legislation was introduced as a result of the incident to add additional penalties for joking about molesting children or Letterman and the producers were sued for defamation and similar. Instead we have a poor joke, an outcry, Palin's public condemnation (thus drawing attention to all involved) and the apology which was accepted. When the article is written to a featured article status there may be room for a mention of the many apologies the show has made but that is a long ways off. -- Banjeboi 20:55, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How does anything else in the current Notable Episodes section rise to the standard you have laid out? How did the incidents with Madonna, Joaquin Phoenix, Paul McCartney, or even Letterman's heart surgery result in a significant, lasting impact to the show? With the possible exception of affecting who the producers select as guests, none of the episodes mentioned resulted in Letterman changing his approach to doing the show, changes to any significant aspect of the show, legislative penalties, etc. They are only notable because they are episodes which received more attention than an average episode. And so was the Palin incident. Ithizar (talk) 07:55, 18 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't get how it would be apropriate if this was a featured article but not apropriate now. Lets do all we can to move this article towards that level.Datacharge (talk) 21:07, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not quite sure I agree with this rather lofty "to be mentioned, the event must have far-reaching repercussions" bar. All we're talking about here are notable episodes, those that for varying reasons rise to a bit more attention/recognition than the rest of them, ones that caught the attention of others. I think there was enough of a stink about this in reliable sources that it warrants a brief mention here. Tarc (talk) 21:47, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
-- Banjeboi you have shown alot of interest in this. Perhaps you could think of an acceptable way to include this information. I have been reviewing your past edits and I think you could come up with something we all agree on.Datacharge (talk) 22:00, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Jay Leno made virtually the same joke about Palin during the election campaign, wasn't a problem then. I vote to leave the mention out. Scribner (talk) 22:28, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's not the joke that's notable, it's the reaction.Datacharge (talk) 22:39, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Palin's reaction, Palin's page. Scribner (talk) 23:14, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And what of that reactions reaction? Datacharge (talk) 23:25, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Palin's page. Scribner (talk) 23:42, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Based on what? How can an incident with two principle parties -- David Letterman and Sarah Palin -- be notable enough to be mentioned on one party's article but not on the others? That seems highly inconsistent and in contradiction to the way policy envisions these matters being handled. Ithizar (talk) 07:55, 18 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Repeating myself, Jay Leno told virtually the same joke about Palin during the election campaign, wasn't a problem then. Why not? Not notable to David Letterman's shows. Scribner (talk) 15:37, 18 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
False comparison. Leno's joke specifically identified which daughter he was talking about, and that was the daughter who was already pregnant at the time. His joke did not garner significant media attention, did not incite protests for his firing, did not receive a response from the Palin family, and did not prompt an apology from him. It was, therefore, not notable. Letterman's was. Ithizar (talk) 20:44, 18 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
True analogy. The jokes are nearly identical. The fact that Letterman didn't identify which daughter is irrelevant. Bristol was 17 when Leno told his joke. In either case, sex with Arod would have been statutory rape. Scribner (talk) 00:49, 20 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nope, sorry. First, it was specifically the confusion over Bristol vs. Willow that led to alot of the outrage in this case. Regardless of whether Bristol was under age at the time, she was already pregnant -- a well-publicized, out-of-wedlock pregnancy -- which would alter perceptions of that type of joke. But, all that aside, the simple fact is that the joke Leno told did not result in any controversy. Therefore, that episode of his program gained no notoriety at all. The fact that the Letterman joke did attract a great deal of controversy, led to calls for his firing, got a response from the Palin family, and led to an apology by Letterman himself -- regardless of whether you think it deserved that level of attention vs. the Leno joke -- makes it a notable episode. Ithizar (talk) 06:35, 20 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Straw Poll -- Palin Joke Controversy.[edit]

This is a nonbinding straw poll to gauge the level of consensus for removal/inclusion of the Palin joke controversy. Vote Keep if you want the controversy mentioned (not in the notable episodes section as that is for episodes only), and Remove if you want it left out of the article entirely. Please support your vote with a reason. Only vote once. Rugz (talk) 23:32, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. Keep Mainstream media outlets have published well over 10,000 articles on this making it more talked about then any of the "notable episodes" currently listed. It led to an appreciable lift of the shows ratings. It became an issue that the show revisited over multiple episodes. Whether or not Palin's spokeswoman was being honest, she has said it was a factor in Palins resignation, lending the incident political significance. It provoked the reaction of major NGO's like NOW and corresponding discussion over those reactions. I think the amount of reaction and the number of participants in this debate is a clear indicator of the events notability. I doubt there will be any question three years from now about whether or not this should be included, I think we are seeing that recentism can be a double edged sword.Datacharge (talk) 23:58, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Borderline Keep - seems to have made enough of a ruckus, but just a simple and factual mention, it shouldn't delve into Palin's histrionics about the 14-yr-old and all that. Tarc (talk) 00:41, 18 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    How does the fact that Palin and her supporters "made enough of a ruckus" make it worthy of mention in this article? I have no problem with its being covered in articles about her. I just don't feel like the fact that a ruckus was made by Palin and her supporters is nearly enough to merit a mention in Letterman-related articles. There should be, in my view, no "borderline keeps", as mentions of the issue in this article also carry BLP issues. Mentions of Palin's inflammatory claims regarding statutory rape are especially troubling in this regard, and should weigh heavily toward exclusion. Unitanode 00:47, 18 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    This is a simple straw poll, not Round 12 of the discussion. So if you don't mind, I'll refrain from responding further, thanks. Tarc (talk) 01:42, 18 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Keep. Shouldn't warrant more than a couple paragraphs, but for all the reasons Datacharge (talk · contribs) listed above, it should be included. In fact, I think the article would be remiss not to mention it. The controversy itself may have been short-lived, but I imagine in a few years down the road looking back on Letterman's career, this will be a moment that will be definitely be remembered. — Hunter Kahn (c) 03:10, 18 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. Keep Discussed in detail above, but this incident was notable in the context of the TV show. An incident need not have changed the course of the show to be notable, and we should apply the same consistent standard across the entire article. This incident is certainly as notable as, for example, Joaquin Phoenix's appearance or Paul McCartney's appearance. Agreed that it should not be a huge section of the article, but it should get a mention. Ithizar (talk) 07:48, 18 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. Keep Was definitely a notable moment, and it generated a lot of third party coverage. Definitely significant in the context of the section. Enigmamsg 01:57, 19 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. Keep. The joke and subsequent controversy/apology seem to be notable right now, so put them in right now. If someone looks at this page a few years from now and wonders why the Palin bit is there (who's she?) then it can be taken out again. On the other hand, if Palin's career kicks into higher gear, this event might well continue to hold interest. Putting the bit in now will not kill us. Binksternet (talk) 14:56, 20 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Is that not the very definition of 'recentism'? Rugz (talk) 21:32, 20 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    In short, yes. Unitanode 21:46, 20 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. Keep - It's crazy notable. It should have its own article, with a summary of that here. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) (contribs) 20:23, 20 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I'd be interested in seeing how "crazy notable" it is were you to start that hypothetical article. Somehow, I don't think it would last very long at all. Unitanode 20:39, 20 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Unitanode, I was under the impression that because this is a straw poll, it's not appropriate to respond to every vote line-by-line. Am I wrong about this? If not, let me know, because I could respond to each of the Delete votes below... — Hunter Kahn (c) 22:52, 21 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  8. Keep - For all the reasons previously discussed in this ludicrous debate. (talk) 05:39, 24 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply] (talk) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.
  9. Keep I just came here looking for information on that. If this is removed then all other Notable episodes should be removed. This who voing for it is stupid, this is a no brainer and there is no need for a vote it should of been added and not removed to begin with! (talk) 23:28, 30 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  10. Keep I was looking for info on this to bad it isn't here. Wikifail! (talk)


  1. Remove This was one joke out of 100,000 which is of little significance to the show in its near 16 year run. Tabloid media coverage and recentism is at play here and does not warrant inclusion in the article. Rugz (talk) 23:36, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Remove Scribner (talk) 23:41, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Remove. I've posted far too much regarding this issue already. For my reasoning, see above. Unitanode 00:11, 18 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. Remove - Seems like undue weight. It was controversial for all of what, maybe a week? Not even really a week, when you factor in that the extra days were really just unintentional extension of the issue (i.e. however long it took to get a hold of these people to first get an apology and then get the acceptance). No lasting effects. It's a small blip in the radar that is already forgotten (with the exception of this page, of course). Also, that doesn't make the episode itself notable, as it is a single joke told that night.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 00:46, 18 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. Remove per my reasons in actual discussion above. DMacks (talk) 16:15, 18 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. Remove - popular media coverage not necessarily a good reason to cover it in an encyclopedia article. We cannot judged notability until the dust has settled; wait at least a few months before re-evaluating. Per WP:RECENT -- Barrylb (talk) 00:14, 20 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Notability is not a bar to article content. It is a standard for separate articles only. Ithizar (talk) 15:01, 22 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I think the larger point Barry was making is that this incident is a relatively clear example of recentism, and that perhaps it would be good to wait for a bit to see if it actually has any sort of effect on the Late Show before giving it undue weight by adding it now. Unitanode 15:28, 22 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. Remove - tempest in a teapot, being forced into the article for political reasons. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 05:35, 21 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  8. Remove - From the arguments I've been reading, it seems apt to leave it removed. Jonhan (talk) 10:11, 22 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Someone argued earlier that this event would have a negative impact on the show, but it appears the contrary, his ratings have rocketted past O'brien's in the last month straight. I am in even less favor of inclusion. Jonhan (talk) 17:03, 7 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  1. Remove - I've stated my concerns previously. In short any mention of this quickly bloats into WP:Undue just to explain it. A sentence about the many jokes that have backfired or the many apologies that have been made could also list this example but I also see little need for it. Any show over 22? years will have many of these incidents. We can write about better and more interesting examples without smearing or promoting Palin - she seems quite ably adept at doing that herself. -- Banjeboi 18:39, 22 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Straw Poll Results[edit]

The polls aren't closed, but is looks like we failed to find consensus. I think that means we're going to have to come up with a compromise. Any ideas? Datacharge (talk) 19:25, 19 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It still seems to me that the simplest and most reasonable approach is to find a middle ground between the two paragraphs of information that were originally written on this subject and excluding the information altogether. I tried to do that in the last revision I did. Basically, it was just a couple of sentences that conveyed that Letterman told a joke about one of Palin's daughters, it received widespread attention and controversy, Letterman apologized, and Palin accepted the apology. But if others are going to insist on holding firm to the position that this information can have no place what-so-ever in the article, it is going to be difficult to reach a compromise. Ithizar (talk) 22:22, 19 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Unfortunately I agree about the difficulty. But I still believe the other side may be willing to reach a compromise of some kind. After all what do they have to gain from being completely uncooperative? Only through compromise do we have any chance of consensus. I am eager to avoid formal mediation if possible. Datacharge (talk) 23:22, 19 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • There's nothing "unreasonable" or "uncooperative" about believing that information that is almost wholly pertinent to Sarah Palin go into an article about her. She and her supporters stirred the controversy, leading me to believe that the material is most appropriate to an article about her. The material itself isn't what most of us have a problem with, but rather where that material is placed. It doesn't belong in articles on Letterman. And by the way, calling other editors "unreasonable" and "uncooperative" is hardly helpful. Unitanode 23:27, 19 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The straw poll demonstrates that there are many that disagree, if you are unwilling to compromise at all on this I don't see how we can avoid formal mediation. BTW I didn't mean to cast aspersions and I'm sorry if it came out that way. What I meant is that it would be unreasonable not to compromise at all, after seeing how close this poll is. Compromise is after all the only avenue towards consensus. Datacharge (talk) 23:36, 19 July 2009 (UTC)]Reply[reply]
Unitanode, if I have ever used terms like "unreasonable" or "uncooperative," I apologize. It is not my intention to get into personal attacks here and I know that we all want the best article possible. I've learned alot about handling these issues through this process, and I hope that we can all work toward achieving the best possible content. Similarly, I believe that Datacharge desires the same thing. He does raise a valid point, though. We have taken an informal straw poll, and came out with an exactly 50/50 split of opinion on whether or not the information is appropriate to this article. That would seem to indicate that neither point of view is unreasonable or extreme. But it also indicates that in order to reach consensus on this issue, we are going to have to reach some sort of compromise. Do you not agree? How would you suggest we proceed in order to arrive at consensus? Ithizar (talk) 23:48, 19 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Since the straw poll hasn't closed, I've added my vote to remove. I suggest, as I did in my vote, that the way forward is to wait a few months and re-evaluate it's notability. Barrylb (talk) 00:21, 20 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That's an idea, but it seems to me that it will probably just delay this argument. What metric would we use three months from now that would better determine its notability? Ongoing media coverage? Media coverage fades over time for even the most important stories. And all of the arguments being used today will be just as valid in three months. Besides do we really want the same turnaround time for updates as the encyclopedia Britannica.Datacharge (talk) 00:26, 20 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think it's worth noting here that notability guidelines actually do not apply to article content, despite the amount of attention they are being given here. This portion of the guidelines states specifically that "[t]he notability guidelines determine whether a topic is notable enough to be a separate article in Wikipedia. They do not give guidance on the content of articles, except for lists of people." Notability plays no role in the actual content of an article, once it has been determined that the article subject itself is sufficiently notable to justify the existence of the article. The actual three main policies that determine article content are NPOV, Verifiability, and NOR. I don't think there's any dispute over the latter two, and while some might choose to site NPOV as a reason to keep the information out of the article, its omission could also seen as being POV because it eliminates an incident that could create a potentially negative impression of Letterman and/or Palin. So, again, keeping in perspective that we are talking about a television show, and not World War II here, I would still contend that this incident has received enough attention to make it worthy of a mention, that any such mention should be brief and to the point, and that to exclude the information altogether would be contrary to the principle of consistency in article content. Ithizar (talk) 01:23, 20 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think the poll has shown that there isn't consensus on removing this information entirely. In my view this points to the need for compromise, since there are some with concerns about this material. The article will be available for editing today, so lets start talking about how we can reach some kind of compromise. Where do we go from here? Datacharge (talk) 22:41, 20 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • That's a very generous (toward your view) interpretation of this straw poll. There's no consensus to include it, and it should remain out until there is consensus to add it. Unitanode 23:59, 20 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well we have a simple majority, at the moment, if that counts as consensus than it should be added. How many editors will it take before you are willing to start compromising?Datacharge (talk) 02:20, 21 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Straw polls are not votes, and as such it would be highly improper to apply characterizations such as "majority" to the results. It is simply to gauge where the discussion is at at this point in time...which at the moment is quite a deadlock. Tarc (talk) 02:28, 21 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that a deadlock aptly describes the present situation. My point is that there are enough people interested in inclusion, so that, consensus dictates at least a paragraph be given to the incident.Datacharge (talk) 02:36, 21 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In short, there is no consensus for adding anything right now. Somehow divining consensus from a 7-6 straw poll is more than a bit beyond the pale. Unitanode 02:41, 21 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No more beyond the pale than taking this to mean there is consensus for total exclusion.Datacharge (talk) 02:44, 21 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As it's the task of those wanting to add it to build consensus for it, exclusion is assumed. Unitanode 02:46, 21 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think enough consensus in the direction of inclusion has been generated so that compromise becomes necessitated.Datacharge (talk) 02:49, 21 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • There's nothing resembling consensus for inclusion, or even "in the direction of inclusion." To assert otherwise seems disingenuous. Unitanode 02:51, 21 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What percentage of editors does it take to constitute consensus?Datacharge (talk) 03:00, 21 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, I will agree with you that there is nothing resembling consensus for inclusion. I have to disagree with Datacharge on this point. Consensus does not mean a simple majority vote. A 7-6 straw poll is not the definition of consensus. And, of course, such straw polls are not binding by any means. However, the poll does demonstrate to me that there is also no clear consensus that the information should be excluded. Consensus does not operate in only one direction. There is nothing in the consensus policy that states you must achieve consensus to include something but not to remove it. It is not the purview of you, or any other editor, to tell those disagreeing that they are going to have to achieve consensus for their position or your position will be the one accepted. Further, the consensus policy has the hope that "editors will negotiate a reasonable balance between competing views..." I think its time to admit that both sides have legitimate points and that there is currently no consensus on either side. Therefore, it seems to me that there are only one of two options to resolve this. Either we (a) all agree to reach some sort of a compromise position or (b) we take advantage of the tools that Wikipedia provides, such as mediation or RfC to help resolve the matter. Ithizar (talk) 03:02, 21 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So basically you're saying, "Either agree to include it in this article" (which is utterly unacceptable to me) "or we take it to mediation"? It's not like the material is being kept out of Wikipedia. I have no problem with it existing in articles about Sarah Palin. I just feel strongly that it has no place here, as it's little more than a blip on the radar screen of LSwDL. Unitanode 03:10, 21 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am trying to be reasonable and find a compromise. However, when the two positions are "include" or "not include," it's hard to reach a compromise that seems acceptable to both sides. I strongly believe that including the information in the Palin article, but not the Letterman article, seems to too POV, so I feel strongly that it needs to be included in some form. Whether it needs to be in the notable episodes section or a controversies section or just worked into a paragraph somewhere, and whether it needs to be 2 sentences or 10, and how it's phrased, and all of that, are things that are worth discussing. But if the only position you and others in the "Remove" camp will agree with is to completely remove it, and if the only position the "Keep" camp will accept is to include it in some form, and we don't have enough editors on either side her to reach a consensus one way or the other, I'm not sure how else we deal with it besides getting more voices into the discussion. I'm not suggestion mediation as a "okay, let's get someone to put the smack down on you" kind of approach. I'd just like to get some more voices in here so we can reach a clear consensus. Perhaps RfC is the better way to go? What do you think? Ithizar (talk) 04:12, 21 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We need to take this discussion back to determining the principles at play. Debating polls and processes isn't leading us to consensus. Adding extra voices will only help if they can help us determine the basis for a decision. Barrylb (talk) 04:26, 21 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with you. I'm sorry that Datacharge has found this process to be frustrating enough to want to step back and not see it through to completion. As the policy says, I am willing to assume good faith on the part of all editors here and work toward reaching a good decision. Doing so, even on seemingly minor matters such as this, is the best way to make Wikipedia the best resource it can be. So, if I may, let me begin by asking you what you think are the principles at play here and what direction you think we should go in. I've pontificated enough and would like to hear other opinions. Ithizar (talk) 23:29, 21 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tempest in a teapot[edit]

I've listed the reasons I think this should be included, I've argued the reasons I think this should be included. Do I still think those reasons have merit? yes. But do I believe this is an important problem? Upon reflection, no. From my perspective it's omission is a minor flaw (made even less important by the fact that about 2/3 the talk page is now devoted to it, giving the issue significant visibility). Unfortunately Wikipedia is filled with minor flaws. I've come to the belated conclusion that my time would be better spent fixing these flaws, or doing practically anything else. While this has been a fairly pointless argument, it can at least be said that all participants have come at it with the intention of making Wikipedia better. I'm sorry to any editors I've offended during the course of this debate. I leave with the hope that this problem will find a good, and more importantly speedy resolution. Datacharge (talk) 08:20, 21 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Consensus can change[edit] why don't you folks talk it out again here and see if anything's changed since the last go-round? You have 3 days. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 20:54, 17 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

White House Photos[edit]

Hey guys, official White House photos appear to be released under the Creative Commons license. That makes the two photos of President Obama appearing on the show usable here, right? --Maxamegalon2000 23:36, 21 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It depends whether CBS has any claim to the photos. Probably OK under Fair Use in some capacity. Rockingbeat (talk) 06:35, 22 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

October 1, 2009 show notability[edit]

I am not sure what would keep this from being a notable show and from being listed here. This is one of the top news stories for October 2, 2009. The details about the alleged blackmail against Mr. Letterman have yet to be revealed and this story still has legs. I agree that those details do not belong here, but in fact do belong on Mr. Letterman's bio article. The episode in itself is notable. Group29 (talk) 16:28, 2 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The story's notability does not transfer to the show itself. Saying it is notable because of the announcement is just patently absurd, IMO. Tarc (talk) 17:09, 2 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That argument does not hold up, as the announcement happened on the show. Group29 (talk) 17:13, 2 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As I showed on the David Letterman talk page, Letterman's use of the show last night has been called unprecedented by mainstream news outlets. I think it should stay in the article for now... no one seems to agree with Tarc on removing it so far. --Sancho Mandoval (talk) 18:17, 2 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's no way it was even close to 'unprecedented' for the show. He uses the show for those types of personal announcements and stories ALL THE TIME. Rugz (talk) 09:41, 3 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, I think that Tarc may have a point here - as the story develops it may in retrospect turn out that this particular night's show is notable, and at that time it can be added. But for now the incident itself is certainly notable for his bio but I think somewhat questionable for this article. But to Sancho's point, the item added spent most of its time talking about the actual incident, not the announcement on the show - and the announcement on the show may not rise to the level of significance needed for inclusion here. Or, write something that does go into the impact of the announcement - with sources - and maybe that works. With all respect, the item that had been added was poorly written and went beyond the sources even in describing the extortion. Tvoz/talk 18:26, 2 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ah, here we go again. Y'know, Group29, just a friendly word of advice: quit now. You'll save yourself alot of heartburn. If you continue to debate the point, you'll find very quickly that there are a small group of editors who guard over this article like it was their firstborn child. They insist that their standards for article content are the only ones that matter. Any attempt to add something they don't agree with, usually anything critical of or controversial about Letterman, will be met with an immediate revert of the edits. They will insist that you get consensus on the talk page before you are allowed to revert their changes, but they will revert yours without doing so. And, ultimately, they will simply bully you into giving up, as you realize that you have much better things to do with your life. I left the debates long ago as I realized that, despite Wikipedia's rules admonishing me not to make the assumption, I can't help but come to the conclusion that the editors here are not acting in good faith. I'd suggest you do the same and just leave them to their little fiefdom before you drive yourself mad. Ithizar (talk) 20:53, 2 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Y'know, Ithizar, here's some friendly advice back: read WP:AGF yourself and try applying it. Here's why. I have never commented here or edited here before my comment above today, so gee, I guess my "standing guard" over this article has been invisible. Interesting. And you might want to mosey on over to David Letterman, where you'll find a section in the piece about this extortion matter - where it belongs - and to which I have contributed, not removed. but I edited it to conform to the sources, as everyone should. So how about leaving the chip on your shoulder that is weighing you down at the door - or, better yet, maybe you'd be happier if you de-watchlisted this article since it gives you such pain. Tvoz/talk 22:21, 2 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I noticed the same thing as Ithizar and I just came here today for the first time... I don't have the patience to deal with packs of editors either though. --Sancho Mandoval (talk) 22:37, 2 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My comments were not directed at any one editor. They were directed at the group of editors who watch over this article like hawks and refuse to allow any other point of view than their own. I apologize, Tvoz, if I offended you or if you felt that my comments were directed specifically at you. They were not. None-the-less, I stand by my opinion of the general attitude of many of the editors who have participated in discussions here. Ithizar (talk) 16:25, 3 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Great, but he appeared to be responding to my comment immediately above his and I'm not in any pack, nor do I appreciate the sarcasm. Just to clarify: I think at` this point this extortion story is about Letterman the person, and it is totally appropriate for his bio. If it is to be included here in the show article it would have to be written differently, with sourcing indicating in what way that show was notable. Indeed there may be sources that say so, and I would probably not object to a rewritten passage that talked about that, but the way it is current;y written it includes inaccuracies and assumptions (such as "last several years" - where do sources say that?) and seems to be much more about the extortion than the show. So I don't think it belongs here now. I already said that it may become relevant here later, but no one has provided sourcing for why the show as opposed to the extortion is notable now - sources that talk about how he handled the revelationon the show, etc. Do you see the difference? Tvoz/talk 22:56, 2 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I had not been to this article before yesterday. My idea was to leave this article in better condition than I found it. This morning, I read the back talk in sections above to get a sense of the history here. Assuming Wikipedia:No vested contributors and Wikipedia:Assume good faith, you all want this article to be the best it can be. There are substantial improvements that could be made here, most notably more references in the "grey areas" of prose describing the show and bits. They seem to be reasonably accurate from what I have seen of the show, but that material should be backed by citations. If there is going to be a Notable Episodes sections, then it is subjective and therefore, as demonstrated here, highly contentious. But if notability is established, (and on Wikipedia that bar is set quite low) then the content should be allowed. Merely removing someone else's contribution is not productive. Before replying here, I strongly suggest reading Wikipedia:Lamest edit wars, which came to mind because of the accusations of Wikipedia:Sock puppetry in the previous sections. Group29 (talk) 14:09, 3 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Page cleanup[edit]

With the proper amount of support, I would like to reformat this page. It looks sloppy, and I was thinking maybe move "Notable episodes" to its own page, since it is so lengthy, then use the format of the pages of other shows, such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien as pointers for how to reinvent and reformat this page. Does anybody support this plan? If so, do you have any ideas on how to go about this? In the coming days, I will add my ideas here. Mwhayes1995 (talk) 01:56, 12 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Retirement - False information?[edit]

A new entry was made today under the "History" section entitled "Letterman's Retirement." I cannot find any corroborating information for this anywhere. I believe it is completely untrue. Can anyone else verify that this is probably just false information that should be removed? TheDork (talk) 04:12, 31 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


"The rating separating Letterman and Leno increased and Letterman ended this experiment a month after it began." - This is confusing? Who had the higher ratings? Can someone rewrite theis? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:11, 13 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I read the entire article. So much space is allocated to trivial things, yet information about ratings is not included. Additionally I noticed that the whole Palin Controversy it not mentioned?? I know Wikipedia as a whole is ultra left wing and hates Palin, but its still interesting. Far more interesting then most of the information in the article. Maybe someone people need to let go of their control of this article and let it be improved by others.Mantion (talk) 09:42, 19 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hardly "interesting" -- it's covered over at List of Late Show episodes, with various other notable episodes. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 14:00, 19 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What's the implication? That the ratings for the Late Show are less than others from other channels? Not exactly an industry secret, bub, just read the news. Or do you want current numbers? Other sites have them readily available: as an encyclopedia it's not feasible to pull down numbers for 3,000+ episodes to cover all of the past seasons, which would have to be done if we did the current season. (talk) 02:45, 20 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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Have added working archive link to non-working. Dhtwiki (talk) 09:48, 1 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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Late Show compared with Late Night[edit]

I put in several hours on this, which was immediately deleted as “not encyclopedic” and “insufficiently referenced”. I’m putting it here for the select few that read talk pages. The talk page is where improvemeents to articles are discussed, and I think the article would be better if this were included:

The Late Show compared with Late Night[edit]

The Late Show is sometimes treated like it was the second part of Letterman's "nightly talk show", that Late Show is Late Night moved to another network. In fact there are significant differences between them.

Late Night is an outsider's show as well as a young man's show. Stuck in a time slot of little value: "nobody's listening", as he discussed with a guest. He had a lot of freedom to be wacky, and he wanted to. There were no major advertisers to inform content. Only a hard core of Letterman enthusiasts were watching a show at that hour.

With The Late Show, Letterman reached the peak of his career, even though it was an offshoot of his devastatin career failure, not getting The Tonight Show upon Carson's retirement. Just as the cancellation of The David Letterman Show led to a $1,000,000 contract to do nothing, and then Late Night, the end to Late Night led to his salary being doubled, and other externals showing success. Shaffer's band was larger, with a horn section (prohibited, on Carson's order, at NBC). Letterman had for his sole use an updated, historical theater, renovated on a 24-hour schedule (to have it ready for the first broadcast) at considerable expense. (The workmen appeared on the first broadcast.) The set was larger and more luxurious. The average age of the viewers was higher because of the earlier hour; older people in the United States on average go to bed earlier. Advertising was up, as one would expect in an 11:30 PM instead of 12:30 AM time slot. Budgets to pay guests were larger.

The show, however, lost most of its edginess and became a much more traditional talk show. "The World's Most Dangerous Band" became the sedate "CBS Orchestra". Announcer Bill Wendell retired, and long-time director Hal Gurnee and producer Jack Rollins also soon departed. At this point the show ceased to be serious competition for the Tonight Show. The greater distance between Letterman and Schafer cut down on their banter, since now they could no longer appear in a single camera shot. Gone were colorful characters like Brother Theodore, Father Guido Sarducci, and Chris Elliott's series of characters. There was less audience participation and fewer stunts. Trips outside the studio were limited to visiting the attendees or would-be sttendees waiting in front of the theater and to visits to Rupert Jee's Hello Deli, around the corner but in the same building. There were no more "suits of suet" or dental chairs, no bullhorns used out the window to passers-by floors below on Sixth Avenue, or to occupants of the same floor (the 6th) of the building across the street. Calvin DeForest had a much smaller role than did his NBC predecessor Larry "Bud" Melman, and certainly no sending him off on a road trip to Mexico with an early picturephone. (He got as far as Guatemala City.) Guests were much more distinguished — in a memorable January 8, 2015, segment, there was a 15-minute interview with Donald Trump, described by Letterman as "America's favorite cut-throat real estate mogul and slumlord".[1]

But gone were the humble but colorful characters like the nut lady Elizabeth Tashjian, who ran a one-person Nut Museum with both the world's largest nut and the world's largest nutcracker, for which admission was one nut.[2]

deisenbe (talk) 11:54, 8 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is something you yourself wrote? The Nut Museum site supports none of it; and I assume the YouTube reference is just a clip of Trump's appearance. This isn't where you get to publish your own opinion of the show in such detail. What you wrote needs to be reflected by reliable sources, and then it won't need such extensive quoting. Phrases like "But gone were the humble but colorful characters..." are what I meant by "not encyclopedic", in case there's confusion on that score. It's a matter of tone. Dhtwiki (talk) 19:32, 8 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]