The First Draft: David Letterman and the Dalai Lama

October 6, 2009

CANADA/This is one of those Washington days that seems to defy a theme. Consider:

Iran is the topic at the Senate Banking Committee, where officials from the State and Treasury departments are set to testify on economic sanctions against Tehran.

Afghanistan is expected to be front and center when President Barack Obama briefs congressional leaders about his Afghan strategy.

Pakistan‘s foreign minister has a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The Dalai Lama is in town, too, meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and getting a human rights award.

In the background is the steady drumbeat of the healthcare debate, the fight over climate change legislation and defense spending.

USASerious subjects, all of them. And what was the top story on the morning network newscasts? Ten points if you guessed the natural choice: David Letterman’s sex life.

What does this say about Washington? The U.S. media? The public appetite for scandal? Let us know what you think.

Click here for more Reuters political coverage

Photo credits:  REUTERS/Christinne Muschi (exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, Montreal, Canada, October 3, 2009)

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (U.S. President Barack Obama and David Letterman at a taping of the comedian’s show, New York, September 21, 2009)


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

So “obama the appeaser” decides not offend China, need their support in the Iran none starter sanction deal,probably meet with him sometime later,another example of Obama,s weakness.Perhaps if they were both on Letterman together it might be OK it might not look to confrontational to China.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Immoral, Spineless are some of few adjectives I can think of for Obama. he is fast showing the lack of substance, which pre-elction voters thought he had. China is remote controlled by China because US is floating because of the US treasurey bonds China bought.

US Superpower? BS

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) – The United States is the most admired country globally thanks largely to the star power of President Barack Obama and his administration, according to a new poll.
It climbed from seventh place last year, ahead of France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan which completed the top five nations in the Nation Brand Index (NBI).
“What’s really remarkable is that in all my years studying national reputation, I have never seen any country experience such a dramatic change in its standing as we see for the United States for 2009,” said Simon Anholt, the founder of NBI, which measured the global image of 50 countries each year.

Oh, dear.

These results are very much in line with the survey released in July by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, which found a vast improvement in views of the United States since the election of President Obama.

Obviously, international support can change, sometimes rapidly, and the White House may very well pursue a policy in Afghanistan that undermines some of the goodwill that’s reflected in the data.

That said, for those who hoped to see America’s standing improve with the change in administrations, we appear to be taking steps in the right direction. And for those perennial whiners like brian lee, well, now they have even more to whine about.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

getplaning are you saying in 8 months everybody went from hating us to loving us?What has done it, all the apologizing,or is it because of his celebrity?are you saying that everybody loves us because they love him,this is wonderful.Cannot be his policies,still in Iraq,Gitmo is still open,Iran are still spinning uranium.But in the meantime i have family members coming here on vacation,cannot believe how many dollars they are getting for their money.Apart from high unemployment,record borrowing,three cheers for Obama.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

The guy had his shoes off, he was not going to throw them at Obama ,getplaning,was he?That could be the reason Obama refused to see him he saw the shoes,and fled.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Oh, brian. Listen to you. Your post only confirms what I said. You have so much to whine about it took two posts to express yourself. Not to mention the obligatory negative talking points you add to each blog thread. Seek help. Or at least add some lights and some fresh paint to your basement. You seem really depressed.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

getplaning can you call me a “Winger” not a “whiner”i don,t drink, my church friends might get the wrong impression,don,t worry it means the same thing.Thanks buddy.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive