Regardless of the 2020 Presidential Election (ostensibly) coming to an end this week, it’s surely going to be a relief for many Americans that one of the most tumultuous campaign cycles in the history of the United States will be over. That includes David Letterman, who recently gave a wide-ranging interview to Vulture, digging into not only the election but also his popular new talk show on Netflix, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” which recently unveiled its second season. During the conversation, Letterman was asked to recall what he believed the nadir of Donald Trump’s presidency has been thus far.
“Well, I’ll tell you when it really began was when he declared that the press was the enemy of the people,” referring to comments from Trump that originated in early 2017 on Twitter, soon after his inauguration and as just one of his many rampages upon “fake news.”
“And to me, this seemed like something you hear coming out of Venezuela, when Hugo Chávez was running that country,” Letterman continued. “I thought, ‘This is not right.’ Even ill-informed people like myself know that this is not right. The press is not the enemy of the people. The press educates the people. The press informs the people. The press does the heavy lifting for people who don’t need to be aware of every single thing that’s going on because the press is doing that job for them.”
Trump, who has had a hostile relationship with the press for decades, repeated such remarks many times both in public and on his Twitter account. (According to a New York Times report, as of this time last year alone, Trump had used the phrase, which NYT pointed out is typically used by autocrats, 36 times on Twitter.)
Letterman went on to say, “So to single [the press] out as the enemy for the people, that’s when I really thought, ‘Oh my God.’ Having said that, as we know, things have gotten worse. But I’m tired of criticizing the president. I’m tired of criticizing the administration. I’m tired of moaning and hand-wringing. I think this man is a bully, and bullies frighten people. But just by voting, I think that’s going to be the end of it. Then I think the real fun will begin — to see what transpires after this job is taken out from under him.”
Letterman also added that Trump’s possible loss following November 3 “will be a relief to every living being in this country, whether they realize it now or not. It certainly will be a relief to me and my family, and I think generally the population. I’m more confident now than I was then, and I was pretty confident then. I was wrong. I don’t think I’ll be wrong this time.”