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13 January 2018, 08:28 | Israel Caldwell
David Letterman's new Netflix series kicks off with an interview with former U.S. President Barack Obama
The New Yorker's Ian Crouch lavished praise on Obama for his looseness and humor, saying he would make a good television host himself, although adding-less critically-that the ex-president's remarks during the hour-long show have mostly been said before. "So put the desk lamp together?'" And later, Letterman said, "I was under the impression that Twitter would be the mechanism by which truth was told around the world". "It only had like four parts or something", Obama recalled. He was so focused on his absent father while growing up that it wasn't until later in life that he fully realized how much his own life and values were shaped by his mother.
In it, Letterman walked Alabama's Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma with Lewis, retracing steps that the then-young civil rights activist, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and thousands of others took in the landmark 1965 march to Montgomery to demand equal voting rights.
"There may be some setbacks, some delays, some interruptions, but if you take a long hard look we will get there", he said.
The entire segment is framed around two icons who are now on the other side of the peak in their respective careers.
"The vote", Lewis answers.
Letterman was intent on discussing the rise of racism in America, a conversation interspersed with footage of another interview Letterman recently conducted with U.S. Rep. (D-Ga.).
Obama mentions that, when he was campaigning, his people built a social media machine that he considers "the most effective in modern political history". In the last election, he admits he underestimated the way in which special interests, big corporations, or even foreign governments can manipulate social media to propagandize. He relates something the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan - who once said, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts" - the former president noted that Russian interference had merely exploited the fact that people believe different things are true.
Back onstage, Letterman gets several laughs by pretending Obama is still in office. Obama appeared in "The Late Show" in 2009, becoming the first president to make an appearance on the show.
Obama joked to Letterman that he's sure Michelle would "leave" him, if he had the opportunity to run again for President.
First and foremost, the best thing about My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman is that David Letterman is back.
Obama has laid low since leaving the White House past year, appearing only in a few public appearances and a radio interview with Prince Harry of the British Royal Family recorded in September and broadcasted in December.
The remaining guests on the show's first season include Jay-Z, Malala Yousafzai, Tina Fey, George Clooney, and Howard Stern.
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