The Last Cowboys Of The Information Age

Donald J. Davies whips out a videotape of his favorite Late Night with David Letterman show to play for me. On that night two years ago, Letterman decided to shinny up a splintery telephone pole onstage. At first, Davies smiles as he watches the gangly talk-show host scamper up the pole like a monkey. Then he shakes his head. "You see--watch, he's doing it wrong," says Davies. A second or two later, Letterman's spiked foot slips, and the talk-show host comes within a hair of crashing to the ground.

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