I'm one of those people who couldn't care less about most current events, especially those revolving around "celebrity gossip", yet even I couldn't help but hear about the attempted blackmailing of David Letterman, so I'm sure everyone else well versed on the subject. For the three of you who don't know what's going on, Letterman went out to his car one September day and found a letter stating that unless he forked over two million dollars, his frequent sexual forays with his female employees would be made public. After consulting with local law enforcement, Letterman gave his blackmailer a phony check and the man, CBS producer Joe Halderman, was arrested when he tried to cash it. When all was said and done, Letterman, a married man, publicly admitted his numerous infidelities on the October 1st episode of his talk show, Late Night with Dave Letterman.
You can go on all night and day about how Letterman could be such an immoral bastard. About how could he do such a thing to his family. Legally, however, he seems to be in the clear. CBS's policy states that sexual relationships between employees are not forbidden, as long as it's not providing incentive for advancement; which is the story we're being handed, despite the near unanimous eyerolling from the public. But nevermind all that. I mean, let's be honest here, horny old men being horny old men and celebrities using their status to get into women's pants is nothing new in the world, so I'd like to focus more on the ramifications this is going to have on his career.
Now, Courtney kind of got the jump on this story, and she feels that a) this is Letterman's problem and none of the public's business, and b) this scandal isn't going to have much of an effect on his career. While I agree wholeheartedly with the former, there's been a lot of differing opinions on the latter. Scanning her comments, Brian actually thinks this will give him a sizable boost in the ratings, especially with his competitors unintentionally pointing viewers in his direction. I'll concede this whole mess will give him a sudden spike, but it's only going to last as long as the buzz does. I'm thinking the longterm consequences aren't going to be too good for Letterman.
Obviously, when it comes to these matters, public opinion is split between men and women. While women are disgusted at the man's cheating nature and the irony that anyone can try to sell that there was no unfair working advantage inherent within, men are more preoccupied with how a trusted colleague could betray him. And of course, Letterman's main audience is young males right? Actually, no. According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, Letterman's biggest market is women in their mid fifties, they're close to sixty percent as a matter of fact. Now combine this with his ill received joke alleging that Sarah Palin's fourteen year old daughter had gotten knocked up by Yankee third basemen A-Rod (Audio here) about four months ago, and suddenly there's a trend of Letterman pissing off women, a.k.a. his core audience. An audience he could realistically lose with this new womanizing image.
Reference: Chicago Tribune