Saturday, October 03, 2009

No, I Did Not Have Sex With David Letterman

Anyone who knows me knows that I've been a huge fan of David Letterman since his early days on national television -- from his brief morning show to his NBC days, then to the latest. Over the years I've often had fleeting thoughts about what it would be like to be on the writing staff for the show. But I never applied, never interned (it would be tough to explain the internship in relationship to an English teaching degree, plus his show didn't exist back then), and have only seen the man in person from a distance.

No, I'm not a stalker. No, I have not had sex with him. But, as a fan of so many years, I feel compelled to comment on the news which broke earlier this week.

To be honest, I'm not surprised that he's had sex with women staffers on the show. I'd be pretty shocked if it were men staffers. But women? Nah. I have a book written by Merrill Markoe some years back -- How to be Hap-Hap-Happy Like Me. She was his head writer on the NBC show ... and a girlfriend. His longtime girlfriend turned wife worked on the show's staff.

I recall the heavy duty years with "Monty" -- Stephanie Brikitt. I always thought something was going on between them. He seemed to have almost a schoolboy crush on her.

I look at things this way: If I vote for someone to hold the public's trust and they're married, then get involved in some stupid sex scandal ... I feel disappointed in them. You know, it's like I trust them to hold themselves to a higher standard because the public trusts them to run the country, etc.

But if someone is an entertainer, or even a worker/boss in the private sector, and unmarried ... it's their own business. Workplace affairs happen whether it's television staffers or convenience store employees. As long as there isn't any sort of coercion, it's no skin off my nose. I would think his wife of of seven months/many years girlfriend probably knew about at least some of his dalliances. After all, she worked there, too.

What's really creepy to me is that a man with the background of the alleged blackmailer would do something that incredibly stupid. It was also creepy that the audience inappropriately laughed. I could see Letterman was a bit perplexed by that, as was I watching at home.

But what do I know? I'm sitting here with a cat wrapped around my shoulders like some kind of really heavy boa on a Saturday night. And, it's pretty darned uncomfortable. For me, at least. The cat seems to be very comfortable.


ChicMc said...

I said the same to my husband, people date the people they meet through work, what's the big deal?

I like that David nipped this in the bud and spoiled any plans the blackmailer-want-to-be had.

dla said...

I am with you! When you work 16+ hours a day, workplace romance (or just plain sex) is not uncommon...

My reaction to the announcement, which I also watched, was, "Duh! I would expect that you have been romantically involved with people you worked with throughout the years."

Jackie, I also agree that his current wife / long time GF was probably aware...

What a CREEP the blackmailer must be! Good grief... Who would think of something like that?!?

Anonymous said...

LOL about the kitty. I heard about Letterman's troubles but didn't see the show. Maybe the audience shared a nervous laugh or thought DL was pranking them. In any case, he wasn't married. If he was, well I have better things to worry about, like how come my cat doesn't like to lay on my head. Have a nice night.

sizzie said...

Jackie, thanks for this post. I didn't see the show that night, only the media headlines later. My thought then (without knowing any details) was 'good for him to tell the truth instead of being blackmailed'.

I hope you are feeling better, Jackie.

I love hearing of sweet Vincent.

meb said...

I believe there are many who wouldn't want the skeletons out of our closet, but I applaud Letterman for stopping the blackmailer in his tracks. I agree with you, it's none of our business and not us to judge.

I'm envisioning Vincent wrapped around your shoulders. Too cute!

Sydney said...

Give Vincent a little scratch behind his ears for me. Actually, with him around your neck, that might require yoga on your part. He is clearly SO happy that you found him! And I think the sentiment is returned... :-)

I worked in the Letterman building for many years and took clients of mine to do his show many times. Dave has had a show forever, even when it wasn't network. It started as a group of comedy writers. It is a casual and not a corporate atmosphere. You meet people and get involved when you spend 24/7 with them, especially in that jovial environment. And the younger you are, the less it matters... Who knows how long ago this all was.

He did have the "secret" girlfriend for many years, and Dave finally broke down and got married, they had his late in life son, and he is of course, feeling like the most blessed man in the world for her and the family they have had together. It's been a beautiful thing to see. Especially poignant when he escaped death and cried when he brought all the doctors who operated on to thank them. I loved it.

An unmarried guy, even the "boss" can do what he wants if the two are consensual, and I'm sure it was. Who would not at least want to go on a date with David Letterman? I mean, even once? He is not even my favorite guy but he has got to be FUN in private. I mean, even as a conversationalist... would you turn down pizza with Dave? (I turned down a pizza date with Larry Bird when he asked me... were working on a TV commercial, and I said no because he had a girlfrrend... and I've have kicked myself ever since. THE GREATEST BASKETBALL PLAYER OF ALL TIME! It didn't have to turn into more... ).

I love it that he said it right there on TV and totally deflated the issue. Though they are talking about it on conservative Sunday Morning TV.

And yes, the guy who did this was not in his right mind. Why would he think this would work? He must be desperate for $$ after this divorce thing.

~~Silk said...

I'm a little upset at the "what's the big deal" attitude. Yeah, he's rich and powerful and probably fun, and a woman might flirt and invite attention. But even if that's what was going on, it's still not ok.

Most companies have rules about relationships between people in the workplace in the "line of command", and for good reason. When someone has control of your job, your appraisals, your paycheck, acquiescence to advances is not always voluntary. This was a huge problem in the '50s and '60s, before such rules were in place. Back then, if a superior made unwelcome advances, a woman's only choice was to give in or quit the job.

In the Very Large Computer Manufacturer I used to work for, if a manager wanted to date someone who reported to him or her at any level, the underling had to be transferred to another area first. Otherwise, both would be fired, and it DID happen. Even husbands and wives working as peers had to be separated by at least two levels of management.

Any time one person has control over another's livelihood and employment, there's an element of coercion. If not to start, then at the end, and the coercion can go either way. It might start out consensual, but what if you want to end it and he doesn't? Does servicing the boss become part of your job description?

So far, no woman has come forward to say she felt coerced. But the power threat is still there - "if you want to continue in the job, keep your mouth shut".

Yeah, I think this is a big deal.

joy n said...

For some reason, Jackie, I immediately thought of you when I first heard this news of DL, I guess because I know what a fan you are. I also wondered what the big deal was. A single man, unmarried, slept with women whom he worked with. And the shocker is what? He was smart to make his statement and expose the "plot". Other than the trial, this should be the end of it, hopefully.

I wondered, too, if maybe the audience momentarily thought he was about to deliver a punchline after his first sentence or two. They probably couldn't believe that anyone would blackmail a person over something many of them may have done themselves.

If the blackmailer thought he had problems before? YIKES!

I'm so glad that you and Vincent seem so peaceably comfortable together. He really loves you, too, Jackie!

Sally said...

It's a damp, chilly day here, so having a cat wrapped around one's neck sounds cozy. Vincent probably knew you hadn't been feeling well and wanted to help keep you warm.

Dave's situation involves affairs between single, consenting adults, making it a non-story in my book. Whether or not I approve of such behavior, it's not uncommon, let alone illegal, and while it might cause complications with any others involved with the parties, that's the nature of the dating game.

I really liked the way Dave handled this. He let his lawyer and the authories handle everything, then explained the situation on his show, exactly as he wanted it told. The audience laughter was a bit awkward, but largely stopped once people started to understand the nature of story.

And what was the blackmailer thinking? He's apparently some hot-shot producer on a news/crime show who should understand that crime doesn't pay. But he decides he wants to extort big bucks from a famous, wealthy celebrity who has lawyers at his beck and call, and who, by the way, hasn't done anyting illegal? Bet he's seeing the error of his ways now.

Paul said...

Letterman is fine; he never was the “Family Values” type. Yes, he probably cheated on his girlfriend now wife. But at least he does go around claiming he is Mr. “Family Values” like some of our politicians (can you just see the grin on all “Fake News” reporters/commentators). This has been a tough summer, for Dave, for our economy but at least he did not end up on the “Republican 2009 Summer of Love” list: Assemblyman, Michael D. Duvall (CA), Senator John Ensign (NV), Senator Paul Stanley (TN), Governor Mark Stanford (SC), Board of Ed Chair, and Kristin Maguire AKA Bridget Keeney (SC).

tslandry said...

thought something was going on with Monty way back when, and I felt for both the audience and Dave it was obvious the audience had no idea where he was going and when they caught on their attitude changed. Watching from home I had already heard and it made me squirm when they laughed until my DH reminded me they don't know what we know... I hope this blows over he is an entertainer he is good and Im not gonna stop watching him ... heres hoping Dave comes back stronger than ever. I really respect the way he handled it and broke the story so to speak on his own terms!

GLad Vincent is adjusting to life with you ... and hey this is my first post after years of lurking through BB and the AR ... all it took was a Dave post! Thanks for all you do and I really like your Sunday posts and your pics! Keep up the good work!

Paul said...

I believe that the American people can see the distinction between a Late Night jokester and a Politician who preaches one thing and lives another. And I also believe that the American people will have more compassionate about this situation, but who knows what the court case will reveal.

Anonymous said...

David Letterman is David Letterman. He has always marched to the beat of his own drum. What goes around comes around. I doubt much will happen to him but the way he spoke of Sarah Palins daughter was DISGUSTING and he knew what he was saying. I will not be giving him a pass on this and I hope he gets what he deserves. He has turned into some kind of political person and that is not appealing....he should stick to what he does best. I recall back in the day when Cher was so disgusted the way he treated so many guests. He could not beat Jay Leno in the ratings and I know why!!!!!!!!!! These good ol boys with the BIG jobs think its normal to have affairs with interns!! Yuk!!

Anonymous said...

Men at the TOP positions no matter where they are should not pray on young girls that could be either their children or grandchildren. I think it is horrible and looking the other way is just making it worse. Its all fine until it turns out to be your child or relative. David Letterman has a huge ego and the young things just feed that. His fake appology didn't even go over with his wife.
I guess if its fine for a president its fine for David Letterman. Something is very wrong with this picture.