Tuesday, October 6, 2009

David Letterman's Apology Spree, first to Wife and then Palin Again

I've been watching David Letterman's recent drama, the revelation that he was being blackmailed about affairs with female staffers at CBS, folks asking should the network fire him because of sexual harassment related to the same affairs, and the media fall out regarding the sordid mess. This man seems to have runs of bad luck and sad hits that are more intense than typical human suffering. Indeed, Megan Smith at BlogHer.com has a post listing some of Letterman's troubles over the years.

When the news of CBS producer Robert J. "Joe" Halderman's extortion plot against the late night talk show host first broke, I recalled immediately the hot water Letterman was in about three months back. He made a tasteless, inappropriate joke about Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol being knocked up by a baseball player. People misconstrued the joke to be about the former governor's younger 14-year-old daughter, Willow. Either way, it was not a good thing for Letterman.

I also recalled how people examined his apology back then, trying to determine if he were sincere. Perhaps that still haunts him because on his show recently he made yet another apology and threw one in for Palin again.
"Through all of this, you have to ask yourself what really happened. And what really happened was you can't be victimized by criminals. So you have to go ahead and push back if you're being pushed by something illegal like this," Letterman told his audience Monday.

"And through all of the heartache, and the attention, and the embarrassment, I still feel like I did the right thing, and now also, because what can it hurt, once again I'd like to apologize to the former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. I'm terribly, terribly sorry. So there we go," he added to cheers from the crowd. (Letterman as quoted by CNN)
Letterman is obviously uncomfortable about his public soap opera, appearing to go on an apology spree, but like many comedians, he also turns the whole matter into a running joke shortly after delivering his apologies. While he's apologized to his wife and tossed in one for the road to Palin, adding subtext to how he may feel about airing his character flaws to the world, he also joked that he'll be on Oprah next week sobbing. A little snark there, right? Perhaps he's really revealing that he thinks public apologies are only about show and not what a person really does to make amends or even how the person actually feels.

He said his wife's been horribly hurt by his past sexual relationships, and he wants to make things right with her. Only the two of them and God will know if he succeeds.

And of course, the comedian's gotten a taste of his own comedic medicine from fellow late night talk show hosts. They've not pulled punches jabbing at his misfortune, much of which is of his own making this time.


Unknown said...

MediaCurves.com recently conducted a study comparing viewers’ ratings of David Letterman’s sex scandal confession and his apology to Sarah Palin last June. Results found that that viewers perceived Letterman’s recent confession as more sincere than his apology to Palin. Letterman scored higher on likeability, believability and sincerity scales when viewers rated his recent confession, compared to his apology to Sarah Palin in June More in depth results can be seen at:

msladyDeborah said...

The truth is often stranger than fiction. He's cracked on Clinton for years. Now look who's been exposed over his pants down business.

I think that this might get even uglier when it goes to trial. I'm read for a made for cable flick on the whole situation. It can be part two of late night talk show hosts wars.

Dave very seldom shows up on the sceen of my television. I like something with more cerebal weight than his show provides. But, I may tune in to see how things are progressing.

btw, I thought the jokes he made about himself were funny.


Um - if ol' Dave was working with my company he would have been swept away so quick that all you could see was the dust.

Didn't this guy break any laws?