The David Letterman Affair: A Sad Situation

Nobody wanted to know about this side of Dave. So can we just move on?

Last Updated: October 2, 2009 @ 11:03 AM

The David Letterman sex "scandal" is just a sad situation all around.

It’s pathetic that a CBS employee allegedly thought he could bilk Letterman out of $2 million by revealing details of his private life.

It’s unfortunate that Letterman had to go public with his sins with a pre-emptive strike rather than wait for the dirt to leak out. Nobody wanted to know about this side of America’s favorite late-night jokester, to have our image of Dave forever altered by something he himself admitted was "creepy."

And it’ll be really a shame if this whole thing doesn’t go away in a few days.

Letterman isn’t an elected official. There’s no evidence he broke any laws.

And while it’s impossible to avoid wondering whether his dalliances crossed the line into sexual harassment, unless and until one of his staffers accuses him of such impropriety, this is really just a private matter between Letterman and the women with whom he had relations.

If anything good emerges from this whole mess, perhaps it will be a lesson for other public figures about how to handle such situations.

Letterman laid out the facts in as straightforward a manner as he could. He took his hit. And he moved on.

The rest of us should now do the same.

For a truly insightful analysis of the Letterman situation, check out this column by Daniel Fienberg of HitFix. It’s a must-read.