Toni left a comment for me:
"I hope you post some thoughts about the Letterman extortion story. You always have an interesting spin on stars gone bad."
Thanks, Toni! I appreciate the prod.
Here's the thing, when I ponder a conflict, I cannot help but to get all anal retentive and organized about it and attempt to sort the issues in separate little piles. The David Letterman controversy has so many aspects. Just a few levels for ya:
- Power corrupts - Martin Mull once said "Hollywood is like high school with money". Think about that - having money, power, status while operating at an immature level. Plus everyone says yes to the big guy, especially if it fits their own agenda.
- Don't shit where you eat - in other words, don't mess around with the employees. Kinda bad: dating a co-worker. Real bad: a boss dating low level employees. Super bad: exposing yourself to sexual discrimination/harassment accusations.
- Karma is a bitch - then she has puppies. Making fun of others in similar positions seems to have bitten him in the ass. (Bill Clinton, Elliot Spitzer and Sara Palin are probably laughing their asses off today.)*
- Fidelity is relative - who knows if Dave was married when the liasions occurred but perhaps he and his wife have a unique understanding.
- Pride goes before the fall - the guys with the squeaky clean image have the most to lose. Watch your hubris, Jay Leno.
- Own up to it - David knows what countless others have not learned. It's not the first lie that gets in you in deep trouble, it's the cover up lies that sink you. Ask Martha Stewart, the Argentina visiting MIA South Carolina governor Mark Sanford and the now "out" former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey. My mom said it and your mom probably did too: it's bad that you broke a rule but it is even worse if you lie about it.
That said, I admire Dave's decision to admit his mistakes before Pandora's box opened.
* I enjoy David's humor and like his ribbing of public personalities.