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Letterman's most awkward moments

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mrmando wrote:

: I nominate Joaquin Phoenix to make it an even ten.

Here's a version the non-Americans can watch:

And here's an alternate list of awkward Letterman interviews.

See also here for an account of how Phoenix did almost the exact same thing nine years ago.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I'm pretty sure last night was Dave's most awkward moment. He handled this situation about as well as it could be handled. I'm not gonna say Dave's hands aren't dirty, but did this guy Robert Halderman actually think he was going to get away with this?


Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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I found Letteman's confession to be poorly done in the sense that he did it in such a way to avoid the weight of his wrongdoing. Note the applause he gets for saying he had sex with his staffers. There should be shame in his confession, not wallowing in being a victim.

Does CBS have a corporate policy concerning sexual relationships with subordinates? (I can't imagine them not having a policy.) Does the policy apply to Letterman?


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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I found Letteman's confession to be poorly done in the sense that he did it in such a way to avoid the weight of his wrongdoing. Note the applause he gets for saying he had sex with his staffers. There should be shame in his confession, not wallowing in being a victim.

Does CBS have a corporate policy concerning sexual relationships with subordinates? (I can't imagine them not having a policy.) Does the policy apply to Letterman?

What Darrel said.


“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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I've never had any delusions that Letterman is a man of great character and moral uprightness. I've admired him for his quick wit, invention, and perseverance. I wasn't blessed with a great sense of humor, but as comedians go, Letterman's approach to comedy has influenced my own ideas about what's funny even more than Steve Martin's, Monty Python's, or Eddie Izzard's.

I shouldn't be surprised by Letterman's revelation. But still, I'm distraught. There's something about learning just what *kind* of dirt is under one of my heroes' fingernails that complicates my ability to enjoy his work. Seeing just how he's responding to the scandal is making things much worse. It'll be hard for me to ever enjoy watching him quite the same way again, or feel as good as I always have watching my VHS tapes of favorite Dave moments from the 80s. I learned a long, long time ago not to trust that the televised persona of anybody has much to do with who they are in "the real world." But that doesn't make the revelation any less disappointing.

I already miss the Dave that, on some level, I thought I knew.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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What SDG said, with the caveat that from a PR perspective, last night's soliloquy was a brilliant decision and an even brillianter execution by Dave.

But mostly what SDG said.

I really regret that I can never think of his talks and skits with "Monty" -- the highlight of the show in the early aughts -- the same way again.

Dale

Edited by M. Dale Prins

Metalfoot on Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee's Noel: "...this album is...monotony...bland, tripy fare..."

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Yeah...the staffers thing just...left me perplexed. I just...*sigh* Why Dave? And he was so non-chalant about it...really bothered me.


"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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I found Letteman's confession to be poorly done in the sense that he did it in such a way to avoid the weight of his wrongdoing. Note the applause he gets for saying he had sex with his staffers. There should be shame in his confession, not wallowing in being a victim.

I got the impression that people were laughing and applauding because they were so caught off-guard and weren't even sure he was serious, not because they approved. It's a normal reaction when you're that shocked, I think.

I remember being in fourth grade when the Challenger blew up, and laughing and joking with my classmates about it immediately after it happened. To this day I'm ashamed of that. But sometimes when something really startling happens, your reactions come out all weird. (Not that I'm comparing the magnitude of the two incidents!)

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The video doesn't work any more, alas.

I find this way less shocking than Woody Allen's affair with his girlfriend's adopted daughter. And I didn't find THAT scandal all that shocking either. Anybody who had watched Woody Allen's films up to that point knew that he had had such things on the brain over the years. And Letterman, it seems to me, has always had a bit of a "dirty old man" thing going on (at least since he became a, uh, old man). At least he doesn't appear to have done anything quasi-incestuous.

FWIW, I, too, wondered about the company's policy regarding relationships between the boss and his or her underlings.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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FWIW, in addition to the corporate-policy thing, the other concern I had was that Letterman has a wife and child, and the wife is someone he has reportedly been with for at least 20 years -- though they only got married earlier this year. (Put a big fat "if memory serves" over this entire paragraph.)

And that gets me thinking about something else. A recurring pattern I've noticed in many high-profile relationships is that people who live together for years and THEN get married tend to split up only a year or two later. Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson, Hank Azaria and Helen Hunt, Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher, etc., etc. -- there is a recurring pattern where late efforts to make the relationship "legit" may indicate that the relationship had run into trouble and the couple was hoping the "legitimization" would save it. (Even the way Sam Phillips took her husband's surname and called herself "Sam Burnett" on her final album pre-divorce kind of fits this pattern.) I regret to say that I have even seen this pattern with one of my close friends: after living with a woman for seven or eight years and having three children with her, they got married a few years ago ... and then they separated a year or two later.

So the fact that Letterman married his girlfriend earlier this year is kind of a point of concern all in itself. But now they have to deal with this other stuff as well. I hope they can get through it.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Ah. FWIW, back when this person was on the show, I used to wonder from time to time if she and Dave had a thing going on -- there was something about their rapport that struck me that way, though it's been a few years and I couldn't say what, exactly, the "something" in question was -- and when I heard about last night's confession, this was the first person I thought of. So I'm not surprised to see her name surface already. What DOES surprise me is the allegation that she was recently living with the TV producer that was just arrested for trying to blackmail Dave.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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What DOES surprise me is the allegation that she was recently living with the TV producer that was just arrested for trying to blackmail Dave.

I'm not sure I'd call that an allegation -- it seems to be public record on a few fronts.

From what I can gather, she (presumably accidentally) left her diary/journal behind when she moved out, and that was the major source of extortion material.

Dale


Metalfoot on Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee's Noel: "...this album is...monotony...bland, tripy fare..."

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M. Dale Prins wrote:

: I'm not sure I'd call that an allegation -- it seems to be public record on a few fronts.

Ah, okay. I only knew the one front (i.e. the website that I linked to).

Re: the "something" that made me wonder about Letterman and that staffer back in the day, I think it might have been something she said on-air about the kinds of messages he'd been leaving on her voicemail.

That, in and of itself, wouldn't necessarily mean anything, of course. Back in the late '80s, I think it was, Dave had a woman named Barbara Gaines on the show and they talked about how he had left a really nasty message on her voicemail because he mistakenly thought she was ANOTHER Barbara Gaines, i.e. the Barbara Gaines who was one of his staffers at that time (she is now executive producer of the show). But the Barbara Gaines on his staff is openly gay, so there was presumably nothing going on THERE.

Anyway. I'd have to watch weeks' and weeks' worth of old episodes now to try to figure out what pushed my intuition button, and I wouldn't have the time to do that even if I had the resources.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Letterman Extortion Raises Questions for CBS

CBS executives declined to comment on the record and released an official statement that the network was cooperating with the investigation. But representatives of Worldwide Pants noted that CBS does not employ Mr. Letterman, and CBS representatives affirmed that point.

That distinction seemed to be made to underscore that Mr. Letterman was not subject to any of the CBS policies regarding harassment on the job. Worldwide Pants does have a policy. A spokesman issued a statement that read:


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Wow. So sometimes there really is a double standard for entertainers. If Roman Polanski wants a sympathetic ear, he should try to get a slot on Letterman's show.


Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

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This was Letterman's M.O. I have never heard about anything bad happening to any of the women he was involved with over the years. The ones from the NBC years all seemed to end up with rather lofty opportunities, to be honest.

:huh:

. . . This person can't really be that naive, can he? Or does he genuinely not know that he's just described, and praised, the age-old tradition of sleeping one's way to the top? (What bad things might have happened to those women who declined to get involved with Dave, I wonder?)

Edited by Gina

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Can Letterman survive being the butt of his own joke?

Letterman received plaudits for his honest admission as he helped unravel an alleged $2 million extortion attempt by a cash-strapped CBS news producer. But even though Letterman masterfully took hold of the narrative by coming clean about his role, as the Monitor


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I have to say that I couldn't give a rat's arse about what David Letterman does in his private life. From what we know, this was all consensual adult sex and there have been no claims of harassment. If anything, I thought his reasons for coming out and saying it were actually above board: that he wanted to avoid the women in question being put in a similar position and that he wanted to avoid his family being threatened. I also think that there is an strong argument to be made that he is a victim here and he was regaining control in a situation that takes that control away.

At no point has Letterman professed any sort of morality about sex and family. In fact, he's always been pretty honest about his failed marriage and his 'bachelor' status. Whilst this isn't behaviour I personally would choose to adhere to, I do not find it at all problematic in these circumstances.

Finally - did everyone really think that Larry Sanders wasn't by and large based on Letterman? Satire, sure, but with a basis in reality.


"There is, it would seem, in the dimensional scale of the world a kind of delicate meeting place between imagination and knowledge, a point, arrived at by diminishing large things and enlarging small ones, that is intrinsically artistic" - Vladimir Nabokov

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At no point has Letterman professed any sort of morality about sex and family. In fact, he's always been pretty honest about his failed marriage and his 'bachelor' status. Whilst this isn't behaviour I personally would choose to adhere to, I do not find it at all problematic in these circumstances.

Yeah, this is kinda where I'm at. I think of the people I've known in my life -- who has had sex with who, who has had sex with who at work, who has had sex with who, who happens to be at the very least a superior at work. If I'm married and a Christian and doing porn -- which I've done -- I'm the hypocrite more than they are. I can't vouch for anyone's claims to morality except my own, I guess, and I'm not always that great at it.

However, even covered in grace, I still like the concept of morality. It is somethiing to strive for.


In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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At no point has Letterman professed any sort of morality about sex and family.

I'm not so sure about that. If one makes jokes about Gov. Spitzer, Gov. Sanford, Sen. Craig, etc., etc., aren't those jokes grounded in a sense of morality that disapproves of their behavior?


Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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