Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Letterman's Confession: I'd Rather Laugh at Dylan

Some things are just not funny.  And David Letterman's on-air confession of affairs with show staff and interns is one of them, despite his infusing the sordid news with one-liners. In order to avoid blackmail, he decided on total "transparency," the new buzz word that's supposed to imply honesty, but is regularly twisted and spun.

I don't watch Letterman, and in fact, we don't have a television in our home.  Given new statistics showing US households have a TV on more than 8 hours every single day (twice as much as runner-up Greece), I feel pretty good about gaining so much opportunity for other pursuits.  But even so, David Letterman's disgusting personal life has seeped into enough newspapers and radio shows to taint my consciousness.  It's increasingly difficult, it seems, to avoid bumping into his transparency.

I don't think marital cheating, especially with subordinates within a professional environment, should be dismissed with a joke.  Blackmail and extortion are crimes, and they aren't funny, either.  The whole topic seems to be thrust on the public like some funhouse mirror distortion of reality: let's make merry of grotesquery; let's cope with this awkward and loathesome situation with a nervous chuckle. That a comic known for ribbing politicians for their peccadilloes should now be making cracks about his own infidelities is an irony that should add to our queasiness rather than our humor.

Is CBS glad their late-night boy is bringing viewers and publicity to their doorstep?  Must be, since they haven't fired Letterman for his clearly unethical behavior.  Another reason to eschew network TV--values are secondary to profit. As a proud capitalist, I value profit; however, it's bad business to offer customers (viewers) a product in conflict with their best interests, or that makes them uncomfortable.  For every voyeur who tunes in the Letterman Show to hear the next confessional gag is a regular, wholesome American who's repulsed.  And then there are the millions of people like me who don't watch the show, but involuntarily hear this sickening story play out in the news anyway.

If you want some real laughs, go listen to Bob Dylan's new Christmas music album.  Now that will have you in the right kind of tears.


  1. It is disheartening to hear yet again the trivial way immorality plays its way out. The twin idols of sex and self are being worshipped again. Contrasted, this week I read a piece by Randy Alcorn in which he lists the ways he would bring destruction into his life and the others' lives were he to give into sexual immorality. It is good to know that there are noble men out there. I'm glad to have one.

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