Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Letterman's Confession: I'd Rather Laugh at Dylan
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.