Applauding Adultery? Smooth Dave… Real Smooth

In case you haven’t heard the latest celebrity gossip, comedian and talk show host David Letterman recently jumped into his car early one morning and found a package on the back seat. Inside were the details of many not-so-good things he apparently did and a threat that unless he paid a sum of money (later revealed to be $2 million) the author of the package would write a screenplay and reveal all of Dave’s nasty happenings. Now, I’m not for a minute going to say that extortion and blackmail are in any way acceptable. The suspect, Robert Halderman, an Emmy award winning news producer, has been arrested and it appears the case will go to trial.

But my question came after viewing how Dave handled his “confession.” Using his talk show as a platform, he managed to turn what would be a devastating situation for any of us not privileged to have a network audience, into a comedic ratings grabber. Check this YouTube clip for the complete segment (recognizing, obviously, that it discusses the sexual generalities of the accusation):

What a sad state we have reached when a man confesses to having sex with who knows how many of his co-workers (“underlings” may be more accurate) and he is rewarded with laughter and applause. What I want to know is if the studio floor director was giving the audience instructions as to when the “serious moment” was coming. That sudden silence that allows Dave a few seconds to make his apology just hits me as being staged and manufactured—that’s what media does best.

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