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David Letterman drops bombshell announcement about sex scandal October 4, 2009

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On his show airing on October 1, 2009, late night comedian David Letterman, who was the target of a blackmail scheme, came clean about having sex with some of his female staff members. The accused blackmailer threatened to share with the public the intimate details of the darker half of Letterman’s life unless the comedian paid $2 million. Ultimately, Letterman reported the scheme to his lawyer, and the blackmailer was arrested on criminal charges.

Public reaction to the scandal has been mixed so far. Some of Letterman’s viewers saw the scandal as a personal matter and forgave him immediately; others, though, were disgusted by the news. Nevertheless, Letterman’s sponsors have yet to pull their financial support for the show.

To see the apology yourself, and an analysis of Letterman’s choice to come clean, watch the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Why did Letterman come clean on his own show although the media had not yet reported anything about the scandal? In other words, what was Letterman’s strategy?

2.  What were some of the risks of Letterman’s public apology? What were some of the risks that he faced if he tried to stay quiet?

3.  Will this scandal blow over for David Letterman?  Why, or why not?



1. Paul - October 5, 2009

Letterman is fine; he never was the “Family Values” type. Yes, he probably cheated on his girlfriend now wife. But at least he does go around claiming he is Mr. “Family Values” like some of our politicians (can you just see the grin on all “Fake News” reporters/commentators). This has been a tough summer, for Dave, for our economy but at least he did not end up on the “Republican 2009 Summer of Love” list: Assemblyman, Michael D. Duvall (CA), Senator John Ensign (NV), Senator Paul Stanley (TN), Governor Mark Stanford (SC), Board of Ed Chair, and Kristin Maguire AKA Bridget Keeney (SC).

2. mrlocario - October 15, 2009

1. Letterman is smart. He knows that he can confess to his fans and they will understand him. He probably figured if I tell everyone then no can hold anything over him.

2. Letterman has been around for a very long time. He has built a rapport that allows him to look vulnerable in public and it will add to his over character in the public eye. If he had covered it up it the everyone who has followed him for so long would feel betrayed.

3. It will blow over. I mean come on it’s Letterman. Look how many thing he has said an done that didn’t sit well with everyone. But his true fan tune in to the show the following night anyway. He will be fine.

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