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David Letterman Apologizes to Wife, Staff

David_letterman
Last night David Letterman indicated in his monologue that his dalliances with the staff have "hurt [his] wife horribly," and that he has his "work cut out for [him.]" Y'think, Dave? Letterman also took the time to apologize to pretty much his entire female staff, as his admission had probably led to more than a few eyebrow raises at happy hour for many of his staffers. 

Video and my opinion, as if you care, follow the jump.




I have mixed feelings about public apologies of any kind about personal matters, but particularly those made by a public figure to his or her spouse. Marriage is hard, and infidelities happen far too often — almost 60% of men and 40% of women will admit to it, so you marrieds know the odds that you'll go to your graves as two eternally faithful lovebirds aren't exactly in your favor. But one thing I know makes any marital strife even worse is making it a public matter. Just ask anyone who regularly airs dirty laundry involving his or her spouse how well that usually goes down later on.

Since it appears from his statement that Letterman and his wife did not have an open marriage arrangement, I can only imagine the pain she must be going through, and I'm not sure that a public apology helps matter more. A private apology, some groveling, marriage counseling and possibly an agreement to wear a shock collar to prevent further indiscretions, sure. But a public apology only further casts the spotlight on the wounded and probably deeply embarrassed party who has probably only recently learned that her partner of 20+ years was dipping his pen in the company ink. Anyone who's ever been cheated on knows, whether or not it's logical or fair, a lot of shame and embarrassment falls to the victim as well as the perpetrator.

Here's hoping that Dave moves away from this topic soon so that he and his wife can heal together. In contrast, the part of his apology that includes his staff was a definite class act. In the case of his colleagues at The Late Show, I can see a need for a public apology. That is because, in the case of the multiple dalliances he's admitted to, his apology is mostly a way of saying to the public, "look, I slept with *some* people who work for me or once worked for me. It is no business of yours, nor is it fair to assume, that because an employee of mine is female that I've boned her." The fact that he recognizes this revelation affects more than just his wife and himself is probably one of many reasons why Letterman's entire staff has stood by him through all this. The consensus among them is that Letterman is a hard-working and fantastic boss who appreciates women. Not just, you know, *like that*, but as coworkers and human beings. Too often these sorts of scandals disintegrate into a discussion of sexual bartering and harassment, and from the comments made by staff at Letterman (including one of the involved parties), regardless of their gender, that doesn't seem to be the case here. 

For the most part, though, Letterman has handled the entire extortion attempt and scandal with an appropriate amount of self-effacement and grace, humor and humility. While I sure as hell wouldn't want to be the one married to him right now, I remain aligned with Team Letterman, because he makes me laugh, and for the most part he seems like a good person who did some bad things. I don't know a single good person who hasn't. Frankly, if I'm looking to find my moral compass on late-night television, I've got my wagon hitched to the wrong horse.







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Comments

jgamma

For me, it does matter to some degree that he was NOT married when this was going on; they just got married this year. Probably matters a lot to the long-time girlfriend/mother-of-his-child, but still...

Sweetney

What jgamma said. I feel so bad for him at this point. And while I agree *personally* that the issue with his wife is and should have remained private, you KNOW if he hadn't said that every single media talking head and blogger (ahem cough) on the face of the earth would be penning posts right now: "DAVE APOLOGIZES TO STAFF, BUT NOT TO WIFE, THE DIRTBAG." He can't win for losing at this point.

Sigh. Seriously, my heart goes out to him, and his whole family.

Jessi

I totally agree to the somewhat ickyness of his apology to his wife on national tv. However, I have read enough "...and he hasn't said a WORD about his poor wifeypoo..." statements to know that it wasn't even a little about his wife. If he is going to survive this, he has to make people like him again and some people aren't going to like him unless he takes some marital punishment. This acknowledges that. I don't know if it'll work, but, you know...

Alison

Is it normal for him to not be wearing a wedding ring?

B

Ugh, this "Team Letterman" stuff makes me nauseous. Of course, I'm at home with H1N1, so it could be that too...

For realzeez, I know that men and women in any corporation have flings and cheat all over the place. I was, in my pre-baby days, often sought after as one of these conquests. It always disgusted me that anyone, male or female, would use the workplace as a playground. It just seemed so....sketchy and CREEPY, and childish. Whenever I would find out about this behavior of any of my coworkers, I would instantly have a hard time respecting them in any capacity. Judgey? HELLS YES.

My opinion of Letterman is that he is no different from those other men and women who did this when I was in the corporate field. I can only see him as gross.

JAR

I think when your discretions are public you have no choice but to make the apology public, too. Or, at least, you don't have a choice if you want to keep that job in the public.

I don't like what he did but I do like that he took ownership. He never once said "this is because I'm still hurting over the loss of my mom (kanye)" or "she treated me badly (gosselin" so I should be forgiven because it's not my fault.

If he keeps using it for sketches on the show he'll be a dirty dog. If he sticks with the high road going forward I think he'll be okay.

Paul

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 and the Palin’s fringe). 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 Sanford (SC), Board of Ed Chair, and Kristin Maguire AKA Bridget Keeney (SC).

Julie

Do you really think this public apology is the only apology his wife had gotten from him? I'm pretty sure, as the other commenters have said, that including his wife in the public apology was only to satisfy viewers and critics. I seriously doubt that's the only apology his wife has gotten.

michael

Sounds like someone needs to pay a visit to.......


www.Imsorry.com




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