now dave letterman is in the news again, and if you haven't followed the scandal, i'll summarise it very briefly. mr letterman has admitted to sleeping with some of the female staff that work on his show. he made this revelation because some guy blackmailed him about it. mr litterick has an excellent post about the value of that action, and i need say no more about it here. mr letterman went to the police, and they managed to catch the blackmailer. there was a grand jury convened to determine whether or not there was a case against the blackmailer, at which event mr letterman testified.
at this point, he realised he may as well put the whole story in the public arena, as he knew it would get out sooner or later. by doing so, he could at least have his version of events out there and pre-empt the negative publicity that he couldn't hope to avoid. of course, in doing so, he spoke mostly about the blackmail and about how awful the experience had been. it wasn't until well into his spiel that he actually came out with the fact that he had been having sex with staff members.
of course blackmail is a terrible thing, and i'm glad that he has managed to deal with that terrible situation. and he has apparently apologised to his wife and to current female staff members who are now having to face speculation as to whether or not they are having sex with him. but there is no acknowledgement of the power imbalance between him and the staff members he has slept with, and the fact there is a strong possibility of sexual harassment involved.
obviously he is not going to point out how totally inappropirate his behaviour has been, simply because it is likely to result in court action against him. but it really is troubling, in an industry already rife with sexual exploitation, that he should get away with such behaviour without any censure. and none has been forthcoming from his employers as yet.