Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Blackmail scandal boosts David Letterman's ratings

David Letterman's apologies to his wife and staff made for gripping television, and more viewers tuned in to his CBS program than watched anything on NBC in prime time on Monday.

CBC reports:
The 5.7 million viewers who tuned in to Letterman Monday more than doubled the audience for NBC's Tonight show with Conan O'Brien, according to the Nielsen Co. It was slightly less than the 5.9 million who watched Thursday when Letterman broke the news of the alleged extortion attempt. The ratings are a testament to the power of the internet after Letterman's representatives released details of the scandal to the media about three hours before his show aired Thursday. His audience that night was more than a million more than usual, meaning word spread quickly and encouraged people to tune in.

Men Behaving Madly: A commentary on the David Letterman controversy

Maureen Dowd writes:
Office romances abound in life and art (“The Office” has its interoffice wedding this week), and sometimes young staffers are attracted to the boss, and vice versa. Les Moonves, who heads CBS, and Robert Iger, who heads ABC as the chief of Disney, both married lovely young correspondents on their networks. Barack Obama fell in love with a superior mentoring him at his law firm.

On his last late-night show, Jay Leno brought out all the kids spawned from “Tonight Show” romances.

In an ideal world, bosses would refrain from sleeping with subordinates, so as not to cause jealousy and tension in the office. But we’re not in an ideal world. Otherwise, we’d already have health care for everyone and Glenn Beck wouldn’t have any influence over the White House.

After David Letterman acknowledged that he’d had flings with young assistants, some commentators talked about it in the same breath as Roman Polanski, who drugged and sodomized a 13-year-old. That’s outrageous.

Sexual harassment entails pressuring or penalizing a staffer or making the office atmosphere hostile. Despite the blustering of the attorney of the alleged execrable extortionist, Joe Halderman, there’s no evidence yet that Letterman was guilty of that. READ MORE