Letterman's Sorry State

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 6, 2009; 10:12 AM

Part of America thinks David Letterman is a dirty dog, and the other part thinks we should keep our noses out of his private business.

Those who see Dave as a showbiz guy who need not answer to anyone other than his family are, in my view, missing the point that the boss was having sex with subordinates. Or maybe they just don't care. If my online chat yesterday was any indication, more people are in the get-off-his-back camp.

Boston: "David Letterman was a famously single man. Other than the Enquirer and Us, who cares who a TV star is sleeping with? I'm sure their celebrity means a heck of a lot more pretty women than most of us though."

Brooklyn: "Am I the only one missing the big deal with Letterman? He's an entertainer, not the country's moral compass. And it seems to be a personal matter, not a public one. Big star has sex with hot young women. Wow. Stop the presses. I'm not even sure why Letterman made such a big deal of it himself."

Maybe because he realizes this could permanently soil his image?

After all, no one forced Dave to address the mess again last night. Something tells me that after a few days at home with his new wife, he realized he had more 'splainin' to do.

Here's my report on the latest developments.

David Letterman apologized to his wife Monday for having multiple sexual relationships with members of his "Late Show" staff, telling his audience that she "has been horribly hurt by my behavior."

Adopting a more abject tone than when he disclosed his sexual misbehavior last week, Letterman made clear during a taping that his disclosures have created difficulties in his seven-month marriage to Regina Lasko. He described his conduct as "stupid."

"When something happens like that, if you hurt a person and it's your responsibility, you try to fix it," the comedian said. "And at that point, there's only two things that can happen: Either you're going to make some progress and get it fixed, or you're going to fall short and perhaps not get it fixed, so let me tell you folks, I got my work cut out for me."

Letterman's show of contrition came on a day when Robert "Joe" Halderman, the CBS News producer accused in an extortion plot against him, mounted a counteroffensive, with his lawyer arguing that the indictment "makes no sense."

"It's not only the motives, intent and conduct of Joe Halderman," the lawyer, Gerald Shargel, said on NBC's "Today." "It's the motives, intent and conduct of David Letterman, as well. I look forward to cross-examining David Letterman."

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