The David Letterman Blackmail, Sex Scandal: What's Your Take?

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No matter how you felt about David Letterman prior to his role in a recent extortion plot, or how you feel about him now that he's admitted to an affair with a staffer, we can all agree on one thing:

The talk show host's public admission was gripping television.

Countless celebrities have been caught in sex scandals; but we can't recall a single one that sat for 10 minutes in front of the camera and a stunned studio audience - as the host of a comedic program, no less - and divulged the details of his affair in such a manner.

We're not condoning Letterman's behavior, nor are we condemning it. We're simply struck by how unique this situation is.

Over the next few days, it's safe to assume Letterman's behavior will be scrutinized by the media, fans and detractors. There will likely be two, contrasting schools of thought regarding his actions, summed up below:

Anti-Dave: He's a liar and a hypocrite. He's made numerous jokes over the years about cheating politicians, and he's no better than any of them. Moreover, he slept with an Stephanie Birkitt, an underling, raising questions of sexual harassment at work.

Pro-Dave: He's a comedian. His job is to make us laugh, not to set some paradigm of moral behavior. From Michael Jordan to Bill Clinton to Brad Pitt, the number of celebrities that have had affairs might outweigh those that have not. Moreover, Letterman's cantankerous, self-important reputation was well-known for years. Everyone familiar with him agrees that his heart attack in 2000 and the birth of his son in 2004 truly changed Dave for the better; the infidelity took place prior to the latter event.

The Hollywood Gossip staff members are open fans of Letterman, and we can't deny this story soils his reputation a bit in our eyes.

However, as mentioned above, if we were to judge every famous person that cheated on his/her significant other, we'd scarcely have time for anything else. The fact that Letterman stared into the camera and owned up to his behavior - not because he had a book to sell, nor because he owes his viewers any detail about his personal lie - does say something about the man.

Sit on your high horse if you wish, but Dave has never claimed he's perfect (far, far from it, in fact; self-deprecation is a major part of his act). Over the past few years, this upsetting admission included, he's connected with viewers in more human ways that maybe any other person on TV. His affair is between him and Regina Lasko and no one else.

That's how we feel about the story. What about YOU? Leave a comment. Let us know.

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David Letterman Biography

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David Letterman hosts our favorite late-night talk show. His top 10 lists are always good for a laugh. In the summer of 2009, he got into... More »
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