October 6, 2009

LKL on Letterman's latest apology

Posted: 10:55 AM ET
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October 5, 2009

Lewis Black rips Letterman media coverage

Posted: 11:51 PM ET

Has the media coverage of the David Letterman scandal been fair?

Filed under: David Letterman • Larry King Live

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Letterman Apologizes on the Air to His Wife

Posted: 11:44 PM ET


David Letterman apologized on the air Monday to his wife, Regina, for his revelation last week of his sexual relationships with staff members, saying she had been “horribly hurt” and adding, “I’ve got my work cut out for me” to mend the relationship.

Mr. Letterman made the remarks at the start of the taping of his Monday night show on CBS. They were his first public comments since last Thursday when he revealed details of an apparent extortion attempt tied to sexual relationships with his staff members.

The comedian also apologized to his staff, saying, “I’m terribly sorry that I put the staff in that position.” He labeled his mistake as inadvertent because “I just wasn’t thinking ahead.” He thanked the staff for being supportive and for “putting up with something stupid I’ve gotten myself involved in.”

In his monologue, a rueful Mr. Letterman told several jokes related to the incident and the critical reaction to it.

(Read More)

Filed under: David Letterman • Larry King Live

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Hey Dave...I Missed the Joke

Posted: 04:54 PM ET

By Steve Adubato via

I couldn’t care less what David Letterman does in his personal life. But, I’m a big fan of his. He’s one of the funniest, smartest and most talented late night talk show hosts around. Simply put, I’m a fan of Dave’s. But, frankly, I wasn’t thrilled with how he handled this recent controversy around what he calls his “creepy” behavior in connection with women on his staff that he had sex with and an apparent effort to extort $2 million from him.

On some level, Letterman was clearly a victim of a really creepy guy trying to score a few cheap bucks by taking advantage of the fact that Letterman slept with some staff members. I’m not going to address any legal or HR liability issues when a boss sleeps with a staff person. It’s not my area of expertise and, frankly, I don’t even like talking about it. However, from a PR and crisis management perspective, Dave could have done a lot better than he did in his opening monologue Thursday night where he tried to clarify this whole situation and complain to his studio audience as well as those watching at home.   

I wrote a book recently called What Were They Thinking? Crisis Communication: The Good, the Bad, and the Totally Clueless. I have to ask, “What exactly was Dave thinking”?

(Read More)

Filed under: David Letterman • Larry King Live

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Letterman, the "Master Manipulator"—Does Dave Want His Apology Erased?

Posted: 12:36 PM ET

by via E! Online

David Letterman has mined private events in his life for very public jokes on his show.Is David Letterman a master manipulator?

That's the word from the lawyer for accused blackmailer Robert "Joe" Halderman, who made the rounds on the talk-show circuit this morning.

"I look forward to cross-examining David Letterman," Halderman's legal eagle, Gerald Shargel, told Today. "If you only hear David Letterman's side of the story, take it at face value, and say, 'Turn off the sets, that Halderman's guilty'—I think that's plain wrong."

Spinning on behalf of his client, who pleaded innocent Friday to charges of grand larceny, Shargel said the Emmy-winning 48 Hours Mystery producer had an excellent reputation in the industry and that allegations that he tried to cash a bogus $2 million check from Letterman to pay off some debts made "absolutely no sense."

"In the history of extortion attempts, there's never been, as far as I know, someone paying by check," the attorney said.

(Read More)

Filed under: David Letterman • Larry King Live

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Letterman grudge may have driven alleged blackmailer

Posted: 11:45 AM ET

By Larry Celona, Cathy Burke and Austin Fenner via New York Post

After David Letterman broke up with his sexy young assistant and she found a new boyfriend, the late-night TV talk king couldn't stand being around the guy, sources revealed yesterday. art_david_letterman_cbs

And that grudge may have driven dissed beau Robert "Joe" Halderman's alleged plot to extort $2 million from Letterman by threatening to expose his sexcapades with "Late Show" underlings.

Halderman started dating Letterman's personal assistant, Stephanie Birkitt, 34, after she split with her boss - and Dave made it clear he didn't want her new 51-year-old producer boyfriend at any "Late Show" office parties and other staff events, the sources said.

"He wanted Stephanie there, not Halderman - he didn't like him," one source said.

Years later, Halderman, an Emmy-winning producer for CBS's "48 Hours Mystery," allegedly engineered the extortion scheme.

Halderman and Letterman had Birkitt in common - but little else, sources said.

Halderman liked to live well, golf and party hard, one source noted.

Letterman, on the other hand, has a well-honed reputation as private, reserved and geeky.


Filed under: Crime • David Letterman

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ICYMI: LKL on Letterman's blackmail attempt

Posted: 11:06 AM ET
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October 4, 2009

Letterman suspect threatens press as he goes to bank, cleaners

Posted: 10:55 AM ET

BY Henrick Karoliszyn In Norwalk, Conn. and Samuel Goldsmith

Robert Joel Halderman pleads not guilty Friday to first-degree attempted grand larceny. Alone and angry, the hotshot CBS producer accused of extorting David Letterman left his home Saturday to go – where else – to the bank.

A day after he was charged with trying to shakedown Letterman, Joe Halderman emerged from his Connecticut home and barked at reporters camped outside.

"Get off my property or I'll call the police," the rattled news vet, who is free on $200,000 bail, said. "This is a private road. If I see one more of you guys on this road, I will call the cops. This is trespassing – it's against the law."

Dressed in an Arizona State University shirt and a Titleist golf hat, Halderman hurried to his gray Honda Accord for a quick trip to the bank and laundermat. It was unclear if the Bank of America he visited was the same branch where he deposited the phony $2 million check Letterman gave him as part of a sting operation.

Filed under: David Letterman • Larry King Live

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Letterman Blackmailed: CBS Execs Didn't Know About Plot Until Final Hours

Posted: 12:47 AM ET

By Chris Ariens via Media Bistro

David Letterman admitted to having sexual relationships with female staff members, his company says.More details are being revealed in the case of "48 Hours" producer Joe Halderman in the alleged extortion plot against David Letterman. The New York Times reports Halderman had gone to work Thursday, even attended a show meeting before being arrested outside the the CBS Broadcast Center. And despite this being a three-week ordeal, even the highest ranks at CBS Corp. didn't know of the attempted extortion plot until just a few hours before it was revealed on their network.

CBS executives, including Leslie Moonves, the chairman of CBS Corporation, knew nothing about the attempted plot and were informed of the matter only several hours before the taping of his Thursday show. Inside CBS's headquarters, where employees can usually watch the Letterman show live on closed circuit, the extortion segment was not transmitted.

Friday night's show was pre-taped so there was no mention of the story. While recounting the "bizarre" experience Thursday, Letterman said, "I don't plan to say much more about this...on this particular topic."

(Read More)

Filed under: Crime • David Letterman • Entertainment • Larry King Live

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October 3, 2009

'Sextortion' is latest issue pushing Letterman into spotlight

Posted: 01:15 PM ET

For someone who seems to go to great lengths to keep his private life away from prying eyes, late-night talk show host David Letterman has seen a great deal of his personal life become public.

Heart problems, a troubled stalker and a plot to kidnap his son have all landed Letterman in the news and provided fodder for jokes, including some of his own.

The latest, an alleged extortion attempt involving his sexual dalliances (it's been dubbed "sextortion" by pundits), was handled very much the way Letterman fans might expect: with humor and a bit of storytelling.

"He told it as a story that you felt like you were living along with him, and so I think he immediately won your sympathy by telling it that way," said Hal Boedeker, TV critic for the Orlando Sentinel. "He also took the seedy factor out of it with restraint by not saying too much and trying to protect the people he was involved with."

Letterman revealed on his show Thursday night that he'd had sexual relations with members of his staff and that he had testified about those liaisons before a New York grand jury for a case involving the alleged attempted extortion.

A CBS producer, Robert "Joe" Halderman, has been charged with first-degree attempted grand larceny; officials said he threatened to go public with the 62-year-old funnyman's dalliances unless Letterman paid $2 million.

Halderman pleaded not guilty Friday.

(Read More)

Filed under: David Letterman • Justice

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