Top 10 reasons why David Letterman will be fired

Posted on October 2, 2009 
Filed Under Crisis communications

“Dave this is creepy stuff, even for me.”

As a fan of David Letterman, I enjoy his brand of humour, his intelligence and interviewing skills.

But I fear the crisis he is now mired in, and the strategy with which he has chosen to address it, will likely end his career.

Here are the facts so far:
On his show on Thursday, Oct 1, Letterman said he was the victim of a US$2 million blackmail attempt over charges of sexual affairs with staff members, claims that he conceded were true. The alleged perpetrator, later revealed to be CBS producer Robert Halderman, was arrested in a sting. Letterman said he testified to the affairs in front of a grand jury.

In any crisis, a quick and truthful admission of guilt is sometimes the best and only solution. All the better to make the revelation when you have all the facts in hand and are willing to acknowledge and accept your mistakes, and then apologize to the aggrieved and suggest your remedial action.

If any public figure or CEO of a company were to make the revelation that he had slept with members of his staff, for any reason, and despite it being consensual, the right thing to do is then to call a press conference, offer his suspension from duties and save the company and stakeholders at large further embarrassment, until the crisis was over.

But by using the show, instead of press conference, to candidly admit the “terrible things” and “creepy stuff” he did, Letterman has opened himself to being ridiculed for hypocrisy and attempting to bump up ratings, and, therefore, profit from this unfolding fiasco.

During the show, Letterman said “Would it be embarrassing if it were made public? Perhaps it would – especially for the women.” “I feel like I need to protect these people — I need to certainly protect my family.”

Although he seemed genuine, Letterman was certainly mistaken that “these people” were his first concern. If anything, Letterman’s only concern was for himself. Otherwise, he would have suspended the show and taken a leave of absence and mitigated an already bad situation.

All the women still in his employ are now fair game. The media scrutiny and spotlight that Letterman has opened them to may likely destroy their careers.

As the crisis unfolds – with more salacious revelations coming forth – the public and his many celebrity guests will likely be divided on this issue but the fact remains Letterman may never be viewed the same way again.

The backlash to CBS, as long as Letterman remains on air, will be devastating. Which leads us to the sad, and inevitable countdown.

Top 10 reasons why David Letterman will be fired:

10.Halderman will counter sue, allege harassment from Dave and say the extortion story was a cover-up.
9. Halderman’s surrogates will leak copies of Dave’s ‘terrible things’ to
8. One or more women, currently or formerly from CBS, will sue CBS, Letterman and his production company.
7. Right-wingers that haven’t forgiven Dave for his Sarah Palin put-downs will likely organize advertiser boycotts and post high moral ground, holier-than-thou op-eds screaming ‘hypocrisy’.
6. More workplace harassment and sexual trysts allegations at CBS, NBC, ABC and various cable stations will continue to feed the media frenzy for months to come.
5. Several planted guests will attack Dave with lemon meringue pies.
4. A sex tape of Dave and several interns in the Green Room will emerge.
3. Celebrity guest Madonna or Drew Barrymore will offer to have sex with Dave on air and he will oblige.

2. Dave will break down in front of his mum on air and confess to being a “bad boy”.
1. Dave will shave his head, don a kurta, convert to Hinduism, join an ashram and rename the show The Late Celibate Show.


2 Responses to “Top 10 reasons why David Letterman will be fired”

  1. Stephanie Birkit on October 8th, 2009 5:08 pm

    Top Ten Reasons I Slept With Dave
    1. He told me there was something in my underwear.
    2. I find big ears attractive.
    3. I got lost on the Late Night set and slept on his couch.
    4. He promised me a bologna on rye sandwich afterwards.
    5. I thought he was the famous rapper Snoop Dave.
    6. I used him to get to Paul.
    7. It was in my contract.
    8. That gap in his teeth mesmerized me.
    9. I though it was part of my bonus.
    10. What else is there to do Monday’s after midnight?

  2. Comments on Peter Shankman’s Comments « Crisisblogger on October 9th, 2009 5:19 am

    […] posting this I noted the pingback on my earlier blog about Letterman’s future. I agree and wish I could have said it so creatively. Possibly […]

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