I heard the news before watching tonight’s show, but it was hard to watch Dave admit to having several sexual affairs (he called “sick, sick things”) with staffers at the show. He spoke about the man (who it turns out is the producer of “48 Hours”) who tried to blackmail him for $2 million for most of the segment, but finally admitted that these “sick things” he was accused of were true. There was laughing throughout, especially near the beginning of the story when he was in “Uncle Dave” mode, but as the story went on he became more contrite and spent the remainder of the show– including the guest interviews and the Top Ten list– looking bothered and distracted.
Letterman’s personal crisis bothers me because it means that a hero of mine is just another philandering drop in a sea of wealthy, powerful, adulterous men, helping to prove that there is no such thing as a wealthy, powerful man who can control his every sexual whim. I don’t care to be wealthy or powerful but I started wondering, should I become brilliant like Letterman and accrue wealth and power in the meantime, would I be susceptible to this kind of behavior, or– and this might be a stretch– does my intense desire to be a trustworthy, non-philandering man preclude my being brilliant and successful? Are these traits mutually exclusive? Is there an intervening variable here that might explain why so many wealthy or powerful men are adulterers? Does this mean wealthy and powerful men are nearly irresistible to women, and that it’s a given that any man will sleep with a woman who finds him irresistible? Should it be okay for a man to have affairs or mistresses or the occasional night with a prostitute if it allows him to keep being brilliant? If that’s how we are by nature, then why does it seem so messed up? Why are people always hurt by these “sick things” if it appears they have some natural reason to accept or even embrace them?
Most of all, why are people sticking up for Roman Polanski, the child rapist?