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On Friday, David Letterman launches his new series, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” with his first guest: former President Barack Obama. During the hour-long Netflix show, Letterman will yuk it up with the former commander in chief in the first of a reported six-episode run.
Coming on the high heels of the Golden Globes’ Mourn-In, #Me Too, Time’s Up Platitude Party, Letterman’s return to the small screen left me baffled. While Letterman is no Weinstein, the Indiana native’s previous workplace behavior equally merits censure from the sisterhood: He had sex with numerous female “Late Show” staffers.
Letterman - Affairs - Studio - Audience—and - Wife
Letterman confessed the extramarital affairs to a studio audience—and presumably first to his wife and son—in October 2009. But his mea culpa came only after Letterman testified before a grand jury of his affairs and a fellow CBS employee’s attempt to extort money from Letterman in exchange for his silence. The bizarre blackmail twist provided the golly-gee homespun humorist some shelter from a proper reckoning at the time.
When he returns to prime time later this week, Letterman may hope that memories are short, that the public will remember him solely as a victim of blackmail, or, at a bare minimum, believe the sex involved merely a private matter. But it was just two months ago The New York Times revisited Bill Clinton’s peccadilloes (and possibly rapes) from 1990 and before. Matt Yglesias, a former “pillar of the Clinton political world,” as The New York Times put it, wrote on Vox.com, “I think we got it wrong,” and that Clinton should have resigned over his alleged sex crimes.
Time - Yglesias - Americans - Argument - Perjury
At the time, as Yglesias explained, “most Americans embraced the larger argument that perjury in a civil lawsuit unrelated to the president’s official duties did not constitute high crimes and misdemeanors. But looking back through today’s lens, this whole...
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