“Washington, D.C.: Howard. Okay, I haven’t followed the Letterman event 24/7 but I’m confused. Has there been any allegation that Letterman threatened or put pressure on the woman to engage in the conduct? Every comment seems to assume that. Two adults engaging in a romantic tryst is one thing, a powerful executive coercing a staffer to have sex is another.
Howard Kurtz: Of course. But most of the women haven’t spoken publicly. We don’t even know who all of them are. It may well be that the affairs were entirely consensual. But what if there’s a female staffer who didn’t sleep with Letterman, and felt discriminated against while Stephanie Birkitt (one of Dave’s girlfriends) got an increasingly prominent on-air role? The law can be tricky when it comes to the workplace.”
And you can be even tricker. Isn’t that right Howie? Clearly you’re trembling with antici—
for some “intern” (ie. 13 year-old girl) to come forward and declare that Dave did “creepy” things with a cigar, just like Bill Clinton.
“Washington, D.C.: Please clarify — would you agree that the fact of Letterman having affairs with his employees is only newsworthy because of the extortion attempt? I mean if the Post learned that Jay Leno or Conan O’Brien or some other TV star was having an affair with a staffer, they would not run such a story, correct?
Howard Kurtz: I would imagine there would have to be some other factor: a complaint of sexual harassment; a lawsuit by someone else claiming discrimination; a complaint that the person was promoted solely because of the relationship, or something like that. “
Hope springs eternal, Howie.
As for Dave and his ladies — sing us out Adam.