Letterman, Polanski and us

I’ll admit that America’s Entertainment industry often strike me as an alien world.  Two recent examples are Hollywood’s reaction to the arrest of Roman Polanski and the reaction to late-night television host David Letterman’s affairs with subordinates. 

The first reaction to Letterman is ho-hum. He revealed the sexual relationships with staffers while relating an account of an effort to blackmail him.  It was presented in a way that evoked laughter from the audience.   On Monday night, he apologized again to staffers and to his wife who, he said, “has been horribly hurt by my behavior.”

While other entertainers have taken a few comic pot-shots at Letterman, the reaction in general has been that it’s no big deal.  There is,  however, one element that makes it a big deal — and that is the unequal power relationship that exists in their workplace. 

In the public sector, any politician who exploited subordinates would — or should — be driven from office.  Any law enforcement officer who exploited prisoners would be summarily fired and possibly jailed.  Any teacher who took advantage of a student would, likewise, be fired.  A business executive who engaged in the Letterman behavior with corporate staffers would be quickly dismissed.  And any military officer who committed even one breach with a subordinate would be drummed out of service.  So why the double-standard here?

The point here is not about Letterman and his wife.  Their relationship is their business.  It’s the workplace  setting coupled with  the unequal boss-employee power relationship that makes this a firing offense.

Worse than the CBS inaction or the industry’s silence on Letterman is the Hollywood reaction to the Polanski arrest.  The actress  Debra Winger was  among the 100 Hollywood celebrities who signed a petition asking for the release of film director Roman Polanski for raping a 13-year-old three decades ago. (It wasn’t “rape-rape” says Whoopi Goldberg, since charges were reduced to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.)  Winger had this to say about Hollywood and the Polanski’s crime: “We stand by him and await his release and his next masterpiece.”

No big deal.  As with a person in custody, no 13-year-old can consent to sex with an adult, expecially one who at the time was 43 years old.   But, hey,  “we stand by him and await his… next masterpiece.”  Much of Hollywood has no clue about the nation’s values.

59 comments Add your comment


October 6th, 2009
4:24 pm

Marc, you are saying the victims of crime are responsible. No the criminals.

The new “free market” manta – Glorify the wicked and vilify the weak.

No wonder the fascists who run Wall Street and K Street have strolled off with OUR money.

Our “elected leaders” no longer even pretend to protect or represent us.

They know with an electorate like this they don’t even have to try…


October 6th, 2009
4:40 pm

No I am saying if you don’t understand it don’t invest in it. I’m saying spend more time learning about your investments than you do the box scores of the games or whats on TV. There was a time when it was much more difficult to gather this information but with the Internet it there with a few key strokes. If you don’t like the way the CEO is getting paid pull your stock or vote him out – your not the only one that thinks that way. Amvet as long as your prefer being the victim you will. The government is not there at least the fed to protect you from anything other than attacks by another nation and in some instances inter-state trade. IT IS NOT PART OF THE CONSTITUTION THEREFORE IT IS NOT THE FEDERALS GOVERNMENTS RESPONSIBILITY.


October 6th, 2009
7:08 pm

About Polanski, the person equally guilty with him is the 13 year old’s mother. No one has mentioned the failure of parental responsibility in this case. I am amazed by that. I raised a daughter, and do not believe I would have ever left her alone for a “photo shoot” with a man, while she was a minor. As for Hollywood, everyone knows they do live on another planet. They can vote Democrat, pay half their salaries in taxes, and still live on multi-millions. If I had a billion, I guess I wouldn’t mind paying more taxes either cause I would have plenty left over.


October 6th, 2009
7:11 pm

LeeHi–nobody did what Clinton did. He was after all the President at the time, and he did it in the Oval Office. That takes the cake. And believe me, plenty of Democrats have/do/did mess around. I used to live in DC and word gets around (but not as fast as those Congressmen!!).


October 6th, 2009
7:21 pm

Enter your comments here
Well, Letterman finally shows to be the sleazebag that he always appeared to be. Damn, it must be hell when it all comes back around like it did for him. Wonder who he is going to malign next on his crappy, half-witted show. That’ll teach his wife to slum around, too, because she should have known what he was before she married him!

Brad Steel

October 7th, 2009
11:44 am

Marc @ 4:40
Thank you for a perfect demonstration of your pedantic ignorance.

Reality Check

October 7th, 2009
1:07 pm

Listen to the DNC media liberals jump for joy in victory over the latest poll [all 1,003 adults polled anyway] showing that those who approve and appose Democrat Healthcare reform are evenly split 40/40. Isn’t that so typical of the mindset of liberals in lib land: “we’re dead even so that means our side has won!” In the case of elections that they narrowly lost of course, it’s one of two things: it was a stolen election or it was some sort of victory because the election was stolen. This is the mindset of liberals.

Another hilarious thing happened in Detroit:

“DETROIT — Detroit’s homeless and low-income residents have another opportunity for a chance at millions of stimulus dollars. The money is available to help low-income residents from becoming homeless and homeless residents to find housing. Thousands of people lined up Tuesday. Some people in line falsely believed they were registering for $3,000 stimulus checks from the Obama Administration.” What a liberal socialism paradise, no? GIMMIE WHAT’S DUE TO ME!!! GIMMIE GIMMIE GIMMIE!!!

The Chart O’Day reminds us of that brilliant cash for clunkers program dreamed up in liberal land:


Can’t wait to see more loans go into default by that useless feel good policy. Oh wait…..

“Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) — The number of U.S. lenders that can’t collect on at least 20 percent of their loans hit an 18-year high, signaling that more bank failures and losses could slow an economic recovery.”

And to think the pinheads running this nation for two years in Congress now and going on nine months in the White House now are still blaming the Bushies for their own failed policies. Sorry, Charlies, America doesn’t have the patience to listen to finger pointing with you people on the left at the helm running the US aground.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

October 7th, 2009
1:57 pm

Dear LeeH1 @ October 6th, 2009 3:39 pm, I think you have a weak argument: “Hollywood people are more moral, since they don’t criticize other people’s morals, they just defend their own.” An absence of moral standards is not a superior morality to those with even poor compliance with weak standards. Indeed, the opposite is the case – even a defective moral behavior is a superior morality to those with no moral standards. I appreciate your argument is a catechism mindlessly chanted by leftists; that repetition does not make it true. Four legs good, two legs bad.


October 7th, 2009
11:08 pm

Brad Steel so if you can’t defend your ideas you resort to attempted name calling. Or is the problem with comprehension? It really must be the comprehension because these two words don’t belong together “pedantic ignorance”. This saying that I have a pedestrian/normal/unimaginative/boring ignorance and that doesn’t realy make sense and isn’t much of and insult. Which would led one to believe that your trying to be verbose!