Sunday, October 4, 2009

Two-Timesing David

Either the New York Times knows something about David Letterman we don't, or it's out to get him. The same day as its harsh and misleading news story, Alessandra Stanley had a "TV Watch" column that packed a lot of apparent falsehood into one paragraph:
As much as the philandering and possible abuse of power (the office fling is so often a crime of convenience), it was Mr. Letterman’s incongruous blending of the serious and the comic that seemed to crackle with the public and commentators. This wasn’t an exception, however.
Memo to the Times ombudsman: Here's the definition of "philandering" from Merriam-Webster:
to have casual or illicit sex with a woman or with many women; especially : to be sexually unfaithful to one's wife
According to Stanley's own reporting colleagues (all six of them; it took that many to get their story so wrong), Letterman has not been accused of adultery. Nor does the available record contain any evidence of "casual or illicit sex." As for the appallingly inappropriate accusation of criminality, Stanley doesn't stop there. She reports:
By Friday morning some commentators were likening Mr. Letterman’s behavior to that of Mr. Polanski, and they weren’t joking.
How is it not a joke to make a tasteless and unjust comparison between a convicted rapist of a child and the victim of an alleged act of blackmail who had a series of adult girlfriends before getting married?

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