Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Late Night Confession

Bill Clinton and Elliot Spitzer could learn a thing or two about media relations from Dave.

Faced with a potential public relations disaster over inappropriate conduct, Dave decided the best course of action was to come clean in the first place.

This is what "Late Show" viewers tuned in to see as David Letterman fessed up last week in a public confession of backstage sins.

By revealing that he had been blackmailed over sexual affairs, has David Letterman put the ordeal behind him?

As PR moves go, it was incredibly smooth. He tells his side of the story from the pulpit of his talk show to an audience naturally inclined to be on his side. The way the story plays out, Letterman is no longer the villain - his blackmailer is.

Has David Letterman showed everyone how all sex scandals should be handled? By admitting what he has done as soon as possible and getting back to the business at hand, will this confession protect his brand in the wake of the meaningless tabloid stories that eventually clog the media?

News of a sex scandal probably won't damage Letterman's career since it doesn't fall into the same category as a politician who abuses the public trust. In this day and age, few really care about what some famous comic does behind closed doors.

But, will they remember the seamless way in which Dave handled it?

“The word 'confession,' to me, means needing to be absolved, ... I'm not asking for forgiveness. I'm not asking people to understand. I'd like to think that I tell stories and sometimes my life weaves through it”

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