Ed Driscoll

Shocking But Expected

The Rhetorican looks at the scandals enveloping two of pillars of CBS: David Letterman and its news division:

Which is more shocking, the news of Letterman’s intramural affairs or that an Emmy-winning CBS News producer has been charged with blackmailing Dave?

Letterman’s conduct with female staffers is a century-old showbiz standard.  Personally, I certainly find it creepy; but not quite shocking.  Especially after living and working in L.A. since the mid-1990s.

As for a CBS News producer being charged with blackmail, let’s not forget CBS News is the institution that gave us Mary Mapes and Dan Rather.  Is there any room for shock after “Fake but Accurate”?  Dan Rather, after all, was at the time CBS News’s main man.  A fish rots from the head.  Mapes and Rather’s conduct didn’t rise to the level of criminal, but it was equally perverse.

And no, I’m not saying everyone at CBS News is a crook.  I know for a fact that’s not true.  I’m just saying – as I often do – that there’s something rotten in TV News; and all of a sudden it stinks a little worse than it did before.  But it was already smelling pretty bad.

Or as Steve Green writes, “An extortionist working for CBS News? Meh. It’s not like he tried to rig a presidential election.”