I watched David Letterman a lot in the early 90’s when I was working third shift to put myself through seminary. I have only caught snippets of his show since then, and usually I was disappointed in what I saw. It seemed like Dave had stopped trying, and was content to make fun of how unfunny he had become. But what I saw last night was much worse.
It is obvious that Dave used his position of power to receive sexual favors from some of his female employees. Obviously they are not pure either, but Dave is more culpable because he held by far the most power in their relationship. If I was the father of one of those girls, I would drive to New York and punch Dave in the face (and then I would stand ready to forgive him, because I’m a Christian).
A couple of times last night Dave acknowledged the pain he had caused his wife and his staff and even implied that he had wronged them. But most of the time he cracked jokes about his sexual indiscretions. I realize that Dave is a comedian, but someone who is genuinely sorry for what they have done does not joke about it. Dave abused younger and vulnerable women, and he doesn’t get a free pass because they may have been willing accomplices who offered sex to get ahead.
Dave preyed on people, and there is nothing funny about that. The sooner he realizes that, the sooner he can genuinely repent and perhaps receive forgiveness. I’m tired of hearing about men who use their power to abuse women (I’m looking at you, Roman Polanski), and I’m more weary of how they and their friends attempt to shrug it off (thanks for weighing in, Woody Allen).