Addiction in Society

Addiction—the thematic malady for our society—entails every type of psychological and societal problem

So David Letterman thinks Sarah Palin is white trash?

David Letterman bragged about not marrying his son's mother

imageDavid Letterman only got around to marrying his five-year-old son's mother, Regina Lasko, this year. What's up with that?

Levi Johnston hadn't married Bristol Palin, even though she had their baby. But Levi Johnston was only a kid having sex for fun and had no means of supporting a family. David Letterman, who is now 62, was in a long-term relationship and presumably knew about birth control.  He has been able to support a wife and child for some time.

Who's accusing who of being white trash?  Letterman joked that Sarah Palin, then Alaska's governor, had the style of a "slutty flight attendant" and commented that, while attending a Yankees game, "during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez."

imageWhy does a man in his late fifties have a baby out of wedlock when he is living with the mother? Most parents figure their child will appreciate their being married - that it avoids needless embarrassment from the kid's schoolmates down the road.

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David Letterman is obviously a picky man.  He may have thought: "Well, I just don't love her enough to marry her - even though she bore my child. Maybe I'll change my mind."

Letterman bragged about not marrying Lasko for over 20 years, until well after she mothered his child: "I had avoided getting married pretty good for, like, 23 years. I secretly felt that men who were married admired me - like I was the last of the real gunslingers."

But it turns out he wasn't just reluctant to get married. He was actively dating other women, some of whom were close to Bristol's age and worked for him.  This certainly puts Letterman's sex joke about the younger Palin and Alex Rodriguez in a different light.

Here are five questions I'd like to ask Mr. Letterman:

  • Why did you wait until your child was five to marry his mother?
  • Did you have an open relationship with Ms. Lasko - that is, were you each (or were only you) allowed to have other affairs?
  • How did you arrange these affairs - did you live with Ms. Lasko but spend nights out with other women, or did you sneak around?
  • Did you continue in this open arrangement even after Ms. Lasko became pregnant with (or gave birth to) your child?
  • How did you describe your relationship with Ms. Lasko to your young lovers?

I wonder what all of his show's guests and admirers think about these things.  And I wonder - assuming she's an equal partner in the marriage - whether we will hear from Lasko about her huband's perambulations.  If we don't hear from her, why won't she speak?  If she does speak, do you think she's as equally enthusiastic about Dave's intern train as he is?

For his more vocal part, when it comes to marriage, Letterman thumbs his nose at conventional values and popular opinion. This is  especially notable since he is famous for not only joking - but moralistically hectoring - people like South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford for having public affairs. "What was he thinking about his four sons?"

At a minimum, Letterman is going to be at a loss for material when the next political sex scandal comes down the pike. And how will he be able to mock Madonna for her libertine lifestyle from now on?

P.S.: See amazing Top Ten List here!

P.S.S.: Dual Diagnosis: Dysfunctional at Home and Work

David Letterman took mistress on family vacations with wife

The David Letterman sex scandal has taken a bizarre new twist - following revelations that The Late Show icon took his mistress Stephanie Birkitt on a Caribbean vacation with his wife Regina Lasko and their young son.

The New York Post is reporting that Lasko had no idea that her husband was involved with the $200,000 a year employee who is at the center of a $2 million blackmail plot involving television producer Robert Halderman.

A hostile, sexually charged work atmosphere

Two years after they received my submission packet, I got the call: Dave wanted to meet me. By then, I was living in L.A. and had already written an episode for The Simpsons and served as story editor on Newhart during its final season. Still, Late Night was my dream job, so when I got the offer, I left the sitcom I'd just started on and moved back East. Walking into 30 Rockefeller Center on my first day as a Letterman writer was one of the happiest moments of my life. . . .

Did Dave hit on me? No. Did he pay me enough extra attention that it was noted by another writer? Yes. Was I aware of rumors that Dave was having sexual relationships with female staffers? Yes. Was I aware that other high-level male employees were having sexual relationships with female staffers? Yes. Did these female staffers have access to information and wield power disproportionate to their job titles? Yes. Did that create a hostile work environment? Yes. Did I believe these female staffers were benefiting professionally from their personal relationships? Yes. Did that make me feel demeaned? Completely. Did I say anything at the time? Sadly, no.

Here’s what I did: I walked away from my dream job. . . . On my last day at Late Night, Dave summoned me to his office and pressed me on why I was quitting the show. I considered telling him the truth, but with Dave’s rumored mistress within earshot, I balked. Instead, I told him I missed L.A. Dave said, “You’re welcome back anytime.”

-In other words, the sexual harassment was so endemic at Letterman's show that he couldn't even (a) recognize it, (b) have the space to hear about it.

 

 

Stanton Peele, PhD, JD, is the author of Recover! and developer of the online Life Process Program. He has been a pioneer in the addiction field since publication of Love and Addiction in 1975.

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