Wednesday, March 3, 2010

David Letterman: Vanity Fair profile on the scandal that "rocked CBS"

Pour yourselves a tall cool one, Talk Show News readers, and set aside some time to read Vanity Fair's new six-page article about David Letterman. The article promises to explore "the explosive triangle—(Stephanie) Birkitt’s ambition, (Joe) Halderman’s bitterness, and Letterman’s self-loathing—that rocked CBS," and pretty much succeeds. It's a juicy read.

Reporter Mark Seal sets the scene with Halderman spotting Letterman, in his "$100,000 electric Tesla sports car," dropping off Birkitt at the home she shared with the "48 Hours Mystery" producer. "From where he stands, [Halderman] can see them 'in the car in a passionate embrace, and the way Joe interpreted it was: We just had hot sex and we’re going to do it again as soon as we possibly can,'" a friend of the producer, Bob Arnot, told Seal. "Now, here’s Letterman in a hundred-thousand-dollar car, and—the ultimate insult—he’s stealing Joe Halderman’s girl!"

The article delves into Halderman's problems -- he was upset about the fact that his ex-wife had moved with their 11-year-old to Colorado, a development that sent him "reeling" -- as well as recapping Letterman's romantic life, from his ill-fated first marriage to his longtime affair with Merrill Markoe and subsequent relationship with Regina Lasko. The always-hilarious Markoe reveals that during the last two years of their relationship, Dave was cheating on her with Lasko. "I, like Tiger Woods’s wife, was under the impression that my flawless Scandinavian supermodel good looks were enough to keep a man at home," quipped Markoe, explaining why she hadn't suspected that Letterman was cheating on her.

Why have so many women been drawn to Dave? "I've come in contact with countless celebrities, and only two emit a tangible, almost magnetic force, an electricity that draws you to them: David Letterman and Bill Clinton," said Madeleine Smithberg, a former Letterman segment producer who went on to co-create "The Daily Show" and Current TV's "Infomania." "I would be in my office with my back to the door. Suddenly, I would notice that the hair on my arms and neck would be standing on end. I’d turn around and there would be Dave, standing in my doorway. The man is electric! I was there for six years. You want to be with him; you want to be close to him. And when you are, you feel good. It’s like you’re basking in the buzz of Dave."

Halderman will learn his trial date next Tuesday. If found guilty, he faces up to 15 years in prison. As for Birkitt, she's keeping an ultra-low profile, on a paid leave of absence from "Late Show."


  1. Anonymous said...

    I hear Dave's best pick-up line goes a little like this: "Something from the meat case Linda?"