Hide Techdirt is off for the long weekend! We'll be back with our regular posts tomorrow.

Why Is CBS Trying To Take Down Letterman Revelation Video?

from the what-good-does-it-do? dept

Last week, soon after the news broke that David Letterman had confessed, on air, to a variety of affairs with staffers, following a blackmail attempt about those affairs, Peter Kafka over at AllthingsD pointed to a YouTube video of the 10 minute revelation, noting that he expected CBS to be playing wac-a-mole in trying to force all of the clips offline. And, indeed, that’s exactly what’s happening. CBS has apparently been sending takedown after takedown to YouTube to get the clip offline. This is odd for a few reasons. First, CBS is actually one of the few TV networks to actually like YouTube, and use it regularly to its own advantage. Way back in 2006, the company announced that tests showed that when it put clips on YouTube, it resulted in more viewership, not less.

So why take down all these clips?

The anonymously sourced explanation in the article is just that there was a request from Letterman’s production company to CBS not to put that clip online. I can see why that request was made in the first place (who wants that embarrassing clip up there…) but it still doesn’t make much sense once you think about it. If Letterman didn’t want that video out there, then why discuss it at all on the show? The show went out to millions of people. It’s pretty silly to then pretend it doesn’t exist at all. All it really does is call that much more attention to the situation. Meanwhile, the clips keep going up, and employees at both CBS and YouTube have to waste a ton of time repeatedly taking them down… And, in the end, the clips will end up on other sites anyway. If anyone wants to see the Letterman explanation, they’ll see it. So why not put it up on the official CBS/Letterman feed and deal with it that way?

Filed Under: , ,
Companies: youtube

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Why Is CBS Trying To Take Down Letterman Revelation Video?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Yes, as much as it pains me to say this, I do believe that millions of people watch him. I can’t understand why, but I also can’t understand why millions of people are devoted to Oprah.

I can see why they would want to pull the video. But I can also understand that it’s just for show. They can’t not know that there had to be thousands of people with DVRs watching it.

AJB says:

Oh life is just GRAND

So, with Hillary thrown under the bus in 2008 (for which they backed the bus up and rolled her again and again), and with Clinton and his ‘it’s only sex’ defenders (including his wife), and now this where the liberals are just jumping all over themselves defending this guy, we now officially pronounce the women’s movement OFFICIALLY DEAD! Yes indeed. It’s back to the kitchen to BAKE ME SOME PIE. We will now expect all women to tart it up in the workplace as it’s now apparently correct to have sex with subordinates. And when you do, expect thousands to stand up for you and say ‘it’s only sex’. Didn’t get that raise girl? Should have put out. Didn’t get that new promotion? There’s a couch in his office, right? Yes indeed, civilization has taken a big turn and Dave is leading the way. And I like CHERRY PIE.

senshikaze (profile) says:

Re: Oh life is just GRAND

At first I was like “Oh, hell, we can see where this is going”, but once I read the whole way through, I have to agree with you. This sets back not just women’s rights, but civilization as a whole back 70 years. Good job, America!

(little known fact: firefox seems to want to correct “women’s” into “womenfolk’s”. Strange. Has anyone ever even heard the term “womenfolk’s”?)

thublihnk (profile) says:

Re: Oh life is just GRAND

Brilliant deduction my lad. Two sex scandals, a full decade apart by people whose positions are completely unrelated.

Obviously society is crumbling at it’s very foundation. Your logic is sound, and I believe everyone here would agree.
You are a gentleman and a scholar and I can only hope that you would accept this humble offer of my sincerest honors.

Again. Brilliant.

NotFromToronto (profile) says:

Re: Oh life is just GRAND

I don’t see this as much of an issue from a women’s movement perspective. What is harmful at this point is making the assumption that any relationship with a subordinate must be forced. We don’t know anything about the actual relationships Dave had with these women, so why would you jump to the conclusion that there was an explicit malice involved?

AJ (profile) says:

Re: Re: Oh life is just GRAND

Men in powerful positions with lots of money can, and do, use their staffers (of both sexes) for their personal gain. That’s the point. Consensual? Wander down to the corner bar and pick up a troller/stroller. But don’t fish off the company pier! And where are the women on this issue? To my original point, they’ve abandoned their movement if they don’t stand up against what old Dave is doing to his staff.

Anonymous Coward says:

Size does matter

CBC only had a edited version of Letterman’s talk. I was able to get the full version on YouTube – the longer version is much better – makes Letterman look more human.
At least for now it does not appear to be a case of sexual harassment or unwanted advances as none of the women have ever filed a claim or protest (for what ever reason the relationships appeared consensual).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Size does matter

More human? I got the opposite. I thought it was pretty evil to use his audience like he did. You could tell they didn’t know how to react, especially how he presented the material. Come to a show that’s supposed to be funny and you get front row seat to a train wreck?

He could have said, “I have something serious to talk about for a minute, so please bear with me, blah blah blah”. Instead he was half glib, half serious, and if I was in the audience I would have been searching for the nearest exit. The whole thing was just creepy.

Anonymous Coward says:

here is their problem they have created for themselves…

i dont watch letterman, this wont make me watch letterman but now i know that he screws his staffers and im still not going to watch letterman.

so had they not tried to force the videos off, i would have never heard of this thing and yet, i am still not going to watch letterman. nothing but bad came from this move from my angle.

Joe Sixpack says:

Re: Now I'll Watch Letterman

I used to watch Letterman back in college several years ago but stopped watching (don’t remember why). But now that we know he likes to get a little on the side with his co-workers, it will get people like me to watch him again. Brilliant marketing strategy.

Now I need to get me some cherry pie!

hiptech (profile) says:

Legal Perceptions

Though I am far from being a lawyer I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this decision stemmed from legal arguments regarding the upcoming case.

When Letterman outlined the scheme in a very public way he created a virtually indelible perception of his innocence. Right or wrong, this placed the accused in an unenviable position of guilt by celebrity accusation.

In other words, a well known celebrity states very publicly (to a millions of ppl) that a specific individual has attempting to extort money from him through blackmail.

Without giving the allegedly accused “blackmailer” a timely opportunity to refute allegations, it not only becomes virtually impossible to find an unbiased jury, but inevitably ends up as another case tried in the public media.

Regardless of who you believe, guilty or not, due process never occurs in a vacuum. But having a persistent and ever expanding message concerning someone’s viewpoint can’t help but sway any argument. Granted, it may already be too late but the defense team needed to have the video taken down.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...