NEW YORK - In the wake of the recent David Letterman vague sex and blackmail scandal, details continue to be sketchy. The District Attorney's office and CBS both refuse to expand upon what we know from the scant official report and Letterman's candid on-air remarks. But amidst the furor of speculation, tentative condemnation, and bemusement, one group has voiced particularly bitter and vocal criticism: blackmailers.
"It doesn't matter what the time frame was, whether he cheated on his wife or not," claims Jim Cauderer, a prominent blackmailer in the greater New York metropolitan area for the past 32 years. "The appearance of impropriety should have been enough. He should have just shut up and paid. To cheat like that - to cheat the blackmailer, by giving him a phony check - and then to rat him out like that first to the cops, and then on national television - Mr. Letterman should have just shut up and paid. He displayed no class whatsoever."
Trent Slavvy, chief counsel and ombudsman for national blackmailer advocacy group Shut Up And Pay, agrees. "Blackmailers serve an important purpose in society, reinforcing moral values and stepping in to punish deed-doers who think they are above the law, simply because their 'social crimes' aren't technically illegal. A stunt like what Letterman pulled - going public with the situation, instead of keeping it quiet and paying the penalty for his deeds - only serves to diminish the stigma we as a society put upon extra-marital sex that may or may not have been adultery. Stigmas like that are the bedrock of what we as a society call moral! Dave, if what you had in mind was to erode the moral standing of this once-great nation, congratulations. Well done."
"That was sarcasm," Slavvy clarified.
"The real victim here is the blackmailer," notes a source close to the story who wishes to remain anonymous. "Blackmailers so often are the invisible victim - unnoticed, unheralded. Seldom is their side of the story heard. It's a lonely job, a dangerous job, a thankless job. To take on the burden of keeping another person's secret private, for as long as they pay you money - this isn't something that's easy to do, for anyone! And I have news for you, we don't do it for the money, folks. That's a misconception, bordering on urban legend. Don't you think I would rather tell it all, get it all off my chest? All these secrets, too many secrets. We are not the ones who wish to live with secrets. Blackmailers make that sacrifice because someone has to. Someone has to punish people for doing things in private, that are not illegal, that maybe the public doesn't know the precise nature of, but that the mark would rather have remain private. If you go about living your life in a situation where you do things you'd rather keep private, to not step up and pay the consequence when the bill for what you've done comes due - I call it a cowardly act."
Letterman's representatives could not be reached for comment.