CBS Tries To Remove Unauthorized Videos Of Letterman’s Extortion Explanation

The New York Times reported last night that CBS had worked over the weekend to scrub the Internet of any unauthorized videos of David Letterman’s revelation of extortion on his show Thursday:

“Copies of the segment were uploaded almost immediately to YouTube by users, but many of them were flagged by CBS for removal, citing copyright claims. The network did not provide an official copy.”

That’s funny, because a clip of the segment that we included in our post on Friday seems pretty official looking, and it’s still watchable — even though its only three minutes or so of the entire 10 minute segment. Will CBS officials pull access to this clip, too? Either way, it’s clear that it’s still pretty easy to find clips on YouTube.

The Times also said that CBS is being “more lenient” with YouTube clips of Letterman’s show that feature the host’s former assistant Stephanie Birkitt, who is said to be among the staffers Letterman had sex with and who also had a relationship with the man who tried to extort him, “48 Hours” producer Robert Halderman.

This latest move by CBS is most likely just part of the first wave of stories to come out of this bizarre case as it unfolds. Letterman revealed Halderman’s extortion plot on his show Thursday, in a confession that alternatively drew laughter, cheers and silence from his audience. In our post on Friday, we applauded Letterman for his candidness but said we thought he could have chosen a different venue in which to reveal the scandal. However, after talking to others within the industry and reading reviews and comments about the incident across the Internet, we agree with one commenter on our last post that it was “Classy, forthcoming and honest. Well-handled.”

Letterman is known to mix uncomfortable honesty with his own brand of self-deprecating humor, and he has collected a devoted audience that tunes in every night to hear the host’s thoughts on current events and pop culture, with some of Letterman’s own life filtered in. Turns out, this was actually the ideal platform for him to talk about such a heavy topic. But as more revelations come to light, we’ll doubt he’ll mention it again, choosing instead to go on with the show as usual.

Update: Our colleagues at WebNewser take a look at some of the David Letterman clips that are still available on the Internet.

CBS Removes David Letterman’s Mea Culpa From YouTubeNew York Times

Earlier: Letterman Reveals Extortion Plot, Reveals Sexual Relationships With Staffers

Publish date: October 5, 2009 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT