This post, one of the very first on Ethics Alarms, was written on Halloween, 2009. The blog had essentially no followers then. I judge it an excellent post (if I do say so myself) but just a handful of people read it. There were four commenters: King Kool, who traveled over from the old Ethics Scoreborad site and who, I am happy to say, still weighs in now and then; “Ethics Bob” Stone, who commented her last year, and a friend I met through my connection with child star advocate Paul Petersen and with whom I am still in touch.
I found it extremely interesting to review–I wouldn’t change anything substantive in it, though I made three small edits—in light of what has happened since, and the theme of the post, which was how ethics evolves.
The post was written before the #MeToo upheaval. For all I know, Harvey Weinstein was forcing an aspiring starlet to have sex with him and Bill Cosby was drugging a young woman as I was posting it. It references several rationalizations before the Ethics Alarms Rationalizations list had been launched.
I wonder, though, how much out society has really learned since it was written. Roman Polanski is still living free and directing films in France. Six women have accused him of sex-related crimes, the most recent last November.
Bill Cosby is in prison for one of his rapes: Harvey Weinstein is standing trial right now. Bill Clinton appears to have finally been reduced to persona non grata status among progressives and his former defenders, but his complicit and unapologetic enabler, Hillary Clinton, is still treated as a feminist icon, and even harbors dreams of running for President again. The Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, Justin Fairfax , has been convincingly accused of rape by one woman and sexual harassment by another, yetremains in office, and the local and national media have stuffed the story in the proverbial memory hole.
Six years after this post, David Letterman retired from “The Late Show” hailed as comedy legend, with Barack Obama and three former Presidents appearing on his farewell show. He continues to be sought after for interviews and as an MC, as in the USO event pictured above. In 2016, Letterman joined the climate change documentary show Years of Living Dangerously as one of the show’s celebrity correspondents. In 2017, Letterman gave the induction speech for Pearl Jam when the group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. That same year, 2017, Letterman was feted on Turner Movie Classics with Alec Baldwin—don’t get me started–as he co-hosted “The Essentials.” Letterman and Baldwin introduced seven films for the series.
Wisely, “Rosemary’s Baby” was not among them.
In 2018, Letterman began hosting a six-episode monthly series of hour-long programs on Netflix called My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman. His old friend, patron, and feminist hero Barack Obama was his first guest.
The second season premiered on May 31, 2019.
This is “Forgetting What We Know.” Continue reading →