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A Jennings Verdict on Letterman?


From the Romenesko media-news site, we learned that in the latest “Talk to the Times” online chat at the New York Times website, culture editor Robin Pogrebin is asked about how a previous employer of hers, the late ABC anchor Peter Jennings, would have commented on David Letterman’s sex-with-subordinates scandal:

Q. As a Canadian, I have always admired, and now miss, Peter Jennings very much. Knowing that you worked for him, first let me congratulate you. Secondly, Peter was very selective, and classy, that naturally makes me put you on a high pedestal with respect. The question I have for you is, how would Peter comment on the news related to David Letterman? — E. Khaja, New York

A. I think Peter would probably respect David Letterman’s decision to handle his current difficulties in a straightforward manner, the fact that he leveled with his public.

There’s no hint that the New York questioner was aware that Jennings had a reputation as a womanizer, or that in March of 1996, radio host Don Imus shocked the Clintons and other leaders at the Radio and TV Correspondents’ dinner by making jokes about Jennings having interns under his desk. At that date, Monica Lewinsky was in her last days as a White House intern.

Discretion about these issues of handling female subordinates might mean less discomfort, since Pogrebin is the daughter of feminist Letty Cottin Pogrebin, a founding editor of Ms. magazine.


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