In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"


2 Comments

Where’s Letterman’s Sex Sidekick?

It’s a reminder that sex scandals are always harder on the women, tainting their career achievements if not outright erasing them.

  

In case you missed it a couple of weeks ago, the Washington Post write up of David Letterman’s farewell episode of the Late Show noted the glaring omission of Stephanie Burkitt from not only the farewell show but any of the episodes available on Youtube–none of the nearly 300 Burkitt appearances on the show are available to the public–and concluded with the unacknowleged, unspoken epitaph of the mistress: she was an evil temptress.  

Maybe because I was not a Late Show fan–not for lack of appreciation as much as lack of a later bed-time–but I think that’s horse crap. 

According to Argetsinger, the author of the WP article, the successful chemistry and therefore appeal of the Burkitt-Letterman on-air rapport in the short skits they performed and personae they adopted was most probably based on their behind-the-scenes affair. But as his mistress and therefore THE stain on Letterman’s not so much stellar as sentimentally-preserved reputation, Burkitt has been erased from the Late Show history. Boom. Missing, as if she never existed–and soon she will disappear from the fickle and short memory of adoring, gushing late-night television fans.

Maybe Burkitt, an established attorney now, wants it that way. I hope so. Otherwise, the celebrity worship culture strikes again like the mafia of the lottery of who gets fame/recognition and who gets persona non grata in show business. It’s who you know, right? Just not how you know who you know. 

Blech! American society’s sexual dysfunction and the war on women combine as complicit culprits in Burkitt’s on-air erasure of a significant portion, I’m guessing, of her history. It’s just part of the biz.