Let's be clear. It IS sexual harassment when a boss has sex with his subordinates, whether they were willing or not. You have to laugh at the liberal excuses being made for David Letterman's violation of CBS work rules. Such as this drool from Tom Shales from the Washington Post.
"Could Letterman's misbehavior be compared to the disreputable legislator who ranted and railed against homosexuals, and worked to deny them the right to marry and other civil privileges -- and then was caught soliciting anonymous sex in an airport men's room?
That's socially destructive misconduct with the potential for inflicting harm, pain and injustice on a portion of society and on society at large. Letterman's misadventures contain potential harm, pain and injustice only for the individuals specifically involved -- and since there have been no allegations about the sex having been nonconsensual or any partners having been underage, it's all unpleasant but hardly some sort of threat to the public welfare. And although Letterman has many fans among American women in presumably widely divergent age groups, he is hardly known as a sexual bandido. When I interviewed him for Playboy more than a decade ago, I asked him to talk about his "first time."
He balked, claiming modesty, and feigned shock at the question. "All right then, how about talking about your second time?" Said Letterman: "There hasn't been a second time." Over a century of movie and TV comedy, male comics, however fabled their off-screen sexual exploits, have traditionally been asexual figures on the screen. Comic heroes may have longed for and even lusted after desirable leading ladies, but sexually they were all bark and no bite. What Letterman has done, or allowed to happen, is foul up our perception of him by allowing his private self to share air time with Public Dave, the one we know and love -- the wisecracking, self-deprecating, overgrown adolescent who has one of the keenest, cleverest and funniest comic minds of all time."Not the point Shales and you know it. Being a clown doesn't excuse Letterman for violating CBS's work rules and federal law.