October 3rd, 2009
08:38 AM ET

Dear President Obama #257: Letterman, the Olympics and the Big Apple

Reporter's Note: President Obama is back in DC. I’m in NYC. And the Olympics won’t be in either place anytime soon. My daily letter to the White House.

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Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

What a day! Your Olympic bid came apart like an overeager sprinter blowing out a hamstring. Letterman’s admission of some extra curricular work on the ad libs (if you know what I mean) has emerged as one of those freaky private-life-gone-way-too-public stories. And I was rousted up to New York to jump in on the coverage. Imagine, all of this crashing down on Friday of the very week that I promised to be a bit more positive in my outlook. Oh well.

Right now I am sitting in my hotel just a short walk from Letterman’s theater, after slogging over here in the rain from our studio after our show was over. Can’t score a plane until morning. But in the spirit of keeping a sunny outlook, if I get up early enough I can score a totally excellent breakfast at a diner here that I like. And trust me, it has to be pretty great for me to get up early.

First things first: Sorry about the Olympics. I know you, the First Lady, and your pal Oprah put on a full court press to get the games into Chicago, and it’s no fun losing a contest like that. Still, you have to admit, South America has been shunned way plenty by the IOC over the years, and it was rather heart warming to see all those Brazilians leaping around. I’ve had “Girl From Ipanema” running through my head ever since.

Second: Do you have any take on this Letterman business? I have to say it made me kind of sad, but I can’t precisely say why. I’ve always liked his work, and I try to be less judgmental about such things as I get older because I think everyone makes mistakes. And frankly, when it comes to sex between consenting adults, our society has enough conflicting opinions about what is right and wrong, I try not to throw my two cents in too hard. I have my own opinions and values, but they are mine and that doesn’t mean others have to adhere to them.

Still, that kind of thing is tough isn’t it? And I would think it is especially hard in you position. Sometimes there is a fine line between respecting the right of others to have their own beliefs, and having no backbone. For example, I can fully understand the outrage over the Roman Polanski case; with plenty of folks saying he broke the law and should pay the price; talent, fame, and time passed be damned. And in regard to Letterman, I’ve always thought romantic relationships within a workplace can create a poisonous atmosphere; especially when the boss is involved. On the other hand, I don’t know if I’ve ever worked for a company where such liaisons weren’t taking place.

Anyway…it’s late and I’m tired. And as you can tell, I’ve got no answers tonight, just questions. Need some sleep, so if you are thinking of calling I hope you wait until morning.



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Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Dave

    Obama, nor bush are to blame for Chicago not winning the Olympic bid, but what probably had more of an impact was the violent killing of the honor student a week ago.

    Letterman – it is a real sad testimony of society that people would extort others for money. Travolta case was even worse. Those guys should go to jail for a long time.

    The other sad thing is how Letterman made light of the situation with jokes. Hollywood and Washington has NO moral standards and do not represent the much of the country that honor relationships, marriage and family values.

    October 3, 2009 at 9:22 pm |
  2. Annie Kate

    I was delighted for Rio that the Olympics will be in their city. Its about time South America got an Olympics. Perhaps getting to see some of South America through the Olympics will encourage people to vacation there and help the economy there. Maybe a good Olympics will put everyone back in a good mood and we can start agreeing with each other – right now I'd hate for tourists to see us all arguing with each other.

    October 3, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  3. Khan,wajid

    I am happy that brazil won they deserve it they have never had the chance to host the olympics

    October 3, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  4. Isabel Siaba, Brazil

    I loved your comment "Garota de Ipanema"! Lol... 🙂

    October 3, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  5. Joseph Venier

    The American People seem to thrive on scandal and the misfortunes of others. When others make a kind gesture to them it gets lost in the turmoil that has become the American way of life. The Russian People and Putin have constructed a very large and beautiful Tear Drop Memorial dedicated to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack and the media and the American People could care less. Wake up and smell the coffee and start appreciating the good things in life. You can start by giving recognition to this memorial and the caring people that donated it.

    October 3, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  6. Tammy, Houma, LA

    While I love Chicago, America has shown itself off to the world in the Olympics multiple times within the last two decades. It's past time for Brazil and South America to have that same opportunity.

    As for Letterman, I think this is a personal matter between him, his wife, and his son. We often forget that public figures deserve the same privacy in their lives as everyone else. Live and let live.

    October 3, 2009 at 11:44 am |