Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Stephanie Birkitt, David Letterman, and Joe Halderman in the news

Last fall Stephanie Birkitt, David Letterman, and Joe Halderman were in the news. If you recall, David Letterman was threatened with black mail by former CBS News producer Joe Halderman.

 Halderman claimed that Letterman was having an affair with his assistant Stephanie Birkitt. Moreover, Halderman alleged that Letterman was known for having affairs with his female aides and was going to write a screenplay about it unless Letterman paid him $2 million.

Rather than run away from or knuckle under to Joe Halderman's black mail threat, David Letterman called the Manhattan District Attorney's office and then, in a funny, mater-of-fact, yet dramatic fashion that's now one of the classic moments of television, David Letterman gave this on-air confession starting with "I have a story to tell you..":

For a time after David's historic confession, he was trashed by some in the media and providing a better-than, hollier-than-thou; not here...

...but the public quickly warmed to Letterman's honesty, and very soon he regained his reputation and respect.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Birkitt became a hot internet search and Joe Halderman declined from respected news journalist to a person labeled an extortionist.

Today, Joe Halderman pled guilty to blackmailing David Letterman. The plea carries a sentence of four-and-a-half years in prison and 1,000 hours of community service. Here's Halderman:

Will David Letterman get a Tuesday rating boost from this news? Will he talk about it tonight? Stay tuned.

Layla Grace on Twitter, passes at 2-years-old from Neuroblastoma

Layla Grace Marsh, a lovely little girl who's life was literally posted on Twitter at @LaylaGrace,, passed away at 2-years-old from Neuroblastoma on Tuesday.

Layla went to play with the angels early this morning. Rest in peace precious Layla. 11/26/2007 - 3/9/2010
about 6 hours ago via web

First, what is Neuroblastoma? According to Google Health, it is...

is a malignant (cancerous) tumor that develops from nerve tissue. It occurs in infants and children.

Layla Grace Marsh's parents used Twitter to track their daughter progress in dealing with the cancer and to gain additional help, medical and psychological.

It's more than sad to lose a child, but to lose your child in public view is a pain unimaginable. The Marsh's feel obligated to share their loss and pain with all of us, which can be comforting, but draining as well.

One example of this is in the constant crashing of the server hosting Layla Grace's website at LaylaGrace.org. It happened twice last week, so Layla's father had to go in and repair and upgrade the server for the onslaught of traffic.

Daddy had to upgrade the web server to handle all of the traffic. Lots of love for Layla!!! Site is back up now. http://laylagrace.org
2:37 PM Mar 7th via Tweetie

But technical issues aside, the main question some are asking is, is sharing a death on Twitter the "new norm". If one's at least half-way tech savvy and communicative there's no way to avoid the desire to share a loss. I've observed that the public sharing of a family death falls into two main camps: those who do and those who don't.

Personally, it's more cathartic to share the news but that's me.

May Layla Grace Marsh rest in peace.

Ohio State shooting - Nathaniel Brown is the new Amy Bishop

In an incident that's very much like that surrounding University of Alabama - Huntsville Professor Amy Bishop, Nathaniel Brown is the focus of Tuesday morning's Ohio State shooting. According to the Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal, two people who were co-workers were killed by Nate Brown.

Nathaniel Brown is reportedly a custodial worker who, according to Ohio State University Police Chief Paul Denton, was allegedly upset over a poor job performance evaluation. The 51-year old Brown died at Ohio State University Medical Center after self-inflicted gun shot wounds.

Brown killed Ohio State building-services manager Larry Wallington; operations manager Henry Butler is in stable condition as of this writing.

This is the second university related, job-related shooting in as many months. Amy Bishop opened fire in a meeting at the University of Alabama - Huntsville and killed co-workers Gopi K. Podila, Maria Ragland Davis and Adriel Johnson. Reportedly, Amy Bishop was concerned she would lose her battle for tenure, which was the case.

Also in February, Joe Stack snapped and burned his own home down with his wife and daughter in it (they were rescued) and crashed a plane into the IRS Building in Austin, Texas. The reason was job-related stress in that Stack, while self employed, was not making ends meet to his comfort and railed against the Federal Tax system.

Stay tuned.

Academy Awards' words on Oscars Farrah Fawcett snub were horrible

Related searches: The Oscars, Ryan O'Neal, Farrah Fawcett, Farrah Fawcett tribute Oscars, Leslie Unger, EOnline

The Internet's abuzz with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences snub of Farrah Fawcett, who passed away last year. In the Memoriam segment at the 2010 Oscars, Farrah Fawcett, who's film credits span 19 movies, including The Cannonball Run, and Logan's Run, was not included.

According to EOnline, Leslie Unger, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Director of Communications, said this about Oscar's Farrah Fawcett snub:

"I would not say that it was an oversight. No matter how carefully and how conscientiously people address who is included, there are people who just simply can't be."

People who just simply can't be? Those are horrible words to chose to issue. Ms. Unger should issue a quick note of apology - better yet a YouTube video - for that statement.

Consider that Leslie Unger issued a statement about a person who died who said that person "just simply can't be."

And Leslie Unger did not make it any better, as EOnline reports, she said:

"In any given year there will always be some people that other people think should have been included and that there's more justification for one person versus another. It is impossible to include everybody."

This blogger wonders if Unger's in over her head. The word around town in Hollywood and Beverly Hills is that Unger's "difficult" to work with and worse words were issued to this blogger.

The Farrah Fawcett episode does not help for one who's casual style - Unger was sporting a very cool tie-dye t-shirt on Oscar Sunday morning - is endearing to this space. But Unger's got to really sit down, think carefully and intelligently and take a new path before the town unloads on her. What she said and its insensitivity gives fuel to those who make the kinds of claims about Unger that have been issued.

Hopefully for Unger the Oscars Farrah Fawcett snub isn't the straw that broke the camel's back.

Stay tuned.

Marie Osmond son Michael Bryan's funeral after suicide

Related searches: marie osmond sons funeral, michael bryan, marie osmond son s death, osmond funeral, michael bryan osmond

Marie Osmond son Michael Bryan's (michael Blosil) funeral was held Monday after his suicide attempt, falling from his LA apartment building on February 26th.

"Thank you for those beautiful 18 years," Osmond said according to EOnline. Marie Osmond was joined by her brothers Donny, Alan, Merrill, Jay, Wayne and Jimmy and their older brothers, Tom and Virl.

Reportedly, Michael Bryan took his life over the same depression problems faced by 41-year-old Andrew Koenig, who took his own life just a week earlier.