Joe Halderman was working on an episode of “48 Hours” just minutes before he was handcuffed.
The man accused of attempting to extort $2 million from David Letterman is an Emmy-winning, veteran producer.
And though colleagues call him colourful and arrogant, those who know him seem shocked that Alderman is the man at the centre of the scandal.
All of these details emerged today in an article by ex-Daily News gossip columnist Lloyd Grove.
Daily Beast: Stunned colleagues Friday described veteran CBS News producer Joe Halderman—who was arrested outside the network’s West 57th Street offices Thursday in the alleged scheme to blackmail David Letterman—as a rogue and a womanizer, a lover of literature, a “smart fratboy,” a swashbuckling journalist and an occasional barroom brawler who distinguished himself in dangerous war zones and occasionally displayed a certain reckless streak.
The 51-year-old Halderman, a top producer for “48 Hours,” might have been “cocky” and “arrogant” and lived his life on the edge, said co-workers who have known him for the past two decades, but he certainly didn’t seem capable of the sort of sensational crime that would have made a perfect episode for the CBS magazine show.
“I’m just in unbelievable shock,” said former CBS News executive Marcy McGinnis, who was Halderman’s boss in the London bureau for six years in the 1990s and last saw him a few months ago during one of their regular dinners. “He’s a good guy…It sounds to me like a nervous breakdown of some sort. I feel so badly about this. This is not a bad man. The behaviour is so unbelievable, he just must have snapped.”
Read the rest of the story here.
So Halderman definitely sounds like a personality, even if his alleged targeting of Letterman was totally out of character. Details will likely son emerge about his motivation, though no matter why he did it — money troubles, broken heart, desire for downtown loft — it won’t be a defence to the actual charges.
The evidence in the indictment is pretty damning. Letterman’s lawyer wore a wire to hand Halderman a check, which he then promptly cashed. And that’s not even counting the primary sournces that are the letters he wrote to Letterman AND the fact that Letterman can easily identify him.
It’s never over until it’s over, and shouldn’t be. But so far it’s a tale that would play great on “48 Hours.”
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