It’s pretty safe to say that, over the course of the last couple of weeks, Robert “Joe” Halderman has made a handful of bad decisions. Not only did he (allegedly) leave a package in Letterman’s limousine at 6 a.m. on the morning of September 9 threatening that David Letterman’s “world [would] collapse around him” unless he paid Halderman the sum of $2 million, but according to TMZ, he also dug himself into some perilous financial straits that put him in this predicament in the first place. However, one would think that when it came to making the decision as to who would represent him in a court of law, the Emmy-winning producer would’ve exercised better judgment. Unfortunately for Halderman, though, an appearance on the Today show this morning by his lawyer, one Gerald L. Shargel, seems to demonstrate that he selected his representation in a manner that was just as hasty as his initial decision to try to put the screws to Dave.
For some reason that we still can’t exactly put our finger on, Shargel agreed to be interviewed by veteran Today show correspondent Ann Curry this morning. While we fully understand the necessity of trying to ensure that someone speaks out publicly on Halderman’s behalf before the court of public opinion totally passes judgment on him, Shargel seemed incredibly ill-prepared to sit down in front of the television cameras this morning. As any lawyer worth their salt has been trained to do, he managed to avoid answering most of Curry’s questions directly, but instead of offering up any viable explanations as to why people should give Halderman the benefit of the doubt, Shargel instead spent most of the interview talking in circles. He asserted that the charges against his client “make no sense” on a few occasions, but he wasn’t able to provide any evidence as to why anyone should believe that. Even worse, he managed to drag poor old Dan Rather’s name into the muck for some reason, but again, didn’t really explain why. Hate to say it, Team Halderman, but this was one PR opportunity you probably should’ve turned down.