NEW YORK (AP) — The defense lawyer for the CBS News producer charged with trying to extort $2 million from David Letterman is calling the talk-show host "a master at manipulating audiences."

Attorney Gerald Shargel defended Robert J. "Joe" Halderman on Monday during a round of interviews on network television morning shows.

Shargel says the charge against his client is "so obviously out of character to the point of not making any sense."

He says that Letterman manipulates audiences for a living and that to think he "gave the entire story and there's nothing more to be said is simply wrong."

Halderman is a producer for the true-crime show "48 Hours Mystery." He pleaded not guilty Friday in Manhattan to attempted first-degree grand larceny.

Shargel says he's looking forward to cross-examining Letterman.

Watch Shargel discuss the case on The Today Show in rehetoric that will only serve to fan the flames.  [Editor's note: What does this serve to accomplish when this is not a civil matter?  It's a public case.  Trying to scare off Letterman won't stop the DA.  Strange.]


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