For whatever reason the newsreading public loves them a sex scandal. Maybe illicit sex is easier to understand than white collar crime (to illustrate, please write down what exactly Jack Abramoff did wrong. you have five minutes). It could have to do with that extra dose of personal humiliation. It probably owes more than we would admit to our puritan roots. Whatever the case, the slow-moving train wreck that is Deborah Jeane Palfrey has already taken two scalps and looks to bring down a bevy more before it burns itself out.
The latest from RawStory focuses on a relatively weak scoop (an online client review contained explicit sex talk!), but note this paragraph:
The release of Palfrey’s client list to ABC News has already resulted in the resignation of one top Bush administration, Randall Tobias of the State Department. Tobias has admitted to using Palfrey’s escort service to receive “massages” but insists that he did not have sex with her prostitutes. Earlier today, ABC’s Brian Ross revealed that the “head of a conservative thinktank” was included among her record of clients, and that many key clients will be revealed in a 20/20 broadcast on Friday.
I wait for the day when one of these guys says something like yeah, I paid for sex, just like 30% of the men in America at some point. Maybe that doesn’t make me a saint, but it’s my private life and the only person whose forgiveness I need to ask is my wife. Now get off my lawn. Scandal over, nobody needs to resign.
But that won’t happen, and if it did I could be wrong about it making the scandalmongers go away. Given the insane number of potentates in her alleged client list the Palfrey saga will probably claim as many scalps as Abramoff did. Unlike a public corruption scandal however, in a sex flap like this the fault lies more in the mob than the monster. So as much as I enjoy seeing any public figure taken down on the general principle that turnover is good, don’t look for much boo-yah from me when the unnamed thinktank head resigns or goes through hell to prevent it.