Journalistic Glee At Gov’s Downfall

I must admit I’ve enjoyed this week primarily because of Spitzer’s fall from grace.

Mary McNamara writes for the LAT:

They may be a journalist’s five favorite words: Governor linked to prostitution ring. Now that’s a TV crawl promising a very good week for everyone (except, of course, for the governor’s family). The politician and the call girl. It’s like a Broadway musical starring Nathan Lane — everyone’s talking about it.

So when the news broke in the New York Times on Monday that Gov. Eliot Spitzer had been caught ordering out from Emperors’ Club VIP escort services, that sound you heard was the collective chortling of every reporter in America.

From morning to night, anchors and pundits filled MSNBC, CNN, Fox News and even the networks, barely able to keep a straight face while solemnly reporting that Spitzer, the self-described Mr. Clean who made a name for himself taking on corruption, was really Client 9, caught in a high-priced call-girl sting.

Oh, the joy of seeing his blank-faced, prim-mouthed apology — while the buzz of his cellphone, set on vibrate because, you know, he was going on TV, all but drowned out his words. (Who was calling, do you think? His mother? Charlie Sheen?)

On Wednesday, there he was resigning, possibly in the same suit, with the same strange lack of emotion and nary a glance for his wife, though apparently he left the phone backstage.

No worries about Spitzer just being a regular guy who had made a mistake — suddenly he was Central Casting for Unscrupulous Politician.

As details emerged — the payment amounts, the problematic money transfer, the possibly "not safe" nature of the services Spitzer requested, the description of his escort, that she went to D.C. from New York (What? There are no hookers in Washington? When did that happen?) — the excitement turned to glee.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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