Thursday, August 14, 2008

Let's Not Talk About Sex

I’m a bit fed up with all of this talk about sex. Have we become a nation fascinated with knowing who’s doing who and how long they have been doing it? What does it mean when the National Enquirer becomes the model for investigative reporting?

What happened to the days when the Enquirer was a joke, and the only people who read it were those suckered into believing Michael Jackson’s chimpanzee is his second cousin from Mars and Janice is a reincarnated elephant. When John Edward’s got busted by the Enquirer it set journalism back 50 years. Why? Because those representing credible journalism are too scared to talk about sex after coming after John McCain.

You may remember how the New York Times crucified McCain for an alleged affair with a lobbyist. The story painted McCain as a hypocrite for advocating for campaign reform while doing the horizontal hooky poky with a lobbyist. The McCain camp lashed back, and the story didn’t stick. Instead of backing out of his presidential bid, McCain was vindicated for what appeared to be a story printed void of the facts.

It didn’t matter that there was the appearance of numerous conflicts of interest. It didn’t matter that people within the McCain camp had approached him about the rumors that were circulating. It didn’t matter that McCain had been caught crossing the line before, and that he had a previous affair after his wife’s automobile accident. The New York Times was forced to apologize while McCain moved closer to securing the nomination.

The Time couldn’t get it right, but the National Enquired did. The most credible news outlet in the nation was slapped on the hand, while the model for tabloid journalism wins the prize for breaking the biggest story of the election year. Something is wrong folks.

Bob Wilson, my former editor at the Herald-Sun, chided the News & Observer for failing to go after the Edwards story. Many have assumed that members of the press knew enough to investigate Edwards. People were talking, and the Enquire was bold enough to go after the story. Maybe the News & Observer, the New York Times and the other reputable news organizations were too scared to come after Edwards after the Times messed up with McCain.

Which brings me back to my original point-I’m fed up with all of this talk about who’s screwing who. I’m pissed at it all because the jerks that get caught should have enough self-control to keep their private parts in their pants. I understand human weakness. I suspect that it gets hard spending all of those hours on the road, and that you need to release every now and then. I’m no prude. I get it. I really do, but isn’t the job important enough to refrain from doing what you desire in the heat of the moment?

Or, has the game of politics all become a game? I brought into the cheesy story of the Edwards going to Wendy’s to celebrate their freaking wedding anniversary. I heard the violins when Elizabeth stood by her man after being diagnosed with cancer. I looked past the $400 haircuts and the big house outside of Chapel Hill. I even forgave Edwards for giving up his Senate seat after we fought hard to get him in office. I forgave the drive that led him to run for President after one term opening the way for Elizabeth Dole to take his place.

I hate this talk about sex because of the lies that come with it all. Tell us the truth about your marriages. Don’t hide the truth! Trust us with your lives so that we can get back to the business of voting for people based on the issues rather than wasting time in an attempt to read between the lines of bull you feed us. Tell us that you have a woman on the side and two or three more on each coast to fill in the gaps when sweet thang can’t show up.

Get past playing games with our emotions! Go ahead. Trust us with your mess! Tell us you stay with her because she’s the mother of your children but the flame has died out. Tell us you desire a younger woman, you are going through a midlife crisis and you have a sports car tucked away in a remote place. Tell us your marriage is a joke, and you’re too scared to take the risk of leaving because you want the freaking job.

It’s a sad day folks. The National Enquirer broke this story because America is tired of all of this talk about sex. It happens so often that we can’t keep up with all the sex scandals, and The New York Times isn’t willing to take the risk.

It sure would be nice to have a conversation about public policy.