by Patrick Appel
Erik Tarloff finds the media's love of sex scandals unseemly:
There are always reasons besides prurient interest --- beyond entertainment value --- adduced for publicizing sexual turpitude. It's never, we're assured, about the sex per se, it's always about some other perceived errancy. He lied. There were pay-offs to the mistress and her family. State funds were used for travel. A Congressional page was, at least in some jurisdictions, underage. And so on. The truth remains that these stories are stories because sex was involved; the rest is window dressing. It might be different if actual harassment were part of the scenario, and God knows the definition of sexual harassment has been evolving over the past couple of decades, and rightly; but with the arguable exception of Mark Foley, and the contested --- although likely incontestable --- case of Clarence Thomas, harassment has rarely been raised as an issue.