Saturday, November 05, 2005

We're All Larry Flynt Now

Some of us remember a few years back when Monica Madness hit that stories came out about Republican adultery. Salon was universally pilloried for daring to publish the fact that Henry Hyde had an affair. We were told that it wasn't about the sex, it was about the lying, and that politicians, Republican ones at least, deserved their privacy. People pointing out Republican hypocrisy on this subject were labelled McCarthyites (much as David Brooks called Mark Shields's suggestion that Bush lied to take us into war McCarthyism), and media outlets were scared off publishing any stories that might have been dumped in their laps.

I noticed that had apparently changed when the "Kerry had an affair" rumor surfaced during the election. There was no effort to justify why it was actually relevant to the election. It wasn't about the lying, or whatever, it was just about the sex.

Apparently, now, that's the new standard. Adultery, abortions, whatever, are all fair game. There need not be any bullshit justification, or hook of hypocrisy needed, they're newsworthy in and of themselves.