Columbia, MO – David Letterman had multiple affairs. He admitted so on his October 1 show. He was forced to say something because of a threat of disclosure, not by one of the women he was involved with, but by a producer of “48-Hours.” The alleged blackmailer has been arrested and Letterman will testify at his trail. His sexual exploits would have come out eventually.
Arnold Schwarzenegger had affairs and he admitted to them freely and openly. Not really so freely. His affairs were also disclosed that as an actor and many years before Maria Shriver and his governorship, he played with some female tushies.
Bill Clinton had sex with women while married to Hillary, as governor and president. He denied the affairs and was caught up in a scandal leading to impeachment and Senate trial. He was not on trial for sex. It was for lying about it to a grand jury about sex.
South Carolina governor Mark Sanford has had a long-term affair with a woman from Argentina. He disappeared for a long weekend, lied about where he went and is accused of using state moneys for his trysts. He has admitted to the affair and the misuse of state funds, but is still in office. The South Carolina House is still arguing about impeachment not about the sex, but lying where he was and misappropriating public money.
If you read Hunter S. Thompson’s Better than Sex, his 1994 tome of the 1992 presidential race, you may believe that lying and maintaining that lie is the right way to go. If you look at the facts, those mentioned and others of sexual conquests, it seems that telling the truth leads to public forgiveness. Lying really is not an option.
Americans seem to have multiple moral standards when it comes to sexual affairs, even it is an affair of the heart, as Sanford claims. Clinton denied the breaking story in the National Inquirer, of all tabloids, that he stained Monica’s dress. Clinton spent too much time fighting the seemingly politically motivated impeachment than running the country.
On the other hand, sex scandals seem to bounce off the Teflon coated right-wing politicos. It appears that the conservatives found a way to use their highly-tuned propaganda machine to deflect incoming attacks.
The third is the chasing of “celebrities,” be it Hugh Grant, Paris Hilton or David Lettermen, complete with pictures. Yet we tend to forgive the celebrity regardless of the depraved or public the sexual act. Well, sex is not really depraved unless, of course, you are an extreme right-wing evangelical and it is someone else’s sexual abuses. Hugh Grant is still making movies. Paris is still untalented and making money. Letterman will not be fired by CBS.
The resurrected Moral Majority wants to reclaim America’s moral values. Especially when it comes to those “socialist, liberal, commies” not meeting the Moral Majority’s religious based morals. Forgive Christians and conservatives. All others should be damned to Hell. (Not that bad of a place really – That’s where all the booze is and sex is allowed.)
So, America, do we forgive Letterman and those who admit to their sexual side trips as long as they meet selective criteria? Or, as former Senator Dale Bumpers said, acknowledge that “it’s about sex,” and allow private copulation between two consenting adults regardless of their celebrity and get on with life. I lean toward the latter.