Patterico's Pontifications

5/19/2011

Ace Reporter Elliot Spitzer on the Case!

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:52 am



[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Get out your fedora, Client Number 9, because it is time to be a real reporter!

As as you might have noticed from a throwaway comment I made yesterday, when Cnn did a retrospective on famous political sex scandals in response to the Schwarzenegger scandal, well… there was one name missing:

Suzanne Malveaux‘s story, which aired at 2:30pmET, made mention or showed images of politicians ranging from John F. Kennedy to John Edwards; also former Governors James McGreevey and Mark Sanford, and former Sen. Larry Craig and current Sen. David Vitter, former Pres. Bill Clinton, and 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich — their private indiscretions made very public. But no mention of Eliot Spitzer who resigned as Governor of New York after it was revealed he had patronized a prostitution service. Spitzer now hosts CNN’s 7pm show “In the Arena.” We’ve learned the producer/editor on the story, who use their own judgment on what to use and what not to use, chose not to include Spitzer in the story.

CNNPolitics.com has a slideshow of 17 recent political sex scandals. On it, Spitzer is #10.

I mean that is obviously not ideological, but rather simply a case of protecting one of their own from embarrassment.  Meanwhile on Spitzer’s show they avoided the topic.  Which actually I think is semi-defensible.  Besides the fact that Ahnold is a celebrity, what is the relevance of this story?  I don’t believe he is ever going to run for office again, and as far as his acting career, he is far from being the only celebrity with an appalling personal life, and he’s not even close to being the worst.  Still it is interesting that Spitzer is just about the only Cnn host who wasn’t interested in covering it:

And last night, the Governor-turned-cable news host, went one further. He didn’t touch the story of Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s love child. The Wrap’s Dylan Stableford writes,

Instead, Spitzer, who stepped down as New York governor in 2008 after news of his own affair with a prostitute rocked the state, focused on a sex scandal with less parallels to his own — Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the French IMF chief jailed on New York’s infamous Rikers Island.

Ah, well, while there are less parallels to Spitzer’s situation, it turns out that Spitzer might have a personal connection to all of this:

Kristin Davis said she provided young women for the IMF chief in 2006, as he ran for the French Socialists’ presidential nomination, and that one complained about his “aggressive” behaviour.

“He was a client of my agency,” she told The Daily Telegraph. “When men abuse women I’m no longer going to protect their identities”.

That’s right, this madam has principles.  Going on:

Miss Davis, 35, who claims to have a long list of celebrity clients, said Mr Strauss-Kahn called her directly on her mobile phone and paid $1,200 cash for two-hour sessions in hotel rooms.

We can add that to the list of appallingly expensive things Dominique has paid for in Manhattan on a salary funded in part by American taxpayers.  Going on:

“He wanted an ‘All-American girl’, with a fresh face, from the mid-West,” she said. “A girl in January 2006 complained he was rough and angry, and said she didn’t want to see him again”.

In September 2006, Mr Strauss-Kahn travelled to New York for a conference hosted by Bill Clinton. Miss Davis claims that month, she sent him a Brazilian-born prostitute who reported that “he was rough”, said Miss Davis, adding: “She told me not to send any new girls to him.”

Do you get the feeling that her name sounds familiar?  Well, that is because you heard it before, in relation to Elliot Spitzer:

Miss Davis was jailed in 2008 for promoting prostitution. She named Mr Spitzer, who resigned that year over disclosures that he used prostitutes, as one of her clients.

So wouldn’t basic journalistic practice require Spitzer to comment on Davis?  Did he think she was trustworthy?  Was her claims consistent with his experience?  And so on…

And this is potentially highly relevant, because if he was rough with the prostitutes, it would suggest he might be rough with other women, even up to assault.  And of course we are gradually learning of other women, such as a maid in Mexico who was allegedly raped.  And there are thinly supported claims that there were more women in FranceSo rather than just a seducer

Even before his arrest, some of his wealthy backers in the financial community had suggested that his reputation was darker than that of previous womanizing French politicians, such as Francois Mitterrand or Valery Giscard d’Estaing. “This wasn’t the problem of a charismatic, powerful man attracting women. It was uglier,” according to one international financier who has been privy to those discussions.

(I got that from this post at Hot Air, which also notes that he had officially resigned from the IMF.)

Anyway, Dominique (who is a man) deserves and gets the presumption of innocence, but it  s starting to look very bad for him.

And kudos to authorities in New York City, who decided that no one was above the law.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

44 Responses to “Ace Reporter Elliot Spitzer on the Case!”

  1. And this is potentially highly relevant, because if he was rough with the prostitutes, it would suggest he might be rough with other women, even up to assault.

    You would think that people would treat prostitutes BETTER than they treat women they seduce…

    I mean, think about it… Aren’t you more careful with stuff you buy with your own money, as opposed to stuff that’s just given to you?

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  2. Scott

    > Aren’t you more careful with stuff you buy with your own money, as opposed to stuff that’s just given to you?

    You don’t buy a prostitute. You rent her.

    To apply your metaphor better think of it like this. imagine renting a condo, versus buying one, v. having a friend loan you a house.

    Btw, what is buying in this scenario? think of anna nicole smith with her last husband–if you believe as i do that that relationship was simply a financial transaction…

    you will treat the borrowed house very well for fear of your friend kicking you out. And ditto with the bought house, because you are stuck with it.

    But rentals? you won’t worry half as much about abusing a rental..

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  3. Hmmmm… Good point…

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  4. And still unremarked upon by big media is the Spitzer habit of going after escort services (When he was the AG) except for the one he was patronizing.

    glenn (2a84e9)

  5. Hey if the stable was good enough for Client Number 9, then it was good enough for Dominique Strauss-Kahn. But if you’re going to patronize riding academies, then you have to learn not to abuse the working stock. DSK failed the test.

    Mike Myers (0e06a9)

  6. Elliot Spitzsandswallow needs to go f*ck himself.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  7. Well if he could do that he wouldn’t be in the mess he’s in right now, now would he?

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  8. And still unremarked upon by big media is the Spitzer habit of going after escort services (When he was the AG) except for the one he was patronizing.

    Comment by glenn

    You mean he was a whorehouse’s corrupt thug, stifling competition? That just cannot be. CNN reporters are drawn from only the finest ethical professionals this country has to offer!

    Dustin (c16eca)

  9. It’s more significant that he did to the country, going after AIG’s Hank Greenberg, on false grounds,
    leaving it in the hands of Cassano,the subprime
    gangster.

    ian cormac (72470d)

  10. I’m no fan of the Political Correctness Police, but there is stil a little bit too much testosterone floating in this thread for my taste. Surely no one wants to trivialize the brutalization of sexual assault victims, be they prostitutes or princesses. Certainly neither is chattel that can be sold or rented. I’m not suggesting either that prostitutes are noncommercial or all have hearts of gold. But give them enough human dignity, please, to refer to their provision of sexual services for money as something other than being “rented”?

    Beldar (7c0dd5)

  11. CNN was founded by a man-whore what enthusiastically shagged the notoriously dirty socialist slut Jane Fonda for years and years while keeping tons of hoochies on the side, so they have something of an ethos over there I think

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  12. Whatever happened to Elliot’s wife after her standing next to him, looking terribly hurt? Is he keeping her locked up somewhere? Perhaps she has seen the light and wants to change to team conservative.

    As for CNN, did we really expect anything different from them?

    PatAZ (96c670)

  13. Agree happyfeet, the most certainly have something of an “ethos” over at CNN.

    It was the same thing when Mr. Clinton was, er, seasoning his cigars back in the day…

    Bob Reed (5f2db5)

  14. Beldar

    Well, i understood scott’s comment as being about how DSK looked at things, as opposed to how Scott looked at things. And i was responding to that, but without the qualifier “in DSK mind.”

    Of course it is not okay to beat up a prostitute and yes, it can be rape when a prostitute is involved. she may be committing a crime but she is still human.

    The fact is commodification of the flesh leads inevitably toward devaluing them as human beings.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  15. Surely no one wants to trivialize the brutalization of sexual assault victims, be they prostitutes or princesses.

    That’s true. Is Anna Nicole Smith a victim?

    I agree that many prostitutes are actually victims (And some are not). However, I think Aaron’s metaphor was meant to explain that prostitutes are treated worse, because they are used, with no concern for their future.

    Anyway, I always believed the idea that the Spitzers of the world really pay prostitutes to leave after sex, rather than for the sex. It’s not really that difficult to get into a sexual relationship, especially if you’re powerful, but it can be more difficult to get into one with no strings attached.

    Of course, even when you try as Eliot did, you wind up being unable to free yourself of the consequences. Wiser men welcome the consequences and arrange their choices accordingly.

    Anyway, I don’t think the buy/rent language was meant to convert these women to property. It’s still worth saying that this is a business with tremendous human cost.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  16. Some of them would disagree with you about whether their freely chosen job “leads inevitably toward devaluing them as human beings,” Aaron. But in any event, I’m sure, and sure glad, that we agree that prostitutes aren’t objects or horses, and I’m not trying to hijack the thread.

    FWIW, I agree with the gist of the post. I still stand by what I wrote of Spitzer in 2009 (as the process of his “rehabilitation” by the Left began in earnest):

    The truth is that Eliot Spitzer has no friends. But he has enemies who have enemies, and the latter don’t have anyone more appealing than him to promote at the moment.

    Beldar (7c0dd5)

  17. ‘That’s right, this madam has principles’

    Why the snark here?

    Even if you believe prostitution should be illegal, why does it surprise you that a manager of a business looks out for their workers?

    I mean, sure , some don’t, and cop shows love to promote abusive pimp stories.

    I just wonder if you’d snark similarly about managers of nursing home workers. (yes, while not quite as frowned upon, there are happy endings there. My now departed grandfather thought the, er, come-on was hilarious.)

    Jamie (d76718)

  18. Instead of retiring Ronald Mcdonald let’s retire Elliot Spitztard.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  19. Even if you believe prostitution should be illegal, why does it surprise you that a manager of a business looks out for their workers?

    Because she’s a slightly more classy pimp?

    Because she rents other human-beings out for a 3rd party to screw, not knowing if the person is some sort of sadistic bastard?

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  20. “It’s more significant that he did to the country, going after AIG’s Hank Greenberg, on false grounds”

    ian –
    In contrast to many of the other high profile cases brought by Spitzer, there were plenty of grounds to bring suit against Greenberg. He had been committing fraud and manipulating earnings for years. The prosecution was botched.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  21. Scott’s right. These high class pimps might be glamorized on TV, but they are horrible people. They exploit people into labor under awful conditions.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  22. Aaron,

    You are correct to point out that one does not buy a prostitute. But neither does one rent. In fact, the best way to look at the transaction is not paying for sex but paying the hooker to leave quietly afterwards.

    Al K.Hall (e41aee)

  23. Holy cow, there’s a boatload of over-generalization going on here that has nothing to do with Spitzer.

    Anyone want to bolster his credibility by confirming that you’ve been speaking about prostitutes and pimps from first-hand personal knowledge? We’ll need the circumstances to weigh your credibility.

    (I sorta doubt that, or maybe I doubt it will be admitted.)

    Beldar (7c0dd5)

  24. Aaron, why don’t you do another post just about the evils of prostitution, so I can ignore that and yet continue to read this one about Spitzer?

    Beldar (7c0dd5)

  25. Beldar – I have no knowledge of high class pimps and prostitutes.

    If you wanted to aim a little lower, maybe I could help you out.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  26. Speaking of apologies, who’s up for more Newt? Rush has him on in a couple of minutes. (Hour 3, top of the hour.) Of course he gave him a pretty good beatdown on Monday. Should be interesting..

    Vermont Neighbor (af7a3a)

  27. Newt’s 15 minutes are over – this is just shameless attention whoring anymore I think

    Rush needs to get a life.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  28. @ Scott Jacobs (#19): I’m sorry, I really hate arguing about this, but you say of prostitution promoters (a/k/a madams and pimps): “Because she rents other human-beings out for a 3rd party to screw, not knowing if the person is some sort of sadistic bastard?” It does not really seem a question, but a categorical assertion.

    But if you followed Spitzer’s own story, you know that in fact, he was thoroughly vetted by the agencies he dealt with — so much so that he gave them not only his name, but his credit card information and even his bank account information so they could wire transfer refunds or overpayments to him. Prostitutes considering accepting a proposed session with Spitzer were warned about his proclivities, which included a preference for unprotected sex but not, apparently, violence.

    There are certainly procurers and promoters who take no care, or inadequate care, in vetting (even though it’s in their direct financial and legal interest to take it very seriously indeed). There are certainly procurers and promoters who exploit and physically abuse the prostitutes whom they employ. It is at its very best still a risky business conducted, in the U.S., in the shadows.

    But you’re over-generalizing.

    Beldar (7c0dd5)

  29. Beldar, I don’t have any trouble with prostitution. If a person wants to exchange sex for money, that is their deal, I won’t judge.

    But pimps and madams? Different animal, and I’m surprised you are sticking up for the breed…

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  30. I’ve never patronized a prostitute, however I’ve met a few dozen, and a small number of their bosses, and this has informed my impression of that business.

    This wasn’t in the United States, though. I’m sure there is some difference between what I’ve seen and some extremely expensive service in Manhattan, but anyone in this trade is dehumanizing women.

    I consider anyone who knowingly profits from this business has something awful to account for. Beldar has a point that this is straying off topic, but I’m actually not sure.

    Eliot Spitzer may have selectively prosecuted whorehouse proprietors. I wish the details of why that is would be more discussed.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  31. Pimps and madams are “promoters”. They are a completely different from “sex workers”.

    The ones who are careful about the safety of their employees aren’t the norm by any stretch. Maybe madams tend to be more careful, but not by much I would wager…

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  32. There are certainly procurers and promoters who exploit and physically abuse the prostitutes whom they employ.

    And just to be clear, I realize that some pimps don’t do that. I am generalizing my judgment beyond those who do.

    Anyway, back on topic: it sure sounds like CNN is devoted to sex scandal coverage. It seems to me that it’s a worthy topic but there are so many more important things to discuss that perhaps it didn’t require 24 hour reporting. CNN is nearly unwatchable these days.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  33. @ daleyrocks (#25): Thanks, you gave me a good snort with that!

    I will confess to extensive second-hand experience, via local criminal defense lawyer-buddies who’ve got tons of first-hand experience with every size, shape, shape, gender, sexual preference, and kink that’s on offer in Houston. And yes, it’s ultimately about trading sex for money. But there are absolutely, positively, prostitutes in this town who decide of their own free will, often with passionate intensity, to pursue what they consider a useful profession. They do include people with college degrees, people with “day jobs” in business and industry, and even people with homes and families that are considerably less bizarre than Eliot Spitzer’s, to take one example. I don’t know how many they are, either in absolute or percentage terms, but it’s a non-trivial number.

    I’m told that some of them vote Republican.

    One may disagree with them, one may disapprove of them, one may condemn them and their views and their conduct. But it’s unfair to objectify them and its inaccurate to stereotype them.

    Beldar (7c0dd5)

  34. my next comment will be off-topic i think

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  35. Beldar

    no, they aren’t all forced into it at gunpoint, but it is degrading in all cases, because it is inherently so.

    And the man who sleeps with a prostitute only pretends to care for her. if they are any exceptions to that rule they are few and far between.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  36. One may disagree with them, one may disapprove of them, one may condemn them and their views and their conduct. But it’s unfair to objectify them and its inaccurate to stereotype them.

    Fair enough, Beldar.

    But lots of people agree of their own free will to ‘victimless’ crimes that are actually pretty awful. And I also suspect some generalizations apply predominately. Not 100%, but enough.

    If they dislike being objectified, perhaps they shouldn’t put their bodies up for rental. And I realize this boils down to whether this is just a ‘service’ like any other profession, or somehow special as a dehumanizing the rental of their bodies. I think on that point, it’s a matter of opinion.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  37. @ Scott Jacobs (#29): You write, “But pimps and madams? Different animal, and I’m surprised you are sticking up for the breed.”

    I’m not so much trying to defend anyone as to object to what I think is an inaccurate (through overbreadth) portrayal.

    It’s very common for rings to be run by ex- and even current providers who have a knack for tasks like marketing and vetting. Their profit is in stability and discretion, and their relationships with the providers for whom they make arrangements are often entirely voluntary.

    Of course there are also pimps who addict their prostitutes to drugs, or otherwise exploit/create dependencies in the most craven and despicable ways. There are pimps who are literally modern-day slavers who rely on kidnapped youths of both sexes. These things would be criminal acts even under the laws of places (e.g., Canada and Holland) that have legalized or at least decriminalized prostitution among consenting adults (sometimes with health and safety regulations). But I won’t quibble with anyone who asserts that most madams, pimps, or whatever sort of procurers are closer to that end of the spectrum.

    And its not only procurers who have seized upon the internet for marketing and communications. Lots more providers choose to go solo because the can do so more safely, effectively, and (bottom line) profitably.

    So it’s just really hard to generalize. I really will try to stop arguing about this now. Sorry.

    Beldar (7c0dd5)

  38. here is a nice article explaining why Vitter and Landrieu vited against McConnell’s lame oil drilling bill

    Vitter said he opposed the measure, which in most respects tracked bills passed by the Republican House, because he said it didn’t go as far as the House bills in opening new tracts along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and in the eastern Gulf for drilling. It also included a provision that would have gone beyond current Interior Department regulations and required exploration plans to have containment response provisions that had been reviewed by a third party.

    “I think this is a completely unnecessary extra burden, extra hurdle, extra layer of requirement. We need to make the permitting process smoother, more streamlined, more accelerated, not move in the opposite direction,” Vitter said in his floor speech on the McConnell bill.

    With gas prices being what they are if McConnell can’t craft a bill what can get all the for reals Team Rs (minus the America-hating bimbos from “Maine”) on board, he really doesn’t have any business being in a leadership position I don’t think.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  39. *voted* I mean

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  40. They could have worked it out in conference, this is quite bumble fail.

    ian cormac (72470d)

  41. Beldar has a very interesting perspective on this.

    JD (306f5d)

  42. @ JD (#41): “Interesting” in the sense of “that asteroid has gone off its normal orbit and flown into the center of the sun” or interesting in the sense of “Hmm, never thought of it that way”?

    I’m vastly more offended by Spitzer’s undisclosed conflicts of interest (as NY’s attorney general), serial adultery (and conspiring to conceal that, too), hypocrisy, and — most of all — colossal, self-destructive stupidity. The facts could have easily supported federal wire/mail fraud, Mann Act, and maybe even money-laundering indictments if the U.S. Attorney’s public corruption unit (which was alerted through IRS bank regulations on big-dollar transactions) had not been satisfied with Spitzer’s resignation as governor of New York. I think those are all pertinent to his character and integrity.

    But paying for sex? Without (as the proverbial, and now sexist, political wisdom forbids) either a live boy or a dead girl involved?

    Meh. That’s just background, part of the wallpaper of life in the very bizarre and tortured existence of Eliot Spitzer.

    Beldar (7c0dd5)

  43. I will say this for Spitzer: He is lucky.

    He’s lucky to have family money.

    He’s lucky his wife didn’t publicly field-dress and flay him.

    He’s lucky the feds went light on him after they figured out he was only concealing sex payments, not taking bribes or paying blackmail.

    And he’s incredibly lucky to have been followed in office by someone so extraordinarily quirky and ineffective as to permit many people to indulge themselves by forgetting just how bad a governor Spitzer had turned out to be even before he was driven from office by this scandal.

    Beldar (7c0dd5)

  44. The latter, Beldar. The latter.

    JD (d48c3b)


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