Update on the Prez Sex Scandal Rumor
Like water trying to find its own level, or something, rumors that the Los Angeles Times is sitting on a sex scandal story about a certain presidential candidate that could blow the campaign wide open are percolating through the blogosphere.
As noted here yesterday, PajamasMedia blogger Ron Rosenbaum did a pretty good job of airing out the outlines of the â€œstory,â€ as well doing some hankie wringing over the various dilemmas, ethical questions and other aspects of outing a politician â€“ let alone a potential future president â€“ over what some folks would argue is their own private business.
Let me say at this point that if the LAT rumor is true, I do not know who the subject of the story is, although I have my suspicions. But I also know that there has been a whispering campaign about the alleged extramarital behavior of a certain presidential candidate for some time and itâ€™s not John Edwards. So there.
As the rumor bubbles hither and yon, it also is a pretty good bet that:
* The inevitable denial from a well-placed LAT source that such a story exists and a “this guy wouldn’t lie to me” endorsement from the blogger who obtained the denial will do nothing to stanch the rumor.
* The subject almost certainly is not a Republican because most of the bubbling is occurring on the conservative side of the blog pond, which is to say that pushing the â€œstoryâ€ fits the agendas of said bloggers, although not necessarily Rosenbaum.
* The subject is a frontrunner and not an also-ran, which may explain the LATâ€™s hesitation, if there is even something to hesitate about. Then again . . .
* The rumor may be recycled and not new, which may explain the LAT’s hesitation, if there is even something to hesitate about. Then again . . .
* The alleged scandal is not so overt as to be obvious and may, in fact, be more a matter of appearance than reality.
* Mentioning the rumor in even the most well-meaning context enhances its credibility. Example: Ed Morrissey, an influential conservative blogger, who says in a post titled â€œKeep Sitting on Itâ€ that he is foursquare against the LAT running the piece.
* Bill â€œSlick Willieâ€ Clintonâ€™s turpitudes again will be aired out ad infinitum as some sort of benchmark. Which means that discussions of whether Vince Foster suicided or was offed cannot be far behind.
In the short term, the viability of the rumor — which is to say its lifespan — may well be determined not by how many bloggers like myself blather about it but when or whether the mainstream media picks it up.
Stay tuned, rumormongers. Stay tuned.
The photo is from a stage production of School For Scandal, a comedy of manners written by R.B. Sheridan and first performed in London in 1777.