The Varieties of the Sex Scandal

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 26 2011 2:59 PM

The Varieties of the Sex Scandal

The resignation of David Wu brings the number of resignations in this Congress to five. Only one resignation -- that of Jane Harman -- had nothing to do with a sex scandal. But let us take a closer look at those sex scandals.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

David Wu (D) - Accused of "inappropriate sexual contact" with a girl who was either 18 or 19 years old.


Chris Lee (R) - Revealed to have been trolling for dates/sex on Craigslist with a fake identity; more reports would reveal, after he resigned, that he was especially interested in transgendered people.

Anthony Weiner (D) - Flirted, using his phone to send shirtless and crotch-bulge-revealing photos, with young girls. One girl -- who did not receive sexually explicit photos, but was contacted -- was in high school.

John Ensign (R) - Had affair with a friend's wife and shuffled money and jobs around to cover it up.

In three cases, the trigger for the resignation was not a revelation of sex. Lee and Weiner were flirting; Wu was doing something else. The commonality between Wu and Weiner is that no scandal can be survived if the words "high school girl" appear in it.


David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.