Is Facebook a Gateway Drug to Prostitution?

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 20 2012 3:57 PM

Is Facebook a Gateway Drug to Prostitution?

"Attention now on a fired supervisor and comments he made about Sarah Palin," says George Stephanopolous. It's a "surprising turn." He turns the mic to Pierre Thomas. "This revelation is explosive," says Thomas, "with huge ramifications!"

Okay. What's the revelation?

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It's that David Chaney, now an ex-Secret Service agent, maintained a Facebook page "He was, quote, 'checking her out.'" It's a comment "now adding to outrage," because Sarah Palin was outraged by it.

Let's begin with this principle: Secret Service agents probably shouldn't post pictures of their work on Facebook. Beyond that, what's the "huge ramification?" We don't know whether or not Chaney was joking. Sometimes, people end up in photos where the angle and moment make it appear that they're ogling somebody.

But assume that Chaney really did "check out" Sarah Palin while she was fully clothed and he was bored. Does this build a case against him? Not only did he pay for prostitutes in a country where the practice is legal, but he had been known to think that some of the women he was working with were hot. Is this a dealbreaker for the Secret Service? How far do we want to take it?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.