How One Sugar Daddy Website Is Leeching off of the Weiner Scandal

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 30 2013 11:41 AM

Why Do Reporters Keep Falling for These Sex Scandal "Polls" from Hook-Up Websites?

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At least Anthony Weiner is winning the sugar baby demographic.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

"National Poll: 78% of Younger Women Love Weiner," the pitch email read. Quinnipiac this ain't. The poll was conducted by SeekingArrangement.com, the website that pairs up wealthy clients with enterprising "sugar babies" looking to pay their college tuition.

Anthony Weiner's and Eliot Spitzer's revived political careers have been self-promotional grist for Seeking Arrangement and Ashley Madison, another prestigious site that arranges extramarital affairs. Ashley Madison's CEO, Noel Biderman, told Bloomberg Television the Spitzer scandal gave him hope for his company's bottom line:

Biderman said that although infidelity is now a largely taboo topic, he sees evidence that the "tide is starting to turn" -- which could make way for Ashley Madison to become a publicly traded company.
As "the Spitzers and the Weiners of the world come back onto the stage," Biderman said, maybe investors from Wall Street and Canada's Bay Street will "look at this business as something they will want to fund."
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Seeking Arrangement in particular has been using the titillating political poll gimmick for the last two years (not always in the context of an unfaithful politician), and every time the site pushes out a new one, it gets the same media treatment. Is it prudish to call for a moratorium on these sorts of five-paragraph stories?

Roll Call, June 20, 2012:

According to SeekingArrangement.com, “the world’s largest sugar daddy dating website,” the ladies (aka sugar babies) chose Obama almost 3-to-1 over presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, 34 percent to 12 percent.

New York Daily News, Oct. 4, 2012:

SeekingArrangement.com polled 5,000 of its members and found 57% of those living in Hoboken said they had seven or more “friends with benefits” in a year.

The Atlantic Wire, Dec. 17, 2012:

In a new video entitled "Rational Women Date Rich Men," the dating service promises struggling women a relief from higher tax rates (one potential outcome of present negotiations) in the form of free premium memberships.

New York Daily News, July 29, 2013:

Young women in America have not soured on Weiner, apparently.

Apparently! Who's to say, really?

Emma Roller is a Slate editorial assistant. Follow her on Twitter.

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