Sex and Blackmail

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Oct. 2 2009 4:56 PM

Sex and Blackmail

Hanna , Linda , the parallels are amazing between the David Letterman blackmail story and the the New York Times exposé of how Sen. John Ensign was pressured by the cuckolded husband of his lover. In both, a powerful man is told unless he comes up with $2 million, the story of his cheating will be made public, and in both the perpetrator is the significant other of a woman who worked for the powerful man. Ensign went for the coverup and payoff then was forced to confess-in one of the dreary "I have sinned" press conferences-when when the cuckold went to the press. Letterman (who seems to be flypaper for wackos) went straight to the D.A. then told the story in a weird, funny, compelling monologue. Ensign is a hypocritical, moralizing jerk. But unless Letterman makes a condition of the employment of female subordinates that they have to sleep with him-well, gee, if celebrities can’t have affairs with willing, adult women, what kind of world is this?

 

Advertisement

 

 

Emily Yoffe is a regular Slate contributor. She writes the Dear Prudence column. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories to the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
Quora
Oct. 22 2014 9:51 AM What Was It Like to Work at NASA During the Challenger and Columbia Disasters?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 10:00 AM On the Internet, Men Are Called Names. Women Are Stalked and Sexually Harassed.
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 22 2014 6:00 AM Why It’s OK to Ask People What They Do David Plotz talks to two junior staffers about the lessons of Working.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 22 2014 9:54 AM The Simpsons World App Is Finally Here I feel like a kid in some kind of store.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 8:43 AM Thunderstruck: Rock Out With Mother Nature’s Evil Side
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 9:39 AM Gertjie and Lammie, a Magical (and Bizarre) Friendship
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.