Nothing new under the Sun: The journalism-for-sex trade-off, revisited

The Senate Intelligence Committee's security director for the last 29 years threw it all away for a hottie.  Another Monica Lewinsky?  Kind of.  The chick was, and maybe still is, a reporter for the New York Times, and it was a full-blown affair rather than one of those deals where she had sex with him but he didn't with her.

This time around, nobody's trying to pass himself off as a victim of a stalker or her the victim of a predator or him a Harvey Wallbanger and her a naïf.  It seems to have been a strict quid pro quo.  He got access to a young female bod, while she got insider intelligence that made her light shine as a reporter.  Stop rolling your eyes; it worked for a while.

It's an old game that never fails a run by new players.  Each generation thinks it's clever enough to avoid detection and, worse than detection, getting ratted out and, worse than getting ratted out, going to jail.  Not likely, but possible.

Why would people put so much on the line for such superficialities?  You get the impression they see themselves as stars in their own personal movies.  James Bond and Mata Hari.  This harmless little pretense keeps it exciting and fraught with meaning.  They're saving the world by walking the tightrope between misguided law and their own higher loyalties, which as always turn out to be grubby self interest.

You desultorily wonder what kind of music runs through their heads as they play out their roles.  After all, classy movies always have music to set off scenes.  Is it Beethoven?  Elton John?  Beyoncé?  Who does each imagine the other is during these sweaty encounters?  His Brad Pitt to her JLo?  His Bill Maher to her April Ryan?

Both end up losing, but you always suspect she lost more because she's young and hot and he's old and desiccated his life – at least, his professional life – is dead, while hers still beckoned.  Young and full of fire, she thought the world lay at her feet.  If justice gets served, the rest of her life will be obscurity, like the black chick assassin in Kill Bill.  Once you get addicted to life in the fast lane, the anonymity of suburbia is death.

RIP, losers.

The Senate Intelligence Committee's security director for the last 29 years threw it all away for a hottie.  Another Monica Lewinsky?  Kind of.  The chick was, and maybe still is, a reporter for the New York Times, and it was a full-blown affair rather than one of those deals where she had sex with him but he didn't with her.

This time around, nobody's trying to pass himself off as a victim of a stalker or her the victim of a predator or him a Harvey Wallbanger and her a naïf.  It seems to have been a strict quid pro quo.  He got access to a young female bod, while she got insider intelligence that made her light shine as a reporter.  Stop rolling your eyes; it worked for a while.

It's an old game that never fails a run by new players.  Each generation thinks it's clever enough to avoid detection and, worse than detection, getting ratted out and, worse than getting ratted out, going to jail.  Not likely, but possible.

Why would people put so much on the line for such superficialities?  You get the impression they see themselves as stars in their own personal movies.  James Bond and Mata Hari.  This harmless little pretense keeps it exciting and fraught with meaning.  They're saving the world by walking the tightrope between misguided law and their own higher loyalties, which as always turn out to be grubby self interest.

You desultorily wonder what kind of music runs through their heads as they play out their roles.  After all, classy movies always have music to set off scenes.  Is it Beethoven?  Elton John?  Beyoncé?  Who does each imagine the other is during these sweaty encounters?  His Brad Pitt to her JLo?  His Bill Maher to her April Ryan?

Both end up losing, but you always suspect she lost more because she's young and hot and he's old and desiccated his life – at least, his professional life – is dead, while hers still beckoned.  Young and full of fire, she thought the world lay at her feet.  If justice gets served, the rest of her life will be obscurity, like the black chick assassin in Kill Bill.  Once you get addicted to life in the fast lane, the anonymity of suburbia is death.

RIP, losers.