Sure, if Spitzer had spent $80K on hookers in the last fortnight - a la the entirely unrepentant likes of Charlie Sheen, for example, during his more youthful and adventurous years - it would be easy to make assumptions about the misapplied "addictive" nature of his sexual appetite, or equally and more probable, the especially lewd nature of his peccadillos.
Turns out that Spitzer's spend is an estimate over the last decade, which adds up to paid sex, on average, maybe six times a year (not adjusted for inflation, no pun intended). On that basis, Spitzer has what could best be described as a modest libido. Rather than suffering an addiction, Spitzer's sexual appetite is a humble little thing.
A startled Australian businessman, Karl O'Farrell, was quoted as saying:
"This came from so far out of left field, nobody can believe it ... people in Albany in particular have been just stunned by it. The thing about Spitzer - and this is on both sides of the aisle - is that people really respected this intellect. He's a really, really, smart guy. That's one of the reasons people are so shocked that he could do this."Well, I don't know anything about Mr Spitzer's grocery shopping habits, or which side of the aisle he favors, but far more startling than the alarmed and distressed Mr O'Farrell is the revelation that there are real people in the world who believe - despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary - that stupid guys, and only stupid guys, could ever be led astray by their penis.
In fact, it's the poor and uneducated who are more likely to keep their pecker at home, or entirely to themselves, if for no other reason than lack of opportunity. On the other hand, the wealthy and the powerful have ample means, motive and opportunity for being wanton with their personal equipment. Which is not to suggest that the wealthy and powerful are always awfully, awfully smart.
The New York Times, which broke the story, was also gobsmacked:
"The ironies and mysteries in Mr Spitzer's precipitous fall are overwhelming. It is hard to comprehend why such a driven and accomplished prosecutor, who promised to clean up Albany's political sludge, would indulge in such reckless and self-destructive behavior."Having sex a handful times a year is reckless?
(OK, I know that engaging a prostitute in the US is a criminal offense, but that's an argument for changing the law, for both the workers and the clients, rather than an hysterical damnation of Spitzer.)
The New York Post was apoleptic, requiring the use of many hundreds of words to explain that they are, in fact, speechless:
"And now this: a federal investigation into behavior so tawdry, so demeaning to the office he holds, so disqualifying of the public trust, that words fail."Ann Coulter, just as besotted and breathless as the rest of the media, and just as distraught by the golden boy with the charmed life being caught with his pants down and his wallet open, tried to be singularly damning, but couldn't help herself from throwing-in a lewd image, turning her commentary into porn cover intro, rather than a stern morality lecture:
"He lives at the perfect address .. with his perfect Harvard law school-educated souther Baptist wife ... and their three perfect daughters ... And now Spitzer's entire anal-retentive, good paper-writing life has collapsed in the horrifying image of a frenzied masturbator. This is the most complete coup de grace imaginable, short of an assassin's bullet."Indeed, for the leader of the free world to get lucky with a few blowjobs in the bathroom of the oval office is one thing - oddly, the world did not fall apart, the universe did not implode - but it's something altogether more sinister to have a (horrifyingly) frenzied masturbator holding office with his free hand. Being a politician requires both hands to on the leavers folks, both hands at all times.