Spitzer Pimped

I have little interest in local politics and hold no brief for Elliot Spitzer, but I was intrigued by the headlines that came screaming off all the cable news networks and web sites on Monday about the New York governor’s “involvement in a prostitution ring” or his “ties to prostitution.” Those headlines had me giggling with schadenfreude imagining this rather self-righteous former Attorney General running a prostitution ring, or somehow being a beneficiary of the business — a kind of super-pimp of a type that would seem too fantastic even for Sin City or The Sopranos or gangsta rap…

Beneath those headlines, though, eventually the story emerges that Spitzer’s “involvement” with the prostitution ring were strictly those of a client. For an officer of the law to break the law is obviously a carreer-killer, and I have no quarrels with that. But the language in which the story was reported, pretty much across the board, was misleading and sensational. If he’d been busted with a bag of weed, would they have said he’d been “linked to a drug ring”? Or that he “had ties to drug trafficking?” Of course not, because that would imply he was involved with the operation that sold him the drugs, not simply one of its clients. How the editors and producers of most of the main national dailies and cable news shows allowed headlines suggesting Spitzer had “ties with a prostitution ring” just because his name was on their client list is beyond me. It would be like saying all of those media organizations who bought the Bush Administration’s prewar lies about Iraq were “linked to” the effort to mislead the American public into a war….

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23 Responses to Spitzer Pimped

  1. Dena Shunra says:

    “For an officer of the law to break the law is obviously a career-killer, and I have no quarrels with that.”

    This is especially true for an officer of the law who has, professionally, gone after prostitution rings and set himself up as an “ethics” candidate.

    Which implies that he felt that something about *this* prostitution ring made it safe for him to trust them.

    I wonder what led him to think/believe that.

  2. Tony says:

    Well, sounds like this was an “inside the Beltway” operation…

  3. I just heard Congressman King call Eliot (client # 9) the most self-righteous person he had ever met.

    Maybe I am jaded but this type of behavior from politicians no longer shocks me. What I find inexplicable is the wife is always there by the disgraced politician’s side. I would hold my own press conference announcing my intention to file for divorce. The call girl got $ 4300 for this tryst. If I was the wife I would be mad about that waste of money as well.

  4. KarBen says:

    The media’s initial response–as you describe above–will become a story in its own right. I and every person I spoke with had the same initial misperception about Spitzer’s role in the prostitution ring. Glad you write on exactly that.

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  7. PopTart says:

    Is paying for a prostitute considered a crime in Yankistan?

    That’s funny, in saner societies it’s exactly the OPPOSITE way around – if you snatch and eat the candy, then refuse to pay the baby, you get tickled by law until you agree to cough up.

    Oh well, death to the Great Satan, I guess!

  8. Sure, the editors have questionable motives for using the “prostitution ring” headline. But I don’t think Spitzer can be viewed as just a client. It’s not long ago that he was tipped as standing a chance to become America’s first Jewish president. He presented a compelling image as a fearless opponent of corporate power and I’ll admit that, without knowing a great deal about him, I found him very impressive.

    But suppose this story hadn’t come out now. Suppose he’d actually become president and then behind the scenes, his Israeli pimp started asking for favors on behalf of the Israeli government? It’s not 100% clear that Mark Brener is an Israeli, but he’s 62, he’s lived in the US for 20 years and he holds an Israeli passport. That, to my mind, puts Spitzer in a politically very compromising position.

  9. Tony says:

    Paul — that may be a bit of a stretch. First off, I’m not sure that Spitzer would require much arm-twisting to do favors for Israel. Second, even if the pimp is Israeli, he may not have had much interest in engaging in extortion on behalf of his government.

  10. Dena Shunra says:

    Tony, the whole thing reeks of an Israeli security operation. And Spitzer’s (false) sense of security makes that even more likely – because really, he has more sense than doing that sort of thing unless he was absolutely certain he wouldn’t be caught. Hence, my initial comment

    FWIW, sex has been traditionally used by the Mossad as a lever for manipulation, to the extent that I started searching for the Israeli connection the moment I heard the story (and found it, of course.) I think it is part of the very public attempt by Israel’s intelligence services to control worldwide Jewry. (And I’ve got to wonder what they have on France’s leader, who seems to fall all over himself pledging allegiance to Israel.)

  11. Pat S. says:

    In partial fairness to the media, the initial reports I read did not seem to know the nature of his relationship with this prostitution ring, just that he was linked to it. However, that doesn’t mean they had to keep using such language as the day went on.

    Dena, you have gone off the deep end. Your first thought is to blame Israel for a domestic matter in New York State? Perhaps they wanted to take down the financial-regulator attack dog in service to their Elders of Zion banking masters, who witnessed a big stock-market jump today. And we all know how those sneaky Jews love money, don’t we?

  12. Dena Shunra says:

    Pat S., my first thought was not “blame the Jews”. My first thought was “gosh, I wonder if the Mossad was involved in this sex scandal, too” (as it had been in the McGreevey scandal in New Jersey, to mention a recent one – Cipel, the dude who had the affair with the then-governor of New Jersey, had been working in the Israeli diplomatic service before being given a job in NJ’s homeland security. Maybe it is insane to question that particular career path…)

    As I said, google news confirmed that there was at least an Israel link, if not a Mossad one (the ring leader was found with $600,000 in cash and an Israeli passport). I do not know if he was Jewish.

    The rest of your comment seems to involve the construction of straw men; let’s hope none of the readers of this site suffers hay fever.

  13. Ed. says:

    Yes Pat S, perhaps Dena is part of the conspiracy of the elders of Christendom, whose first thought is to blame Israel. And we all know how those sneaky Christians hate Jews, don’t we? No Pat, you’re not being paranoid. Not at all. It’s Dena who is paranoid, right?

  14. Pat S. says:

    I am with Tony, in that making a connection between gubernatorial scandal and Mossad sexual intrigue is a stretch. You need to back up your statement when you make the implausible leap of assuming that because one other guy tied in to this ring has an Israeli passport, it logically follows that Spitzer is the target of a secret Mossad sex-sting operation set up to catch high-powered Northeastern governors. Wouldn’t these supposedly bright Mossad people know enough not to get caught running two scams (assuming McGreevey really was a Mossad scam and not just two guys who had a genuine thing for each other) that are so closely related?

    This is an Occam’s razor situation: Spitzer liked to have sex with prostitutes, so he found an agency that provided them. American political sex scandals are a lot older than the Mossad. Don’t underestimate how dumb men can be when thinking with their second brain.

    Israel does some awful things in the name of security. Implausible conspiracy theories cause the valid criticisms to be drowned out.

  15. Pat S. says:

    Ed: I am not Jewish, nor am I some prickly Christian Zionist, so save it.

  16. Dena Shunra says:

    Pat, I did not say what you claim I did.

    I think that there is indeed a Mossad-related plot to obtain compromising evidence against as many U.S. politicians as possible. I think that Spitzer would not have permitted himself to be associated in any way with prostitution UNLESS he thought he was safe (in other words, unless he thought there was something even more secret than his own reputation involved; such as, say, the Mossad’s U.S. activities or a “no outsiders are looking” situation – which I’ve seen people do, repeatedly, despite all historical evidence that an “only us here” situation is the MOST likely to lead to betrayal).

    I also think that the discovery by the FBI was not planned by the Mossad – it doesn’t seem to serve their needs at the moment in any obvious way.

    My “leap” about the Mossad having some levers on U.S. politics comes from the New Yorker story (here: http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/07/04/050704fa_fact ) about the amount of power ascribed to the Mossad’s (or Israel’s) U.S. lobbying arm, AIPAC – combined with a long history of using sexual trafficking/trading to compromise people (“Cindy”, who collected Vanunu in Italy; whoever honey-trapped Ben Barka in France; Golan Cipel in NJ… …just off the top of my head).

    You also err about the order of things: first I thought “gee, I wonder if there are Israelis involved” *then* I googled and found out that there indeed had been.

  17. Tony says:

    Blimey, Pat, I’m with you… This discussion has become unhinged. It seems to be premised on the idea that anyone Israeli has to be Mossad. It’s like saying any American abroad must be CIA. It’s just stupid. More importantly, what possible motive would the Israelis have for wanting to take down a very pro-Israel politician like Spitzer?

  18. Dena Shunra says:

    I apologize for seeming unhinged, Tony.

    I’ll just go back to lurking.

  19. morris says:

    Doubting if any of us are privy to the secret halls of the ruling oligarchy, speculation is all there is.
    Family values are sacrosanct and clearly a benchmark for progression in the heirarchy.
    It seems they shopped their own man in Costa Rica (the Ambassador). There are red lines. And while most of us are critical of the way the Palestinians are treated, ‘you shouldn’t know how the Jews discipline their own’.
    Perhaps there was infighting, perhaps we are only being told the less sordid part of it all. Yes organisations clean themselves too.
    And all judiciousness is designed to send a message to others. And a good drug dealer doesn’t touch the goods.
    Maybe its a putsch to say to other neo-cons, on the eve of a war jamboree, this is what will happen to you too.

  20. morris says:

    Sorry, Costa Rica should say: El Salvador.

  21. liberatemeiexinferis says:

    has it occurred to anyone that maybe Spitzer wanted to get caught, in a subconscious manner? I mean look at the guy and history…..

    Came from a wealthy family…had an overbearing overacheiving dad who expected the same overacheievements of his kids and nothing less..and from some accounts I read, he was pretty harsh on Spitzer for what he would deem “failure” on Spitzer’s end. Ok so the guy tries to live up to his parent’s expectations and pretty much achieves stardom, wealth and fame. Has a beautiful overacheiving wife and a picture perfect family. He is the scourge of Wall Street. But deep down inside he must have been hurting…he probably hated what he did and probably started to see some gray areas in human nature that his parents most probably told him to be blind to, to ignore…that’s why he was always this black and white kind of prosecuting kinda guy..which is why he made a good prosecutor.

    But really I am willing to bet he just hated all of it…if there is a male version of Stepword wives, he was probably it…always trying to live up to society’s expectations (Oh Spitzer can never do no wrong! He will be President someday!)..he could never live the normal life he wanted because he was always under the watchful glare of New York society and high especially High society’s glare..he must have hated deep down all those people he had to smile to in expensive parties, but knew they were nothing but just rich slothful greedy crooks.

    Cmon…a smart guy like Spitzer, who knew the in’s and outs of financial transactions and virtually could recite law at the tip of his tongue….someone wants to tell me he was that dumb to do the financial transactions that he did?…the guy didn’t even meet this lady somewhere in the west coast where he could have been more discreet..he met her in effin DC!!!..with spies and tabloid reporters just rubbing shoulders with everyone else in town…he wanted to get caught..and he was doing this for 6 yrs…maybe he was getting desperate to be caught and became lazy..this guy wanted out..he wanted to run away from all this…subconsciously of course….i mean look when he got caught…it was almost like he had this calmness over him saying…Finally!! now the action begins..let me get raped like the average citizen by the govt……I mean sure..he will have a bad fight with his wife…she will probably divorce him..he will be humiliated even more in the next coming days…but when this is all over..I am sure he will say “I am glad I went through all this and I can say fuck you to the entire world and live the life of a normal citizen”

    In some ways he was destined to go to prostitutes…only they see the real person behind all this facade and charade they put up in public

  22. Dollar Brand says:

    How did we get to Mossad?

  23. It’s hard to find well-informed people for this subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks|

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