The sex lives of politicians is one of the Indian media’s best-kept secrets. We go hammer and thongs at their fiscal corruption but are stunningly quiet at their physical corruption. The ostensible reason is that we have no business poking our pesky noses into their private lives as long as it doesn’t affect their public performance (pun intended).
The result, as Danny Devito says in LA Confidential, it’s all hush-hush. Everybody knows everything, nobody wants to write about it. Chief Minister having two wives? Hush-hush. Minister blackmailing actress into bed? Hush-hush. Promiscuous legislator stricken by AIDS? Hush-hush.The maharaja’s model-orgies? Hush-hush.
But, as an essay by James Wolcott in the February issue of Vanity Fair shows, we aren’t alone. American politics and media too seem to be caught up in the same swirl, never quite able to measure up to the “spite, spicy details, vanity, revenge, bitter comedy, and bawdy excess” of British scandals.
It was bad enough when the cheesy details of President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky‘s bobble-head ministrations leered from the pages of Ken Starr‘s report, and we learned that the former intern resuscitated the commander in chief up only to the point of release, whereupon he withdrew and finished himself off in a bathroom sink, like some unhousebroken Martin Amis character. The president of the United States masturbating into a sink—it doesn’t get more plaintive than that….
I would prefer to live under a system of government where the overseers occasionally plunged into one another’s arms rather than righteously plundered the Constitution and the commonweal to feed their habit. Well, at least we can go to bed happy and content in the knowledge that somewhere out there are Fundamentalist preachers up to no filthy good. They, bless them, are keeping the sacred flame of American hypocrisy brightly lit
Read the full story here: Why are British sex scandals so much better than ours?