January 11th, 2018

Political sex scandal du jour

I couldn’t be more weary of these sex scandals. The latest concerns a guy who’s never been on my radar screen until today: Missouri governor Eric Greitens, who is alleged to have had an affair in 2015 and threatened to expose the woman if she ever revealed it:

In a recording obtained by News 4, a woman says she had a sexual encounter with Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and that he tried to blackmail her to keep the encounter quiet.

The details were provided to News 4 by the woman’s ex-husband, claiming the sexual relationship happened between his now ex-wife and Greitens in March 2015. News 4 is not naming the woman and she has not made an on-the-record comment about the story.

According to the ex-husband, the recording was made just days after Greitens’ and the woman’s first sexual encounter. And also that Greitens took a photograph during the encounter to use as “blackmail” according to the ex-husband.

The affair was consensual and seemingly brief. That’s not the issue so much as the purported threat involving the photo, which supposedly no longer exists. The governor has admitted the affair but denied the rest. The woman herself refuses to go on the record, so the blackmail story rests on a recording of a phone call (a recording made by the husband, apparently) in which she’s telling the story to her then-husband, but soon-to-be ex-husband.

Was she telling the truth in that phone call? Maybe. We have absolutely no way of knowing. I do know, however, that this kind of situation—affairs, confessions to husbands or wives, etc.—is one in which people often lie through their teeth. As I said, I have no idea whether this particular woman was lying or truthful. But what might her motivation have been to lie? To get her husband’s sympathy and make herself out to be a victim.

She apparently didn’t know she was being recorded, either, for what that’s worth.

I have no idea how this one will shake down.

[NOTE: I wrote that Greitens had never been on my radar screen till today. But then I decided to do a search on the blog and discovered I had written one post involving him. But it wasn’t about Greitens the politician; the post pre-dated his entrance into politics. It was about his training as a Navy SEAL, about which he once wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal.]

7 Responses to “Political sex scandal du jour”

  1. Sloppy Steve Says:

    Good grief, Neo! I really wish I hadn’t clicked on the link to that story and, even worse, listened in to that confessional tape.

    I am not by nature a pearl-clutcher but I really do feel soiled. It’s mainly my fault for giving in to my base, voyeuristic curiosity but there is blame aplenty to go around for the three despicable players in this sordid melodrama.

    Good grief, what a truly sordid dramatis personae.

    The wife makes a decision to betray her husband before driving over to her crush’s house, (open to and no doubt anticipating what will happen all the way over); the cynical politician betrays his wife in their home; the cynical man then, in one of the lowest acts I’ve ever heard of, stops to grab a camera and photographs the woman naked, blind-folded and taped to some sort of trapeze equipment, entirely without her permission and and pausing only to threaten her with public humiliation; the “victimised” woman, instead of reacting with righteous disgust and contempt at the lover’s demonstrated cynicism, cruelty and contempt for her as a human being thereupon doubles-down and settles into yet further trysts; the cuckolded husband then betrays the wife’s trust by taping her in what to this experienced divorce lawyer sounds like a genuinely anguished confession and then further humiliates her by sending it to a tv station where voyeurs like me can listen in on it on the web.

    Mumma Mia. How richly they all deserve each other.

    Although a citizen of the relatively uptight and more judgemental english-speaking world, I personally prefer the more relaxed approach adopted by the French and Italians to affairs of the heart but there are issues here that go way beyond a private affair.

    Yes, such things should always be approached, initially, as being sad but private matters only – but the presumption that these things ought to remain in the private sphere and have no wider public implications ought always to be viewed as rebuttable.

    The dishonesty, cynicism, callousness and contempt for women that this politician has shown is something that his constituents have every right to feel disqualifies him from any claim to their trust and to his public office.

    Hashtag# No more grifters. The Clintons were enough.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    Sloppy Steve:

    Fortunately, my own curiosity did not lead me to do as much in-depth research as you. Sounds like I made a wise decision.

    But I would reiterate that we don’t know whether she was telling the truth about the photo and the threat. I’ve had enough exposure to lies that I know that people lie for the strangest reasons. If you really want to delve into a “heart of darkness” story, here’s one for the books. It shows you what lengths and depths a lying psychopath (a woman, in this instance) can go to.

  3. Sloppy Steve Says:

    I have just watched that story, Neo. As my niece would say: “OMG!”.

    Thanks for the link to the unspeakably evil, Sharee.

    A true modern Lady Macbeth – save that the latter, after moving her own man to carry out a murder he would not otherwise have carried out but for her goading, at least had enough of a conscience to eventually feel remorse and off herself.

    Doubt that Sharee ever will. But then that’s the essence of being a psychopath.

    I, too, have an interest in true crime so I have bookmarked the whole page and will work my way through it. Lots of good stuff there. Thanks.

    Maybe it’s my mediterranean blood but I am enormously sympathetic to sins of passion committed in the moment. I get that. I think most others do, too.

    An unguarded moment and a sudden look or a touch, or at the other extreme, a harsh word – and things that one later regrets can and do happen. It’s part of being human. We are all of us “broken” – just to varying degrees.

    How different the moral quality the same act can have depending upon whether it is performed spontaneously, in the heat of the moment or after planning and plotting ahead of time. The very same act can inhabit two entirely different moral universes, no?

    It’s not that this politician may have had an affair that bugs me – it’s the possibility that he may have paused, in flagrante delicto, to take photos and issue threats that would condemn him in my eyes.

    The former happens in the moment, in hot blood and is all too human – but the latter is the exact opposite: cold blooded and unspeakably cruel.

  4. Sloppy Steve Says:

    PS. In related news:

    Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci, rumoured to be soon returning to the White House, this morning announced that he had used his recent hiatus from the West Wing to obtain a personal trainer’s licence from a gym in Missouri.

    “The last time round I noticed that female staffers just don’t know how to do a decent pull-up. That really, really bothers me” he said. “But don’t worry. That will change when I get back, bro”.

  5. neo-neocon Says:

    Sloppy Steve:

    Yes, when I first watched that “Forensic Files” it made quite a deep impression on me. Heart of darkness!

    As for Greitens, all we know is what the lady in question said to her husband, and the fact that Greitens has admitted to the affair but not the rest of it.

  6. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Humans being humans, nothing all that special.

    Jezebel and various Egyptian royal clans had similar things.

  7. Ariel Says:

    Personally, I think it’s high time we have another round of hysteria. We had the Satanic Crimes of the 70s-80s, the Pre-school Sex Crimes of the 80s-90s, and now we have the Sex Crimes Claimed by Any Accuser Must Be Believed No Matter How Long Ago Because Survivors Should have All The Time In The World To Make Accusations Even If No One Could Possibly Defend Themselves Against Those Accusations After So Much Time Has Passed But We Must Remember That Survivors Never Lie About What They Survived Even If They Are Just Accusers Because Accusers Are Survivors Through The Accusation.

    Anyone can add to this, and those of you that know German past my HS knowledge might make this a word. You might even beat “Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu” for longest word, though that’s a place name.

    Me, I think the accuser is only a survivor if and after the accusation holds up under rigorous examination. Otherwise, they just made an accusation and anyone can do that.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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