Saturday, May 29, 2004
There was an interview with Wonkette in Friday’s National Journal Hotline. When asked what her most embrassing on-the-job moment was, she said:
Being forced to contend with rumors of a Playboy offer is pretty bad, especially since my father heard about it when he inadvertently tuned into the Michael Savage show and heard Michele Malkin accuse me of conspiring to tarnish Washington\'s good name. (Conversations you don\'t want to have with your dad: \"I heard you mentioned on the radio today, sweetie ... what\'s a \'skank\'?\")
Of course she’s not saying that she’s refusing an offer to pose for Playboy, she’s just saying that it’s embarrassing to talk to her dad about it.
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A comic strip commenting on the Jessica Cutler scandal.
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Not much else about Jessica Cutler today. Looks like the scandal is dying. Hardly any traffic to the website from people doing Jessica Cutler searches compared to the way it was a few days ago.
This is a pretty old story, dating back to January, but nevertheless hasn't gotten much notice so far.
Bill Bennett, Secretary of Education under President Reagan, "drug czar" under the first Bush, and currently the host of the radio talk show Bill Bennett's Morning In America, allegedly was seeing a Las Vegas dominatrix.
According to George Knapp, who seems to be like a Richard Leiby of Las Vegas:
The rumor about conservative moralizer William Bennett and his forays into Las Vegas sleaze aren't going away anytime soon. Of course, readers will recall last year's revelations about Bennett's gambling habits during Las Vegas trips. Knappster also hinted last year that there were other, darker tales floating around. Some of those have now surfaced in other media. Basically, reporters from a few news outlets are trying to find out what Bennett's relationship was with a muscular Las Vegas dominatrix. Someone close to the woman has been providing details about the alleged relationship. The source has even provided links to video snippets of the dominatrix during weight-training sessions. Yikes. So far, the story has yet to break, perhaps because there is no smoking gun to speak of.
According to Michelangelo Signorile, a columnist for the NY Press and host of a daily radio show on Sirius Stellite Radio (wonder how many people are listening to that?):
Now, with regard to the Bennett rumor, take my word for it (and don’t ask any more questions right now, okay?) that several reporters have communicated directly with first-hand sources–as have I.
According to the Jaunary edition of Evil GOP Bastards (with a name like that you can trust them to be impartial):
A source claiming first-hand information now reports that Casino Bill's other vice runs to the exotic -- liasons with a very buff Las Vegas dominatrix. According to our source, national-press reporters have interviewed the "beautiful domme muse mistress," but have been reluctant to publish the story to date.
This is a link to the website of Mistress Lee, the dominatrix in question. She certainly looks strong enough to give Bill Bennett a good spanking. Too bad there are no pictures where you can see her face. Her website says, "I Live/Play on a level reserved only for those of means."
Sources say Kinky Bill Bennett is a client of Dominatrix "Mistress Lee". Sources say Ms. Lee's story has been investigated by Josh Green of The Atlantic and Washington Monthly (who exposed Bennett's gambling "problem"), Terry Neal at the Washington Post, and Lloyd Grove at the NY Daily News. Sources say Ms. Lee is willing to confirm her story on the record. The race is on! Who will break the story first?
Jackson Thoreau has a website of essays, and he writes about this issue and his attempts to do additional research in his essay Republicans Involved in Sex Scandals as Much as Democrats. This is what he wrote:
Finally, there was Bill Bennett, the hypocritical, self-proclaimed morality czar who was one of Clinton’s harshest critics for having an affair. According to Jack Hughes, webmaster of www.evilGOPbastards.com, and another source, Bennett hired a Las Vegas dominatrix, essentially paying money for sexual services. Reporters from nationally-known newspapers and magazines have interviewed Leola McConnell, or “Mistress Lee,” but have not been able to obtain written proof like receipts or emails to verify the story. One source said there supposedly was a video tape of them floating around, but they hadn’t seen it.
In an email, McConnell didn’t deny that Bennett was a client or talking to reporters about it. “Contact [the reporters], why are you asking me? That’s the best way to find out if it’s true or not,” she wrote.
I contacted some reporters who allegedly spoke with McConnell. One said the allegation could be true, but McConnell did not produce any evidence to help substantiate the tie, such as receipts and correspondence.
Now the problem I have with all these links is that they all come from websites or individuals (except for George Knapp, I don't know his politics) that are virulently anti-Republican. I'd feel much more comfortable with this story if there was someone with anonymous inside the press sources who didn't hate Republicans with every pore and fiber of his body.
Since I created this post, I have been in contact with two separate sources who have additional information. So keep visiting The Calico Cat for the latest on this developing story.
I have now posted my email conversation with the dominatrix. Her emails confirm the story.
I think this story is a hoax. Calico Cat scammed by the dominatrix.
Friday, May 28, 2004
The MSN home page is now listing Jessica Cutler as the #1 top search mover. Which explains why there is a huge traffic jump to my website.
If you're visiting from MSN and have no clue who Jessica Cutler is, for starters you can visit my new Jessica Cutler information page.
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Robert Cox of The National Debate (no relation to Ana Marie Cox) has new information about Playboy's offer to Jessica Cutler. He also reports that Cox has not been directly approached by Playboy, but that she'd consider it. Link to post: PLAYBOY DEAL CONFIRMED!! THE NATIONAL DEBATE EXCLUSIVE!! MUST CREDIT THE NATIONAL DEBATE!!.
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Wonkette has commentary today on Michelle Malkin's column. Reread what I wrote about that same column two days ago, and note the amazing similarity in the way Wonkette comments about the exact same passage from Malkin that I commented on.
The post below is not about Jessica Cutler (even though I can’t help mentioning the topic), so if you’re just here to read the latest Jessica Cutler news and gossip, you can skip the rest.
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The New York Times article points out that most blogs are read by few:
Sometimes, too, the realization that no one is reading sets in. A few blogs have thousands of readers, but never have so many people written so much to be read by so few. By Jupiter Research's estimate, only 4 percent of online users read blogs.
But four percent of a huge number of online users is still a pretty big number. Instapundit, for example, gets over a hundred thousand visits a day. What determines why one blog gets read a lot and another not at all? Why, the free market, of course!
But wait, does the free market apply to blogs if people maintain them for free as a hobby? Yes it does. In the free market of products and services for profit, businesses compete for profit. In the free market of blogs, bloggers compete for readership. There is more joy in writing a blog read by a thousand people a day than there is in writing a blog read only by its author. The New York Times article suggests that people whose blogs become popular are more likely to stick with them and spend more time blogging.
There are two components to getting people to read your blog: (1) maintaining a blog that people want to read; and (2) marketing the blog so people can find out about it.
Marketing, of course, is a very important component. A mediocre blog with good marketing will be read a lot more than a great blog with bad marketing. There is also the factor of marketing inertia; once you become big, you can stay big with less marketing effort. Other people will even do your marketing for you. Three paragraphs ago I did some free marketing for Instapundit—oops, I just did it again. I have written before about the importance of marketing and how we’re moving from an information economy to a marketing economy.
While it’s possible for great marketing to make people want to read a blog that they’d otherwise have no interest in reading—the blogosphere equivalent of the Pet Rock—in most cases you also have to write what people want to read. This alone prevents the vast majority of blogs from ever gaining much of a following.
Of course it helps to be a good writer. Some people are; some people aren’t. There’s not much else to say about this.
Of more interest is the subject matter of the blog. If you have a factory, and you want to produce goods that will be profitable, you have to produce goods that people are interested in buying. The same applies to blogs. You have to write about subjects people are interested in reading about.
Most bloggers want to write about their personal lives. Hardly anyone wants to read about other people’s personal lives. Yet that’s what 90% of blogs are bout. Merely having a blog about something other than your personal life puts you ahead of 90% of the competition.
The rules of blog subject matter follow the basic pattern of supply and demand seen in the non-virtual world of goods and services. If a million people want to read about a topic, but there are a hundred thousand blogs writing about it, how many hits a day do you expect? On average, maybe thirty. But if there’s a topic that 50,000 people want to read about in a given day, and there are only four blogs covering that topic, you might get 30,000 hits.
During the last several days, I discovered a topic that a lot of people want to read about. That’s right, our friend Jessica Cutler. In the non-virtual market of goods and services, an entrepreneur will see an unmet demand and try to fulfill it. The same thing happens in the blogosphere. In this case, I discovered an unmet demand for coverage of the Jessica Cutler sex scandal, and I fulfilled that need, resulting in huge traffic to my blog that I never before dreamed possible.
That’s right, people would rather read about sex scandals than read about economics. That’s why a great blog like Truck and Barter hardly gets any visits, while Wonkette, who Richard Leiby of the Washington Post just today called a “foul mouthed vixen”, gets about five hundred times as much traffic. She even gets free marketing from Richard Leiby.
Unfortunately, the Jessica Cutler effect is only temporary. The scandal is already dying, and soon the traffic will disappear. But the lesson is clear. Marketing, plus writing about what people want to read about, especially if few others are writing about it, is what leads to high readership.
The transcript of today's live online chat was released today. Yes, Richard Leiby said that Ana Marie Cox, aka Wonkette, "is but a foul-mouthed vixen."
He also says that Jessica Cutler lied about her age and her college degree. He credits blogs (that's The Calico Cat) for helping uncover these facts:
Washingtonienne told me's she's 24, but that appears to be a big fat LIE. When we talked, she said that May 18, her birthday, was a terrible day. She got suspended from her job, she lost one of her boyfriends, and Tony Randall died. I said, "So you just turned 24?" She said, "Yeah." (Or something like that.) In fact, the public records we've since been able to obtain show she was born May 18, 1978. Doing the math, which is hard, but possible, we conclude that she is 26 years old.
We also suspect that she does NOT have a degree from Syracuse University. I asked her twice to tell me what her degree was in and she said "international relations." She also said she had low grades. Our sources (which are not just all them bloggers, though they're helpful) say she did not graduate. So, two pieces of info provided by Miss Cutler are evidently not true. What does this mean for the rest of her story?
Later he says:
We just checked with the Syracuse U registrar. SHE DID NOT GRADUATE.
About the whole scandal being orchestrated, he says:
Meanwhile, one person close to the publishing community says, "I still have my suspicions it was all orchestrated...something doesn't smell right." This source also says: "The reason she's fascinating is because it's been a while since we've had Bill Clinton."
In response to someone who expressed an opinion that her whole blog was a lie, Richard said:
There is logic to what you say, but would this really be worth all the notoriety? Frankly, she struck me, in person, as a bit naive. This is a girl who drinks Nesquik. She seemed immature. Anyway, as I have said publicly, all we know is that this is good reading. And clearly people want more.
Leiby also says that Jessica is in New York today talking to publishing agents. He also said the he saw the pictures on the internet of Wonkette and Jessica's night on the town. (I know you're reading my blog Richard. Hi!!!)
The transcript is a must read for those following the story. And also, Richard Leiby seems like a pretty cool guy.
The following message was left anonymously at craigslist:
Date: 2004-05-24, 12:45PM EDT
Here's some gossip for you kids:
Assuming Jess Cutler is Washingtonienne, I totally went to highschool with her (Nottinghaaaaam what what). In 10th grade she made up an absurd story about how she was dating some older graduate student poet type named Malcom. She never produced the guy and later admitted that it was a complete fraud. Although I always liked her ok, she was widely regarded as a whiny, attention starved ho-bag, which leads me to believe that this whole Washingtonienne bit is a scam.
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There's a huge drop in traffic today, indicating that interest in the scandal is rapidly evaporating. The only mention of it that I could find in any newspaper today was The Naples Daily News, and I doubt that very many people are going to read that. The article still has her age wrong. (I used to think that everything that was printed in newspapers was true. Ha.)
The real Jessica Cutler story might make an interesting newspaper piece, like how she lied about her age and lied about having a college degree, but maybe the Washington Post is too embarrassed about being duped in order to tell it to us.
Thursday, May 27, 2004
This is analyzed in great detail by The Politburo Diktat. Link to post: WONKETTE KNEW!!! COMMISSAR EXCLUSIVE!!! MUST CREDIT COMMISSAR!!!
The Commissar reveals new information that Jessica Cutler and Wonkette both worked for National Geographic, but not at the same time.
The Commissar points out that Jessica mentioned Wonkette twice in her blog. (Others have noted the similarity in names between "Wonkette" and "Washingtonienne.")
The Commissar has a lot of other points, his post is a must read.
I have no idea how I missed this interview at Nerve.com. Jessica Cutler said, "I've had an abortion, it's not a thing."
Jessica also commented on her deep commitment to public service. "I was working on the Hill because it's fun. It was fun, anyway."
A must read interview for people following this story.
During an appearance on The Tony Snow Radio Show, Ana Marie Cox agreed with Tony that gal-pal Jessica Cutler was "sick" and went on to tell Snow that, "as a friend", she advised Jessica to take whatever money she makes out of the recent scandal and use it to get psychiatric help. Wonkette also revealed that had previously advised Jessica to leave the country for a year (France).
Wonkette already reported that Jessica thinks that Richard Leiby hates her and she’s not talking to him any more. Does this mean that Jessica is no longer talking to Wonkette?
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Ana Marie Cox is getting a lot more publicity out of this scandal than Jessica Cutler. Ana Marie Cox is the one appearing on all the television and radio shows.
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It has been brought to the attention of The Calico Cat that there are unconfirmed reports on the internet that Jessica Cutler used to have imaginary boyfriends in high school. If anyone has any info about this, please send me an email, and tell me if it’s okay to use your name.
Wonkette posted in her blog on Wednesday about the Jessica Cutler/Washingtonienne story jumping the shark (as if she really wants that to happen).
However, The Calico Cat has learned that a mysterious blogger from Chicago, known only as "The Backer," sent Wonkette an email on Sunday where he wrote that the story was jumping the shark. Of course, Wonkette didn't give him any credit for his observation.
Here is a link to the The Backer's post explaining the whole thing: BACKER EXCLUSIVE!!!! MUST CREDIT THE BACKER!!!
Wonkette confirms that Jessica Cutler is actually 26 and that she lied about having a college degree:
When we asked Washingtonienne -- we believe what we read in the WP, what do we know? -- she refused to answer, saying, "I don't know why that's important." A classic non-denial denial!
Unfortunately, there's no credit to The Calico Cat for being the first blog to bring up the age issue, but Destiny-land was properly credited, and deservedly so, for breaking the story about Jessica never graduating from Syracuse University.
We know that Jessica Cutler lied about her age, and now it seems likely that she lied about having a college degree. (Read the previous posts in this blog if this is news to you.)
How much else of this “scandal” is also a lie? How did Wonkette mysteriously get hold of Jessica Cutler’s blog. Do we believe Jessica’s story, “Little innocent me, I had no idea that anyone would read my blog except my friend ‘clueless’. I was so surprised by all this!”
I wonder if the actual informant was none other than Jessica herself?
Wonkette’s very first post is titled “A Girl After Our Own Heart (She's So Getting a Book Deal Out of This).” We’ll avoid considering what “after our own heart” is supposed to mean with respect to a blog about getting paid for anal sex, and we’ll focus on the “book deal” coincidence.
A few days later, she’s talking to Richard Leiby about writing a book. Mere coincidence?
A few days after Wonkette’s original post, Wonkette and Jessica are out partying and getting drunk together. And Wonkette tells everyone who will listen how great of a writer Jessica is. Read the blog again Wonkette. Jessica is not a great writer. No one would be reading her blog if she had written about anything besides being a Capitol Hill Staff Assistant getting paid by Washington bigwigs to have anal sex.
Wonkette was eager to tell the world that former Chief of Staff of HUD, Frank Jimenez, was not Jessica’s F, but now there’s a wall of silence from her blog regarding any of the facts about Jessica uncovered by more investigative blogs, such as The Calico Cat and the many blogs that I’ve linked to while covering the scandal.
Wonkette will publish nothing to tarnish Jessica’s image, so she avoids mentioning the facts that Jessica lied about her age and lied about having a college degree. Once that gets out, people will assume everything else Jessica has to say is a lie also, and no one will want to read her “true” tell-all story.
Marc Fisher writes a column in today's Washington Post, It's Called Intimacy For a Reason, where he uses the Jessica Cutler scandal as a springboard to lament that society, these days, is far too open about sex. An excerpt:
In a matter of a decade or so, the guardrails of shame and pride that previously kept explicit sexual chatter within certain bounds have been thoroughly bashed. Young folks blithely entrust intimacies to the billions of fellow earthlings who scan the Internet looking for just this sort of juicy detail, preferably with pics.
A far better than the column than the awful one written by Michelle Malkin yesterday, I highly recommend reading it. My only complaint is that the column gives Jessica's age as 24; you'd think that someone on the Washington Post would figure out by now that she's really 26.
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Wonkette posts an email from Jessica today which is a must read if you want to follow this whole sordid scandal.
Jessica says that Richard Leiby hates her (although it's not clear what qualities about her she thinks people are supposed to like when she's not giving them sex) and she's not talking to him anymore, and in fact she's not talking to anyone except Wonkette, and she even turned down $20K for an interview with the National Enquirer.
No one is going to care about Jessica in two weeks if she doesn't give anymore interviews, her story isn't all that big to begin with. She should have taken the $20K and run.
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Traffic to the website is still high today, but this is the first morning where it's less than the previous morning, so it looks the the scandal is dying down. The numbers don't lie.
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Jessica Cutler's parents learned that she had been fired when a news reporter from the Syracuse Post-Standard called them. How a Nottingham grad rocked Washington with her diary of sex tales.
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The Jessica Cutler story got a brief mention tonight on CNBC's Capital Report.
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I have been wondering where the archive site came from, so I emailed Kevin Aylward of WizBang who created it. He explained that he had viewed the site right before it went down, and all of the pages were still in his Internet Explorer cache! Kudos to Kevin for a great job of data recovery.
Were it not for Kevin's contribution, there wouldn't have been much to write about.
Why the original site went down, how someone got hold of Jessica's Blogger password to hack the site, and why the hacked site went down, remain a mystery. If anyone has any info on this, please email me.
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Also a mystery is why various blogs were reporting Jessica's age as 23 before the Washington Post, New York Post, and Fox News all pegged her age as 24. Of course readers of this blog now know that she is really 26.
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Website traffic to The Calico Cat nearly tripled over yesterday, and at the archive site traffic doubled. Is today the peak of interest in this story, or will tomorrow be even bigger?
Chidanand Rajghatta, the "journalist," based the majority of story on what I've written in my blog, including the controversy over her age, and uses some of my own words and ideas as if they were his.
There is also a direct quote from me that he says I "chortled". There was no "chortling" going on here!
A big THUMBS DOWN to the Times of India for not properly crediting the story's source.
This is not a complaint about people using me as a source, this is a complaint about not giving me the credit I deserve.
Jessica Cutler never graduated from Syracuse University, says the school. "No degree - not awarded," reports a staffer at their Registrar's office.
To confirm we were talking about the same Jessica Cutler, they provided me with the birthdate they had on file for her - May 18, 1978. (The same birthday given in the Washingtonienne web-log.)
Excellent investigative reporting! And at the same time, confirms that Jessica is really 26, not 24.
The National Debate provides further tantalizing information regarding interest in Jessica Cutler from magazines:
TND can also report similar interest from Maxim magazine, FHM magazine and Hustler. Word is that Penthouse, currently in bankruptcy proceedings, has been prohibited from bidding for Cutler by the court-appointed bankruptcy trustee.
The New York Post Page 6 picks up the Playboy tip and also provides info about Ana Marie Cox’s husband moving to New York:
JESSICA Cutler - also known as Washingtonienne, the ex-Senate staffer turned sex-obsessed blogger - and her biggest cheerleader, Wonkette editor Ana Marie Cox, have been offered six figures to pose nude for Playboy, according to www.thenationaldebate.com. If they agree, Playboy would use their photos in time for the fall election and pay them more if they pose together. Meanwhile, Gawker.com says Cox could be moving from D.C. to New York - her hubby Chris Lehmann, a Washington Post book editor, has accepted a job at New York magazine as a features editor.
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Ricky Vandal has put up a new Jessica Cutler page at washingtoniennejessicacutler.blogspot.com.
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An anonymous Emailer claims that he looked up the name Jessica Cutler on Lexis-Nexis and discovered that there was a Jessica Cutler living in Syracuse, NY at the time she allegedly attended college there. The birth date he found was May, 1978. This is likely the same Jessica Cutler who wrote in her blog that her birthday was May 18. Further evidence that Jessica has been lying about her age and that she’s really 26.
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Commentary at Insight on the News from yesterday (I’m a day late on this link).
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Cutler, who aspired to be a journalist, spouted: "I'm sure I am not the only one who makes money on the side this way: How can anybody live on $25K/year??" When I was 24 and making less than that, I did it by eating Spaghetti-O's, Ramen noodles and Swanson pot pies for dinner; driving a Toyota Tercel with no air conditioning; and sleeping on a $30 futon. I did it the way most parents teach their daughters to succeed: through hard work, thrift, faith and perseverance.
I previously wrote about this in my post Jessica Cutler’s blog, Washingtonienne, analyzed (which summarizes her whole blog, for those who are interested):
This passage is likely to evoke different reactions in different readers. Some will think, with righteous indignation, “how dare she complain about $25K, why does she expect someone to pay her any more than that?”
Michelle Malkin is the first person to take the bait and rant with righteous indignation about Jessica complaining about her salary. Malkin is talking about those “conventional middle class values” that I wrote about in my previous post Jessica Cutler and the values of Washington.
I received an anonymous tip via Email regarding an attorney who works in Georgetown. If you recall what was written in the NY Post article:
She also says she had sex with an older, divorced lawyer from Georgetown whom she met while working as an intern in the office of Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.). The lawyer also gave her money, she said.
The attorney in question has a first name that begins with “W,” is in his late forties, and more interestingly, he lobbies Congress on issues that would take him before senators on the Environment and Public Works Committee. Joseph Lieberman happens to be a member of that committee.
However, a search of the public phone records show him listed twice in this area. One address is in Chevy Chase, MD, and the other on 16th Street, NW between S and T streets. The latter address I would place in Dupont Circle; it’s certainly not Georgetown.
These addresses fit in well with the story of a guy who was married, and lived in Chevy Chase, and then moved into the District after his divorce. I think that Dupont Circle is a more likely neighborhood than Georgetown for a guy who is into strange sexual practices.
For readers unfamiliar with the DC area, Georgetown is an expensive neighborhood on the west side of DC with a lot of expensive shops and restaurants. Dupont Circle is also an expensive neighborhood, but a little less so than Georgetown, and much edgier. It is often compared to Greenwich Village in New York City. Chevy Chase is an expensive suburb in Maryland on the border with DC where all the rich people live.
I don’t name this attorney because the evidence above, while interesting, doesn’t prove much, and he doesn’t even live in Georgetown as far as I can tell. It wouldn’t be fair to post his name given that there is only a small chance that he is Jessica Cutler’s W. Also, Jessica may be lying about the whole thing. She’s not the world’s most trustworthy person; we have evidence that she lied about her age.
If anyone has any further information on the person I desdribed above, or any other ideas about who W might be, please contact me using the Email address on the sidebar of the blog.
Richard Leiby keeps the Jessica Cutler Washingtonienne sex scandal story alive one more day, see his latest Reliable Source column. He informs us that a “respectable” literary agent is seeking a book proposal.
After the story hit the New York Post yesterday (headlined "Pols in Sex Web: D.C. gal dishes the dirt"), we got a call from Pilar Queen, an agent at Carlisle & Co., who was seeking Cutler's phone number.
The Calico Cat was the first blog to break the story that the story hit the New York Post. Richard Leiby is a day late.
What kind of name is “Pilar Queen”? Did her mother give her that when she was born? Or is that a he?
Also from today’s column:
While walking and talking to us on her cell phone in Georgetown, Cutler spotted a piece of currency on the ground. "I just found a hundred-dollar bill!" she exclaimed. "It's my lucky day!" We'll say.
Maybe I need to spend more time walking around Georgetown. It would seem to be a more profitable activity than running this blog.
Finally, Richard Leiby seems to confirm the internet Playboy rumor by writing the following:
And this just in: At press time, Playboy called us for her number.
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Although the story is still not getting any U.S. newspaper coverage, except for the Washington Post and the New York Post, it was picked up by a lot of foreign newspapers. This scandal seems bigger overseas than it does in the United States.
Based on early traffic to the website, there is once again more interest in the scandal today than there was yesterday.
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For those who are new to this story and searching for Jessica Cutler’s original Washingtonienne blog, it has been down for days, but this is the link to the archive that was created by an internet Good Samaritan.
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If you have any important tips, please use the Email address on the sidebar of the main page. I might not find what you write in comments
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Ana Marie Cox, aka Wonkette, appeared on tonight's MSNBC Scarborough country, where she had the opportunity to plug her blog and bask in her 15 minutes of fame. Her blog is probably getting zillions of hits right now.
The emphasis of the segment was on blogs rather than on the specifics of the sex scandal.
Also appearing on the segment was New York Daily News reporter Lloyd Grove.
One of the points brought up was that a blog doesn't have to adhere to the same standards of journalism as professional journalists. Indeed this is true. I posted speculation from an anonymous tip regarding a specific Chief of Staff possibly being the Chief of Staff who paid Jessica for sex. This is not something a more respectable newspaper would have done.
It was also pointed out in the segment that Senator Mike DeWine is a "conservative pro-life Republican", implying that this somehow makes the story juicier. If you read my previous post, Jessica Cutler and the values of Washington, you will see that I've already written about how both parties actually adhere to what I called "conventional middle class values," and Jessica's behavior was in violation of those values.
Does it matter whether a politician is pro-abortion or anti-abortion? (I hate the terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice". Let's just call it what it is.) Access to abortion makes it easier for women to engage in what I'll just call slutty behavior. On the other hand, all pro-abortion Democrats would insist that they don't support slutty behavior, they just believe that abortion is a personal decision in which the state shouldn't interfere.
For the record, I support legal access to abortion, but then I'm mostly a libertarian. Democrats are only libertarian on that single issue.
Anonymous comments left on my blog pointed out the following web page: ASNE - Students bring passion to ASNE Reporter.
In April, 2000, Jessica Cutler is listed with the following bio:
A 21-year-old senior international relations major at Syracuse University, is an editorial assistant at the Syracuse University Press. She has been the photo editor at The Daily Orange, and an intern at Nickelodeon, National Geographic and the Syracuse Newspapers.
I started college when I was 18, and graduated when I was 22. If Jessica Cutler were truly a college Senior in April, 2000, then her age of 21 would make perfect sense.
In her blog, Jessica says that her birthday is May 18. That means that she would have turned 22 on May 18, 2000.
Doing a little math, this makes her 26, and not 24 as she has been telling everyone.
Post edited to correct error in Jessica's birthday.
Wonkette posts an Email from Frank Jimenez where he explains how he’s not married and that he’s never paid for sex in his entire life.
Wonkette then comments, “We'll add that many Wonkette correspondents found him too hot to believe he'd have to pay for sex.” I already wrote earlier today that he “is sort of young and good looking,” and noted that on account of that it made it less likely that he would have to pay for sex.
Wonkette then offers to help find Frank a date.
I’m single and looking for dates too. There is now a photo of me online at my blogger profile. So if you’re interested in dating me, use the Email address on the sidebar of the main page of the blog. Or if you’d rather go out with the somewhat older Mr. Jimenez who didn’t go to an Ivy League undergraduate school like I did, visit Wonkette’s blog and send her an email.
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Front page news at the Australian news site, The Age is the story Internet sex scandal rocks US politics. I’d like to think so too, but the reality is that The Age is vastly exaggerating the importance of the scandal. So far. Interest in the scandal grows every day. Maybe, in a few days, they will be talking about this scandal on all of the evening news shows.
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She also says she had sex with an older, divorced lawyer from Georgetown whom she met while working as an intern in the office of Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.). The lawyer also gave her money, she said.
This is indeed new information! Nowhere in her blog does she say that W is a lawyer, or that he is divorced, or that she met him while interning with Joe Lieberman. It seems that she gave the NY Post reporter, Vincent Morris, some new tantalizing information.
Very perceptively, I wrote on Monday Morning that I had a hunch that W was a lawyer, and it looks like I may have been 100% on target. I also wrote that I was unable to find a likely candidate via Martindale.com. But maybe additional investigation along these lines will bear fruit.
* * *
Also at the I Love Jenna Bush blog, Ricky Vandal agrees with me that the sexual relationship between Jessica Cutler, and Matt Doyle who hired her, is improper. He writes:
Matt Doyle is clearly abusing his authority. If you are a young, impressionable out of town unpaid intern and the man who gave you your job asks you for a date, what choice do you have? What choice do you think you have? If you say no, office life might become hell, you might be fired, you might not get a recommendation for a paid job, something you worked so hard for. I do not call the sex an intern has with the pointman of internships consensual sex. I call it a whiter shade of rape. I pay taxes so senator Joe Lieberman can pay his staff. I AM NOT PAYING THE SALARY OF A SCUMBAG WHO IS A DANGER TO YOUNG WOMEN! Poppa Lieberman, you are the most respected and moral man in Washington. Matt Doyle is obviously preying on young female interns. I ask you to fire him and make your office safe for young female interns.
Maybe Ricky somewhat exaggerates the danger to young women, yet perhaps this is good advice for Senator Lieberman.
* * *
Today is another record traffic day for The Calico Cat. Visits have once again more than doubled. I had to upgrade my hosting plan with Netfirms to handle all of the extra traffic. Only $10/month for 50GB of bandwidth per month is a pretty good deal.
If you have wondered why I write so much about this scandal, it’s simple. It’s because people want to read about it. For over a year I have been trying to get people to find my websites, and to no avail. Now I have finally been discovered. If I have to sink into the gutter in order to rise to the top, so be it.
Visit my online dating reviews website, eDateReview.com, and write a review about any online dating services that you’ve used. Link to eDateReview.com so other people can find it.
Jessica Cutler has been telling everyone, such as the Washington Post, the New York Post, and Fox News, that she's 24 years old. But the internet is full of unsubstantiated rumors that she's actually older, with one unidentified person claiming that she was born in May, 1978, which would make her 26.
According to a post at The National Debate:
Playboy magazine is in discussions to offer both Cutler and Cox a six figure deal to pose nude for an upcoming issue of Playboy timed for the fall elections - more if they pose together.
Ana Marie Cox is the real name of blogger Wonkette.
The source of the photo is DazeReader. It's not clear, exactly, how DazeReader came into posession of the photo (and an additional photo not shown here).
* * *
And via The National Debate, link to the Fox News broadcast with Cox and Cutler!
According to Wonkette, Frank Jimenez is not Jessica Cutler’s “F.” Allegedly he is single, and he is no longer the Chief of Staff at HUD.
Wonkette also claims that Ms. Cutler never heard of Frank Jimenez. “Washingtonienne has no clue who Frank Jimenez is.” I don’t buy that part of the story. Surely Jessica Googled herself to see what people are writing about her. She would have found my blog, or one of the other blogs, that speculated that Frank Jimenez was “F”.
Wonkette also has a picture of Frank Jimenez posing in front of one of the buildings at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (from which I hold a BS degree in Economics—I know, what a waste of an Ivy League education to be sitting in my apartment on a beautiful cicada-filled Tuesday afternoon speculating about who's having sex with whom).
* * *
So now, the prime suspect is John Flaherty, the Chief of Staff at the Department of Transportation. In many ways, Flaherty is the more likely candidate. In my previous post speculating about the identity of “F”, I wondered why a smart guy like Frank Jimenez, who has a law degree from Yale, would be paying $400 for sex. I also wondered how he might have so much money to spend, because it looks like most of his career was in the low paying public sector, although I didn’t put those doubts in writing.
John Flaherty went to the University of San Francisco School of Law. This is a bottom of the barrel type of law school. People go there if they are too dumb to get into a better school. By better, I don’t mean Yale; I mean even most state schools are better than the University of San Francisco. At U.S. News, it’s ranked below lousy law schools like St Johns and Seton Hall.
Frank Jimenez is sort of young and good looking. John Flaherty is older, and thus is less likely to get sex from twenty-something girls unless he pays something in return.
In between working in public sector jobs, John Flaherty worked at “Washington public affairs firms,” which means he was a lobbyist. It is probably working as a lobbyist where he made the money necessary to afford Jessica’s services.
* * *
Apologies to Frank Jimenez, who was probably one of the few smart and honest people in Washington.
Another major U.S. paper, the New York Post, has picked up the Jessica Cutler story. Link to NY Post article. The Post may not have the prestige of The New York Times (and for good reason), but they scooped the Times on this one.
Along with the story (which contains no details that you don't already know), there's a new picture.
* * *
Richard Leiby of the Washington Post keeps the Jessica Cutler story alive, writing about her again in today's Reliable Source solumn. Most of what he writes about her is devoted to safe sex:
• A public service announcement for the half-dozen men (so far) caught up in the "Washingtonienne" sex scandal on Capitol Hill: It would be prudent to get HIV tests, advises Jessica Cutler, who wrote a diary of her sexual escapades, then posted it on the Internet, causing Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) to fire her last week for inappropriate use of Senate computers. "I'm not the only one in the world who should worry about this," Cutler, the 24-year-old former staff assistant who kept the Washingtonienne blog, told us yesterday.
"I was practicing safe sex, as much as that is possible," she added. Juggling media interviews and requests, Cutler said she intended to keep a previously scheduled doctor's appointment yesterday to get tested for the virus. "I get tested at least once a year. I'm fine as far as I know. It's not like I'm in a panic or anything."
But in an interview with us Friday, she seemed concerned about the potential transmission of HIV because of some of her partners' preferences or carelessness. "These people, these relationships, have been going on for various lengths of time. There are situations that are very questionable. You never know. . . . With AIDS, who's not afraid of that?"
All this good stuff in there, and all you can write about is how she practiced safe sex? Come on. She was getting it anal from W who paid her good money for it. There's nothing safe about anal. That's the most likely way to spread AIDS.
In the last paragraph about Jessica, he mentions my blog:
Some Web sites are speculating on the names of various sexual partners whom Cutler only identified with initials. The sites are eager to ID a married, Bush-appointed "chief of staff" at a federal agency who she claimed paid her $400 for a lunch-hour tryst last Tuesday. But she held firm to her vow not to name names, declaring: "I'm not going to help anyone figure this out."
Well, he doesn't mention my blog by name, but there aren't that many websites out there speculating on this issue. As far as I know, all the blogs doing such speculating are linked to from my blog in one of my preceding posts.
* * *
Visits to this blog continue to be high as interest in the Jessica Cutler scandal grows. Based upon web traffic this morning, this should be another record traffic day for The Calico Cat.
Monday, May 24, 2004
Someone has already put up a Jessica Cutler parody site.
* * *
Doug Thompson rant about Jessica Cutler.
* * *
Jessica Cutler appeared on Fox News this morning. Unfortunately I didn't get to see it myself, but I had a big spike in traffic right after the interview aired.
* * *
Besides Fox News, the major news media have not yet picked up on this story. However, the story is growing, based on my website traffic which hit an all time high today, more than twice as high as yesterday which was also an all time high.
Ryan Beam also reported high traffic to his blog. And he says he was contacted by Fox News. For some reason they overlooked me.
If anyone wants to contact me, either to give me a tip, or to interview me for a news story, please use the Email address on the blog's sidebar.
Eugene Volokh posts today about the Washingtonienne firing incident (but he doesn’t name Jessica Cutler, even though the Washington Post had no problem doing so).
Mr. Volokh writes about the First Amendment issues involved in firing a government employee, and he says that includes people working for Senators. Volokh goes into a lot of detail; I highly recommend taking a look at his entire post. A brief quote follows:
There's generally no First Amendment problem when an employee is fired based on speech on matters of purely "private concern," a fairly expansive category that includes even complaints about one's own job conditions (though one might think that these are of public concern, since they may involve inefficiency at a government office, they are generally treated as being merely of private concern for purposes of this test).
So according to Volokh, the following imaginary dialog
EMPLOYEE: This job sucks.
BOSS: You’re fired!
would be a perfectly acceptable reason to fire someone. Outside of government, an employee at will can be fired for any reason an employer wants, so long as it’s not a reason that is specifically prohibited. I get the impression that the legal standard for Senators is not very much stricter than that.
Let’s look at the official press release (Via Wonkette) announcing Jessica Cutler’s firing:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: MIKE DAWSON
MAY 21, 2004 (614) XXX-XXXX
STATEMENT FROM THE OFFICE OF U.S. SENATOR MIKE DEWINE (R-OH):
On May 18, 2004, our office became aware of allegations that an employee had been using Senate resources and work-time to post unsuitable and offensive material to an Internet Weblog. After investigating these allegations, our office has determined that there was an unacceptable use of Senate computers to post unsuitable and offensive material to an Internet Weblog. Other inappropriate material was found in the employee’s work area as well. The employee has been terminated. Because this is a personnel matter, our office will not name the employee or have any further comment on this issue.
The first thing I observe is that this is a pretty cowardly press release. We know that the real reason that Jessica was fired is because she’s a slut, and Senators don’t want the voters back home to know that they have sluts on their staff. (Read my previous post, Jessica Cutler and the values of Washington.)
But the official press release doesn’t say anywhere that she was fired for being a slut. Three reason are given: (1) “unacceptable use of Senate computers”; (2) “to post unsuitable and offensive material to an Internet Weblog”; and (3) “Other inappropriate material was found in the employee’s work area as well.”
It seems to me as if Senator DeWine was thinking, “Boy, I’m sure glad that she was stupid enough to do this at the office so we had a good excuse to fire her. This would have looked bad for us if she did it all from home.” If a Capitol Hill employee, on her own free time, kept a blog about her sex life, a sex life which didn’t obviously include someone else working in the same office (I’m sure everyone in her office immediately figured out the identity of RS aka Robert Steinbuch), would it have been a violation of her First Amendment rights to fire her? There probably would have been enough of a gray area to encourage a publicity seeking attorney to take the case for free.
One is, of course, tantalized by what this “other inappropriate material . . . in the employee’s work area” might be. Given the nature of Jessica’s blog, the obvious guess is that they are objects of a kinky sexual nature.
* * *
Ricky Vandal of the I Love Jenna Bush blog (he’s really on top of this story) posted a link to a Google cache from a page at American University about Senate internships. Matt Doyle is listed as the contact for Joseph Lieberman’s office.
Jessica cutler wrote the following about Matt Doyle in her blog:
MD=Dude from the Senate office I interned in Jan. thru Feb. Hired me as an intern. Broke up my relationship w/ MK (see below).
Elsewhere she wrote:
So we had some drinks at the reception and I went to Red River to meet some people from his office. Unf, she wasn't there, but I learned that she thinks MD is as big of a chump as I do. My SU friend told me that MD was talking to her long before I came to the Hill.
Apparently this guy spends all of his free time trying to get some from female interns and staff assistants.
Isn’t there something wrong when the person in charge of hiring interns (Matt Doyle) then has sex with the interns he hired? Was there a quid pro quo? Should Joseph Lieberman, who claims to be an orthodox Jew (although he was excommunicated ), tolerate this kind of behavior on the part of his staff? Doesn’t this smell unkosher? Shouldn’t Matt Doyle be fired for his scandalous behavior?
Going back to the topic of Senate internships, American University has the following to say about the position:
SENATE INTERNSHIPS/ FELLOWSHIPS
Obtaining internships with the various Senator’s can be a difficult process. Depending on the Senate office, constituency is a must as well as a suitable background. Internships are generally unpaid and require large time commitments. Steps to take when applying for an internship:
• Research the Senators; review their websites and listed internship programs
• Mail a letter of interest including your cover letter and resume to the proper contact person
• Mail your application for Summer Internships in early Fall; for Spring Internships in early Fall; for Fall internships in Mid-Spring
• Make a follow up call to the contact person a few weeks following your initial mailing
• DO NOT call for frivolous purposes or general questions
• DO NOT mass mail the Capital Hill internships as this is ineffective as well as viewed negatively by the various Senator’s offices
That sure is a lot of work to go through for a job that’s unpaid. Who can afford to work for free in an expensive city like Washington? Only people with rich parents. Or maybe girls who are willing to exchange sex for money. It’s unfortunate that middle-class kids who don’t wish to prostitute themselves are prevented from working at these jobs.
The picture to the left is Robert Steinbuch, who was one of Jessica Cutler’s six sex partners. Below is the write-up about him found at TaxTalkToday:
Robert Steinbuch serves the Internal Revenue Service as the Deputy Senior Counselor to the Commissioner. As such, he is an advisor to the Senior Counselor and assists the Senior Counselor in communicating the goals and policies of the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner. Additionally, Robert oversees the Office of the Director of Practice and works on the revision of Circular 230, 31 C.F.R. 10, (the rules governing practice before the I.R.S.)
Robert joined the IRS in July 2000, and since April of 2001, serves as the Special Counsel to the Webster Commission on FBI Security, assisting the Federal Government in its ongoing review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Prior to joining the Internal Revenue Service, Robert spent four years as a Trial and Appellate Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Commercial Litigation Branch. As a Justice Department Attorney, Robert was responsible for a wide variety of cases in both trial and appellate court and served as the lead counsel on a principal Winstar-related savings and loan case. His private sector experience includes three years in practice with the New York office of one of the largest international law firms. Robert has also been an Associate Professorial Lecturer in Law at the George Washington University School of Law, teaching legal writing and analysis. Beginning in the Fall of 1994, and through Summer 1995, Robert served as a Judicial Clerk for the Honorable Paul H. Roney, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
Robert holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Masters of Arts in Political Theory from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He earned his law degree at the Columbia University School of Law in New York. Robert received several honors and distinctions both at Penn and Columbia. He has published in both the New York City Law Review and the New York Law Journal. He is originally from New York and currently makes his home in Maryland.
Very amusingly, the above comes from a page about a continuing professional education course entitled “Ethics: Our Responsibility” in which Mr. Steinbuch is one of the instructors. The irony!
What a waste of a Columbia law degree. With a Columbia law degree he could be making the big bucks at a private law firm, but instead he’s slaving away at a government salary that’s probably only in the five figures.
Other bloggers have wondered if this is the same Robert Steinbuch as the one who now works as a lawyer for the Senate Judiciary Committee (link) and for Senator Mike DeWine, R-Ohio (who is a member of the Judiciary Committee). Yes, it’s the same person. Robert Steinbuch is a pretty unusual name, what’s the chance that there are two Robert Steinbuchs, both with the middle initial E, both working in Washington, both from New York, and both living in the same house in Bethesda Maryland (purchased in 1998 for $283,500)? Not very likely.
In his off-duty life he “likes spanking. (Both giving and receiving.)” Jessica and Robert “have nasty sex like animals.” Jessica writes:
So it turns out that RS cannot finish with a condom on. He can barely stay hard. So he ends up taking it off and humping away at me. Maybe I forgot to tell him that I'm on the Pill. Note to self...
I also learned that he was a cop, so he has scary police shit like handcuffs in his closet. He implied that we would be using them next time, which is intriguing, but I know I'm going to get scared and panicky. (Which would probably turn him on.)
It should be noted that Mr. Steinbuch wasn’t a real cop, but rather an auxiliary police officer.
Jessica also writes:
RS just called again. Bad news: the rumor has spread to other offices. This is bad.
The whole country knows about it now.
As Jessica Cutler puts it, this guy is a “nobody.” Is it fair to make a public spectacle of him and publish so much information about his private life?
This post contains nothing but an aggregation of data that was already available on the internet before Jessica Cutler started writing her blog, plus some posts from her blog which are also publicly available. I wasn’t the first blogger to post this information or to post his photo. To preserve Robert Steinbuch’s privacy, I have not linked to the web pages that contain his home address and “unlisted” home phone number.
This could be the lead-in for an interesting essay about privacy in the internet age. How much of your personal information is on the internet?
Thanks are owed to this post at Destiny-land, which led me to the page about Robert Steinbuch being an ethics instructor. Destiny-land also contains other interesting information so is well worth reading. Make sure you click on the link at the bottom of the page about Mike DeWine being “incredibly short”, it’s hilarious.
Thanks again to the I Love Jenna Bush blog for pointing me to Destiny-land. The I Love Jenna Bush blog is brilliant comedy, even though some people don’t get it and think that Ricky Vandal, the guy running the blog, is serious. It would actually be a real shame if a no-talent like Jessica Cutler gets a job in the book publishing industry (as she says is her goal in her interview with Richard Leiby) ahead of people like Ricky Vandal.
For that matter, I too deserve a better job (actually, any job at the moment, because I’m currently not working for an employer). I’d even take Steinbuch’s Senate Judiciary Committee job, although I think I’d prefer a job in the private sector so I don’t have to leech off of the taxpayer.
* * *
What about some of the other sex partners mentioned in Jessica Cutler’s Washingtonienne blog? Let’s talk about F and W. F is the “Chief of Staff at one of the gov agencies, appointed by Bush” and W is the “sugar daddy who wants nothing but anal.”
Jessica mentions RS and MD in her blog, and they have been identified as Robert Steinbuch and Matt Doyle (according to Jeremy Wahlman’s blog). If Jessica were truly trying to hide the identities of her sex partners, she sure didn’t do a very good job of it.
It’s likely that W and F can also be accurately identified by their initials. It is my guess that Jessica would be using the initial of the first name and not the last name. The last initial just seems too impersonal. She also may think that it’s easier to look someone up by last name than by first name, so she is doing a better job of disguising their identities by using their first initials. Ha.
F is the easier of the two to find. All we have to do is find a “Chief of Staff” appointed by President Bush whose first name begins with F, and we have found him. There is only one such person listed at results.gov. That person is Frank Jimenez, the Chief of Staff at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Frank worked for Bush’s brother in Florida before being appointed to his job in Washington. Frank was born in 1964 (which makes him 39 or 40), and has a law degree from the prestigious Yale University. For those who don’t know, Yale is considered the #1 law school, even ahead of Harvard. Why is a smart guy like him paying $400 for sex? Robert Steinbuch, who went to a lesser law school, gets kinkier sex for free.
There are also two Chiefs of Staff whose last names begin with F: John Flaherty at the Department of Transportation and Joseph Flynn at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (our tax dollars are paying for what?). I don’t think either of these are Jessica’s F for the reasons I outlined above, but I mention them to be inclusive.
W is more difficult to find because his job isn’t identified, only that he’s a “sugar daddy” and his “place” is in Georgetown. I had a hunch that W was a big shot lawyer, so I looked up all the lawyers in DC at martindale.com (this database doesn’t list all lawyers, only the big shot lawyers) whose names begin with W, I only found three in the appropriate age range, and none of them live in Georgetown.
There really aren’t that many people whose first names begin with W. All you have to do is find everyone who has a place in Georgetown whose first name begins with W, and you might wind up with a pretty short list.
W isn’t a very common first initial. I figure that someone old enough to be a “sugar daddy” might be in his late 40s or early 50s, which means he was born in the 1950s. If you check the list of popular baby names for the 1950s, you see that the only real popular name beginning with W is William, and the kind of William who would pay for anal sex would probably call himself Bill. After William, you have to go down to number 43 on the list to get to Wayne, and past that you find even more unlikely names like Warren, Wesley, and Wendell.
There’s also the possibility that W refers to his middle initial, and Jessica’s reference to him as W is a humorous take on the fact that the President is also called W. However, I don’t get the impression that Jessica’s sense of humor is that subtle, so this is unlikely.
Sunday, May 23, 2004
The following comment posted at Wizbang is typical of what many others are wondering:
However, why is this news? A girl in DC has lots of sex????? Man, I know a lot of girls in this town who do the same shit every night. This really is'nt news.
Jessica Cutler, the original creator of the Washingtonienne blog that caused all the buzz, expresses the same thought in her interview with Richard Leiby:
"It's so cliched. It's like, 'There's a slutty girl on the Hill?' There's millions of 'em," she said, laughing. "A lot of my friends are way worse than me."
So why is this news and why are we making a big deal about it? Because there is a huge gap between how voters think people on Capitol Hill are behaving, and the way they really behave.
Why should there be such a gap? Didn’t people hear about Monica Lewinsky, Chandra Levy, and a variety of other Washington sex scandals? Shouldn’t they know by now that a large percentage of important and semi-important men in Washington are having sex with women in their twenties? Don’t they know by now that a large percentage of female interns and other low paid female workers in resume building jobs are the opposite of pure and virginal?
No, people don’t know this because it’s not what they want to believe. They want to believe that Washington is full of people who behave consistently with conventional middle class values. These values dictate that you should work hard, be honest, believe in God, be moderate in the consumption of alcohol, remain a virgin until you get married, and thereafter remain faithful to your spouse.
These values are held most dearly by those in the middle of the American class structure. This includes those who deserve the term “middle class” (think school teachers), and those who are members of what Paul Fussell, the author of Class, calls the “high proletarian” class (think high paid blue collar workers). As one moves away from these two classes, to the upper-middle class (from which most government interns with resume building jobs come from) or the middle and low proletarian classes, these conventional middle class values are no longer as strictly adhered to.
No one gets elected to public office without claiming adherence to these values. There are many who would imagine that there is a big difference between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to “values.” Republicans call these values “family values” and use them as part of their campaign platform. But Democrats campaign based on these values too! Is there any candidate, in either party, who admits to being an atheist? Is there any candidate who tells the public that he sleeps around with many different women? Absolutely not! Such an admission would be fatal to one’s political career.
Democrats who complain that Republicans are too religious need to closely examine their own party members. Didn’t President Clinton proudly walk around with his Bible and make a big deal about going to church on Sundays? I think that a lot of his appeal to the liberal elite is based on their assumption that he’s an atheist at heart, and that the Bible and the church attendance were just a necessary stunt to trick the middle and lower class voters. They prefer a President who pretends to believe in Christianity in order to get votes over one, like George W. Bush, who genuinely believes in the religion. Many consider genuine belief in Christianity to be scary.
Out there in middle America, there are married couples, voters, who have only had sex with one person in their entire lives, and that’s their spouse. Are such people a tiny minority of the electorate, a sizeable plurality, or maybe even a majority? I won’t attempt to seek an answer to that question, but it’s clear that elected politicians believe that such people, or people who aspire to be such people, are a substantial percentage of the electorate. And most of these voters naively believe that the majority of people running our government behave in accordance with conventional middle class values. When a story of sexual impropriety on the part of a member of Congress or a government official makes the news, these voters believe that they are reading about a single bad apple amidst a tree of good ones.
It isn’t just the naïve goody two shoes Christian voters who give the people in Washington far too much benefit of the doubt. Even the jaded members of the press are guilty. Take, for example, the Chandra Levy/Gary Condit story. If the facts of the case had been the same, except that instead of being a U.S. Representative, Condit was a used car salesmen, one whose brother is a convicted felon, one who has friends in biker gangs, one who is into very kinky sex, one who forbids his girlfriend who’s young enough to be his daughter from carrying around any identification, everyone would have been screaming for him to be arrested and put in jail as soon as possible. But because he was a member of Congress, everyone assumed that all the suspicious details and his obvious motive to get rid of her must be merely a coincidence. I ask, what’s the difference between a used car salesman and a Congressman? Only that the Congressman is a better liar. Everyone says how dishonest politicians are, but deep down, people want to believe they are honest, and ignore facts to the contrary.
The reason why people are interested in this scandal is because they don’t believe that half the young women working in government behave like Jessica Cutler. But Jessica says that they do. Jessica says that there are “millions” of “slutty girls” on Capitol Hill. She says that a “lot” of her friends are “way worse” than her.
If parents believed Jessica, they wouldn’t let their daughters work in Washington. But their daughters are old enough to make their own decisions, you say? Ha! Lets see the young interns and young staff assistants try to live in Washington on only $25,000/year. Without parental support, there wouldn’t be so many young people willing to take these positions. Washington would be a different place if parents believed the stories.
In order to keep the myth of Washington’s virtue alive, when F, the “chief of staff” of a government agency is outed, he will be fired, in order to say to America, “This is the only guy in all of Washington paying to have sex with twenty-something female government workers. Washington is now 100% pure and moral once again. God bless America.” And people will buy it.
* * *
Check out this photo of Jessica Cutler with Wonkette. I think that Jessica looks better in the amateur photo than she does in the one taken by the professional Washington Post photographer.
There has been a huge jump in the number of people finding my blog, and it's because my blog comes up on the first page of the most popular internet search engine when people search for "Jessica Cutler". If this keeps up, I might even have to upgrade my hosting plan. (My blog is hosted at Netfirms. Luckily for me they have recently signficantly lowered the price/bandwidth ratio.)
What's interesting is that so many people are searching for her blog despite the fact that the story has had barely any coverage in the conventional news media. Only people reading today's Reliable Source column in the Washington Post know to search for her name, unless they have been reading about her in the blogosphere.
"Nick Berg" was the most popular search term last week, yet the news media gave us much less coverage of the story than the prison scandal. Now we have another story emerging, that people clearly want to read about, based on the high number of the internet searches compared to the small number of people who know about the story, yet it receives close to non-existent coverage in the conventional news media. This another exmple of how blogs are filling in the gap and providing information unavailable in the conventional news media.
In fact, this is a story created by blogs. The only reason there is a story is because Jessica created a blog, and then Wonkette publicized it. And her blog (now archived here) deserved publication because it provides an inside look at Capitol Hill that the conventional media would never in a million years have given us on its own.
Will the Washingtonienne sex scandal become a big story picked up by the news media in the coming week, or will it simply die? I think there's a good chance that we are seeing the beginning of a big story. Yes, all the people in the story are "nobodies," but it involves sex and Washington, and that's clearly something that people are interested in. Add to that the salacious detail that a government official appointed by President Bush is paying a 24 year old Senate Staff Assistant $400 for sex, and we have a story that people want to read about.