Got an email from a former student about two weeks ago with
the word “wikileaks” in the title. The email was about a former employee of a
place at which I’d worked who had been “let go” prior to my arrival. He worked
in the newsroom with college kids and rumors had flown around for years about
this guy and his “proclivities.”
“So… I’d heard the (NAME) stories, I knew a little about it.
But for our reading (dis)pleasure, wikileaks provides his actual emails.”
I knew more about this situation than the kid did, even
though I never met the guy or got the whole story. I was there right after he
was released and I could tell something wasn’t kosher.
Even if you’re not a reporter, you can catch on to these
things when your boss tells you that, “we need to have a policy on this.” And
“this” is usually something you’d never consider to be a problem, like “we need
to have a policy that people aren’t to take shits on the break room table” or
“we need to have a policy that forbids the running of an Internet sex ring for nuns
out of the supply closet.”
In this case, it was mostly ogling college girls, making
rude comments and other such things. However, the seedier rumors hit on his use
of emails to solicit multiple dominatrix (what’s the plural for that?) for
“encounters” in other cities while he was on school trips.
The wikileak link took me to a long run of decade-old emails
that brought rumor to reality. I stopped reading somewhere along about the time
where a request was made to have a woman take a shit on him and then spoon feed
it to him.
I wrote back something careful to the kid and let it go.
However, when the wholeGawker/Deadspin/Brett Favre’s Gray
Penis thinghit the fan this week, it made me ponder this whole thing a bit
Throughout history, we have always had a social need for
“surveillance”as research has shown us.
We feel an intrinsic need to know what’s going on around us. It used to be a member of our clan on a hill watching for
dangerous animals that might harm us. Now, it’s “did you hear about
Brett Favre’s cock?”
It’s also not new that philandering assholes have always
been a part of life, especially in sports or positions of power. Babe Ruth
chased more ass than Shrek trying to break up a Donkey family reunion.
Presidents had “friends” and “mistresses” and “over-make-upped interns” for
years. I’m surprised we never heard a story about Honest Abe getting caught banging a cotillion attendee in the cloak room, with her wearing nothing but his
Over the years, we’ve opened up the aperture on what is and
isn’t important public knowledge. While Ruth’s drinking went unreported, Jim
Bouton broke out stories of Mickey Mantle’s drinking and other escapades for
his book. Now, we know about Tiger’s dick, Brett’s dick, Greg Oden’s dick… It’s
like the 2010 version of the sex tape. If we don’t have a cock shot of you on
the Internet somewhere, you must not matter in the world of sports.
I honestly don’t want to know about these kinds of things. I
always figured Brett had a dick and that someone, somewhere had seen it. If the
source wanted to press charges for sexual harassment, I’d be all in favor of
that. I don’t want to open my email and find a “thinking of you” schlong in my
inbox, either. If someone wants to push the point that a public employee should
know better than to use a university email account to set up some hook ups, I’d
mostly agree as well. (It was the 1990s and the rules regarding public
documents as the pertained to digital stuff was sketchy at best. Hell, I was
still using a 28.8 modem and thinking I had the world by the ass. God alone
knows what emails of mine are floating out there… Shudder…)
However, as much as the leakers shroud themselves in “the
public’s right to know,” very little is accomplished in a lot of these cases.
We’ll get the people who flock to read this stuff, discuss it and shake their
heads. Media outlets will then flock to this to debate and discuss the merits
of if this should or shouldn’t be out there and what kind of media would do
such a thing… Hand-wringing then abounds as we argue about if we should be hand-wringing or not.
ESPN will run an hour long special called “The Dong” or “The
Shit” and have six ex-jock studio analysts talking about how in their day, they
had to take Polaroids of their own dicks and send them via snail mail to
potential hook ups. And around and around it will go until the next guy whips
it out in public or a different public employee comes forward about something
people will likely find creepy.
Look, if something illegal or unethical or potentially
important is going on, feel free to hit me with that. I want to know so I can
make intelligent decisions as a citizen about things that will impact my life,
my family and the world as a whole.
However, if you find out that for foreplay, Barack likes it
when Michelle licks peanut butter off his toes while singing “Happy Birthday,
Mr. President,” just keep that to yourself.