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May 26, 2004
Malkin: DC's Double-Ws Libertines, Not Liberated

I've mostly avoided the entire Washingtoniette fracas that erupted on Wonkette's blog because I don't normally comment on sex blogs (and don't make a habit of reading them, either). Regardless of whether the interpersonal relations are located in the halls of power in Washington DC or in the cornfields of Nebraska, does it really shock us in this age that people get promiscuous, both in their sexual habits and their inability to remain discreet about it? I blog on politics for the most part, but blogs exist to talk about whatever interests the writer. For Jessica Cutler, what interested her was her numerous and concurrent sexual flings with co-workers, including the cash "gifts" received for a few of these encounters.

However, Michelle Malkin -- a real journalist, as opposed to Cutler -- wrote a terrific piece for today's Townhall edition, explaining why this episode in the blogosphere damages the credibility of women in the workplace, especially in the political world of DC:

Meet the new Monica Lewinsky. Jessica Cutler, a 24-year-old mailroom clerk and phone receptionist, worked for Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, until last Friday -- when he fired her for using Senate computers to post to an Internet Web log that chronicled her trysts with six different men in Washington. Cutler's partners reportedly included government officials who gave her money for her sexual services.

Diary excerpt: "I just took a long lunch with F and made a quick $400. When I returned to the office, I heard that my boss was asking about my whereabouts. Loser." In another entry, Cutler explains: "F(equals)Married man who pays me for sex. Chief of Staff at one of the gov agencies, appointed by Bush."

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.

This bimblog eruption occurs at a difficult time for women in another male-dominated arena -- the military. The photographed and videotaped sexual exploits of Lynndie England at Abu Ghraib have touched off a debate about the feasibility of putting women into combat support areas, especially in reserve units where discipline may not be as good as regular military units. Now we find out that Cutler supplemented her income by prostituting herself out to co-workers, not only disrupting workplaces with her antics but also making a mockery of the super-legalized "safe working environments" that we in the private sector must maintain.

Malkin talks about Cutler and Ana Marie "Wonkette" Cox as the female version of Beavis and Butthead illustrating the "narcissism, moral bankruptcy and self-congratulatory media-political incest" that people detest about DC. She resents, and rightly so, all of the prime-time play that the pair have received just for the one whoring herself out to co-workers and the other incessantly promoting it -- and acting surprised when Cutler got fired for it. Malkin also notes that the press, which spills tons of ink and fires off infinite electrons ridiculing family values, trips all over themselves to sell those who would sell themselves:

Follow-up dispatches appeared in Roll Call, the New York Post, the London Independent, United Press International and the Associated Press, whose wire reports on Cutler were reprinted everywhere from the Akron Beacon Journal to the Houston Chronicle to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. ... The Washington Post's legitimization of this shallow "story" illustrates something else: the mainstream media's perverted moral values. The paper's recent profiles and features of social conservatives drip with condescension and ridicule. Religious activists are portrayed as intolerant homophobes; Republicans as gun-toting rubes; abstinence promoters as freaks.

But give The Washington Post two vain, young, trash-mouthed skanks who couldn't care less about what their parents think of their sex-drenched infamy, and the newspaper can't wait to help make them full-fledged members of the media elite.

Malkin is not the only one sick to death over the glamorization of trash. Bloggers have also made their displeasure known over the attention that Cutler and Cox received. Bill at INDC Journal, who lives in the middle of this Beltway sensation, has blogged extensively on just how sick of the entire meme he's become:

... this post is not sour grapes that stem from traffic envy or misdirected sexual desire for the W's, it's my aversion to shameful whoring and manipulation, in both the literal and media incarnations. When prostitution becomes cool/celebrated/admirable, what the hell is left in the taboo column? I guess that I'm more of a social conservative than I realize ... or I just can't stand such obvious cheap and easy media manipulation; mostly because it's so blatant. This from a guy whose bread and butter are moonbat jokes. Go figure.

For balance, the Commissar from Politburo Diktat takes the long view, even dropping out of character a little to explain how the ultimate female capitalist, so to speak, has made the blogosphere a bit bigger, and advises Bill and perhaps myself to live with it:

In the Blogosphere (VRWC bloggers, take note), she has accomplished the same feat. (I'll digress briefly to note that Ana Marie Cox is a self-proclaimed, albeit tongue-in-cheek "big fat Commie pinko." Despite her claim to ridicule whomever needs ridiculing, on any side, her views show through.) So far, the Left side of the blogosphere has been limited to those Krugman-on-steroids, relentless & humorless Bush-haters, modern Savonarolas, sufferers from & purveyors of BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome), like dKos, Atrios, Max Sawicky, and the rest. The VRWC has had a monopoly on entertaining, irreverent bloggers: Lileks, Scrappleface, Misha, Allah, Iowahawk, and Wizbang, to name a few.

Like her or not, comrades, Wonkette has pushed her way into the A-List. 140,000 hits daily for the past week. That may not be sustained, but it's no one-day Instalanche. Maybe she backed her way into it, ass-first, if you like, but that is the "world as we find it." Sorry, Comrade Bill, but we too, must "take it."

The blogosphere is bigger than it was a week ago, thanks to two Washington chick bloggers who "take it."

Just to underscore the point, the Commissar provides pictures of the two Ws in suggestive, pseudolesbian poses as well as a screenshot of their appearance on Fox News.

I agree with the Commissar -- it's a big blogosphere, and it's not just the VWRC that can have fun with it. I still think it's a shame, as Malkin says, that so much attention is wasted on two young women who have done little except to prove that the world's oldest profession has remained profitable.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 26, 2004 1:14 PM

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