HOLMBERG: Politicians caught in Ashley Madison leak – immoral, or just plain stupid

Posted at 12:48 AM, Sep 03, 2015

RICHMOND, Va. -- As fabulous first lady Dolley Madison said 200-some years ago, "It is one of my sources of happiness never to desire knowledge of other people's business."

Now it's Ashley Madison's turn . . . to blab - with the help of hackers - the personal business of millions of wannabe cheaters signing up for an affair on the quite shaky Canadian website.

A whole slew are from Virginia, more than a few of them politicians.

Wayne Powell, running for the state Senate's 11th district, said it wasn't him who signed up for an affair.

Wayne Powell, running for the state Senate's 11th district

Wayne Powell, running for the state Senate's 11th district

Tony Pham, running for Henrico County Commonwealth's Attorney, admitted to CBS 6 that he signed up seven years ago and said he immediately knew he'd made a mistake and confessed to his wife.

They follow state Republican Senate majority leader Tommy Norment and Democratic Senator Donald McEachin on the hacktivist list of cheating hearts.

Bob Holsworth, CBS 6 political analyst, said "I thought when these first came out it was going to be pretty damaging. But ultimately it doesn't really seem to be hurting them at all."

Granted, the news dropped the week of the Roanoke news crew ambush.

But Holsworth believes a lot of people don't like the invasion of privacy by the anonymous hackers.

And perhaps, he said, the media is retreating a bit from the personally invasive reporting of the last half-century.

Tony Pham is running for Henrico County Commonwealth's Attorney.

Tony Pham is running for Henrico County Commonwealth's Attorney.

Yes, reporters certainly turned a blind eye to the philandering of John F. Kennedy, for example. And, of course, more than a few of the nation's most powerful politicians were also big-time cheaters. Thomas Jefferson, anyone?

Discretion has been the better part of hanky panky.

Those who couldn't keep their decorum modestly zipped have certainly been called out.

But as Bill Clinton also proved, all you have to do is keep your lips zipped and wait it out.

So Tommy Norment, already a reported cheater with discretion problems, can likely dodge the bullet by continuing to say nothing.

And McEachin, confronted with apparent evidence he wasn't hacked as he first stated, can simply say it's between him and his family.

And maybe Pham's fess-up will defuse his little land mine.

They can also count on our short attention spans. The first big Ashley Madison leak/splash was about that TV dingdong Josh Duggar (priorities!) as we finished our outrage over Cecil the lion.

And let's not forget that we've already redefined marriage. Honesty and morality are open for interpretation.

You can be whatever you want to be. Just click your heels together, Dorothy.

Fair enough. Be a cheater.

But how stupid can you be to sign up as one on the World Wide Web?

Dolley Madison would not approve.



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