Sunday, May 20, 2007

Susie Bright scoops the MSM

Susie Bright's site is definitely NSFW - but she's an hellaciously good writer, and oy, her sources! She's secured an interview with a USAID insider she refers to as "Sore Throat," to help answer some of the questions the Randall Tobias scandal (Crooks and Liars) raised for her; such as:

Sure, I have my own little curiosities about this mess. For one, I thought Madam's prices were awfully low. $275 for ninety minutes? That's an afternoon bar tab for these guys. Plus, if you were able to get a guy off in ten minutes, did you really have to sit there and play Canasta for another seventy?

Finally, what kind of client was Randall Tobias, anyway? —Were his peers surprised?

To which "Sore Throat" Responds:

Some of us have been trying to understand what was going on with those escorts. One thought was that he may have been telling the truth about the "no sex" part.

He was a tyrant in his business life, so we speculated that he needed some young smart ladies to put him in his place in his personal life. We could easily imagine that he was into spanking, being forced into submissive stuff. (Most Prodommes are explicit about their services being "non-sexual," meaning that no penetration of any kind will occur. - GT)
That would be embarrassing enough that he'd rather resign than have the story come out— but he could honestly say he didn't have "sex." Well, it's just our best guess, knowing him from personal contact and observing him as a leader accused by Congress of 'tycoon-itis' just last month.

"Sore Throat" goes on at length to praise two other Bush appointees who are widely respected within USAID, despite being the sort of people, ideologically speaking, that Bush would appoint. In other words, this wasn't about the right-wing agenda so much as about Tobias, an hypocritical asshole, who happened to profit by being a right-wing moralist in public.

A significant part of my checkered past was a long and platonic* friendship with a stripper, occasional working gal and professional Domme by the various names of Mistress Elle and Bubbles. I learned a great deal about "the business" living downstairs from her, and afterwards, in the post-session, beer and pizza phase. Many, if no most of her clients were high-powered businessmen who, well, needed to try and work off some bad karma.

One thing I learned is that in many cases, whatever is offered above and beyond the "booking fee" ain't enough - and this may well be especially true of the absolutely "nonsexual encounters" Mistress Elle booked, ones that were not about sex even in the mind of the client. She was a mercenary lass and on occasion, let greed overcome common sense. On those occasions I would have to talk her down off the ceiling, after a client needed more punishment than she was comfortable giving.

The other thing was a deep appreciation for the rigid code of ethics that govern the professions of call-girls and Pro-Dommes. You never, EVER "burn the client." Well, at least, not until the client's employer tries to burn you and your girls. (C&L, quoting a CNN transcript of "Reliable Sources")
KURTZ: Jeane Palfrey originally talked about selling her list of clients to a tabloid outfit and then obviously, ABC News does not pay for information. Why did she decide to cooperate with you?

ROSS: We told her that we would take it seriously, that it was a potentially important story. Her point is that she runs an operation that she claims offered no sex. And that she sees it as hypocritical that the government is going after her and the women who worked for her and not the men. The phone lists were in her home when the Federal agents raided it. But they were not interested in apparently the names of the men, only the women who worked for her. So she thinks that it is hypocritical. Secondly, she wants to call some of these men to testify on her behalf. She's turned down a deal, a plea bargain deal from the government and wants to go to trial.

KURTZ: I should have mentioned at the top she's under indictment and as you say, she apparently plans to go to trial. If a government official pays for this kind of service personally and has nothing to do with his job, is there at least an argument that it's not news worthy and shouldn't be reported?

ROSS: Well, I think there — I think it is news worthy that there is this indictment. It's part of a Bush administration effort under the Department of Justice to crack down on prostitution and this is part of it. Tobias in particular, given his role as spearheading the Bush administration effort overseas to crack down on prostitution, seemed to us to be news worthy. [Emphasis Mine]

You know, this is the second significant figure involved in the whole "right wing moral agenda," their so-called "Cultural Warriors" who have been busted with their pants around their ankles - by sex-workers who's own moral sensibilities were outraged. Ted Haggard, as you may remember, was busted by his gay boy-toy and meth dealer after said toy saw Haggard on TV being all anti-gay and holier-than thou.

But in the matter of the Ambassador, the consensus is that Tobias may not be actually, technically lying when he says he wasn't seeking sexual services. Susie observes:

If Tobias wanted domination, if he had a fetish, if he wanted to beat off while he got a show; he'd be inside the law. No wait!— Maybe he wanted a woman to dress up like Condi in spike heels and spank him while jeering at his manhood.
So he may well be in closet subbie hell/heaven right now - inasmuch as now even the MSM is jeering his manhood.

I think it's time for America to realize that these are probably not "isolated incidents," but rather the tip of a very impure iceberg. Those who are addicted to power - and particularly those who are addicted to the abuse of power - are particularly fond of the whole "Do as I say, not as I do," paradigm, as getting away with things others cannot get away with is the proof they are powerful. Incidentally, with such folks, the idea of the responsible use of power is pretty damn alien to them; they see power as an end in itself, not as a means toward anything, so there will always be a disconnect between words and actions.

You may presume that the loudest defenders of the Bush Administration understand this dynamic perfectly and are willing participants on some level.

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* She bites. HARD.


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