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ot long ago, what happened in the bedroom stayed in the bedroom. The media, public and politicians seemed to have a silent truce that determined sex to be a private matter, unworthy of serious news coverage.
My, how times have changed.
Ever since Lewinksy-gate became grounds for impeachment, the American media has called open season on political sex scandals. Today, a seemingly monthly line-up of US politicians' sexual indiscretions are ceremoniously laid out and scrutinized in print, online and on TV, becoming fodder for late-night talk show hosts, political opponents and analysts alike.
Meanwhile, news outlets such as the New York Times and theWashington Post, which used to ignore such stories, run them on the front page.
What is driving this zeal for sex in politics? Is it about selling newspapers? Exposing hypocrisy? Pandering to the polemicized political landscape? And is the phenomenon uniquely American, or are other countries’ media outlets, too, beginning more and more to see their politicians sexual improprieties—not just sex crimes—as newsworthy events?
Join us this week when our panel of journalists and media critics talk about sex, scandal and the media on this week’s Global Journalist Radio.