I don’t feel sorry for Eliot Spitzer. The now former governor of New York made his own bed and now he can lie in it.
Actually, some hardworking housekeeper at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington made the bed and he paid quite a bit to lie in it.
I’ve never stayed at the Mayflower when I’ve gone to Washington, I’m usually at the Sleepy Bear Motel in a Virginia suburb.
The person I feel sorry for is Silda Spitzer, the now former first lady of New York. She also may be the soon-to-be former Mrs. Eliot Spitzer.
In our world of 24-hour-a-day, nonstop news, we all now understand the photo op. That’s where they trot somebody out before the camera and most of the time they make some statement. With all the live coverage, you can hear when they enter the room because all of the cameras begin clicking frame after frame of the subject or subjects.
Every major newspaper used a picture last week of a watery-eyed Eliot Spitzer biting his lip. He wasn’t all blubbery because he was sorry. It was because he got caught.
For some reason, the public relations gurus think that it is important to have the dutiful wife standing beside some disgraced fellow.
Poor old Silda was called out twice, including a second time on Wednesday when the governor told the world he was quitting.
The look on her face made it clear that she didn’t want to be there.
There ought to be a law that eliminates any obligation to feign your support for the spouse that has publicly embarrassed your family.
I’d call it the "You Don’t Have to Stand By Your Man" act.
I didn’t see that Silda was carrying a pocketbook. But if things were really fair, somebody would have handed her one like my Aunt Mertice Ruth used to carry. It weighed about 40 pounds.
After he finished speaking, Silda could have taken that purse and just knocked the stew out of Eliot.
To simply mention the name of Hillary Clinton will get a rise out of some of you. But it wasn’t right when Bill Clinton had her standing up there beside him when he was lying through his teeth. Like her or not, she didn’t deserve that.
The same is true for Suzanne Craig, whose husband, Larry, the Idaho U.S. Senator has been embroiled in the question of whether he was doing something he shouldn’t be in an airport restroom. They had their photo op outside, so she got to wear some big sunglasses.
Then there was Dana McGreevey, who stood by and listened while her husband, who was governor of New Jersey, told the world he was gay. That’s a tough one.
Richard Nixon, who left office in disgrace, did the right thing and went into seclusion. He wrote a book and occasionally appeared in public, but he went away quietly.
Now, we have to endure the parade of the call girl, who will be on all the tabloid shows and will write a 300-page book about her few minutes with Spitzer. He’ll probably write a book, too.
I’m not suggesting that we sentence everybody who makes a mistake to a life of ridicule and scorn. We have a fascination with crooks, abusers and the habitually dumb. As long as we keep watching, reading and demanding more, the tabloid media will accommodate us.
Harris Blackwood is community editor of The Times. His columns appear Wednesdays and Sundays.