Feb. 10, 2011 at 4:10 PM ET
Although Christopher Lee has abruptly resigned from his congressional seat, the repercussions from his Craigslist debacle continues. Adding further fuel to the fire: an interview with the woman whose ad he answered and who sent his political career into a nosedive by forwarding the e-mails (and his now-infamous half-naked photo) to Gawker.
The still-anonymous Craigslist poster, 34 (which, btw Gawker, is not "middle-aged") wanted to set the record straight. First, she's not a prostitute, or call woman or escort, whatever euphemism is preferred for a lady of the night. But, in a moment of boredom at her government job, she posted an ad and received 30 responses. She corresponded with a total of three guys. (See the original Gawker story for the texts of her e-mails to and from Lee.) Next, she lives a very private life and wants to stay "as anonymous as possible." (Certainly, talking to Gawker will help that. Right.) Also, she doesn't take any blame for his downfall. "Maybe his conscience is responsible."
She makes a point that many of us are probably thinking as well:
I wouldn't have thought he'd resign, over a few pictures and a few emails. I think maybe there's a bigger story behind his resignation. I'm sure there are other women out there he's met. My theory is, you don't get caught your first time out.
In a city more or less immune to sexual scandals, sending some flirty e-mails and a half-naked cell phone self portrait does not make for very interesting fodder, so the speculation that this is just scratching the surface of Lee's indiscretions is probably spot on. He might very well be trying to make a preemptive save — for his marriage, at the very least.
The Maryland resident says she outed the congressman because he misrepresented himself as someone not only younger than his 46 years, but also married, not divorced as he told her. He also lied about being a lobbyist. He did say he had one child, so that is one truth.
While it's easy to be offended on her behalf, it's also easy to see another perspective, critical of Gawker's "moralizing" tone in justifying its outings. Salon's Steve Kornacki took them on in this essay. Kornacki's thinking is reflected in some of the comments following the Gawker pieces, which go back and forth on the hypocrisy of the ex-congressman's actions and those who don't see what the big deal is. Here's some of Kornacki's reasoning:
Really? A congressman's apparent use of Craigslist to seek an extramarital sex partner is only news because he also voted against taxpayer-financed abortions and for continuing DADT? It's not news because ... he's a member of Congress stupidly using a gmail account in his own name to send shirtless images of himself to complete strangers?
She isn't talking just to Gawker. TheLoop21 also has an "exclusive" interview with this African-American career woman. She spills more juicy commentary on the dating scene in DC, in general:
"Dating in D.C. sucks. You know the women outnumber the men and therefore the men have their way. It's like easy pickings for the men. They have so many options. They have people in Maryland. They have women in D.C. They have women in Virginia. They have women on the Internet. Therefore, living in D.C., everything is at your disposal. A lot of women take people’s word as bond. They don’t investigate."
She's dated online, although she says she only used Craigslist for professional promotions until this. It took her awhile to actually Google him, which we would've thought would be the first thing she'd do. But she did find him through Facebook.
We love her takeaway from all this: "The lesson is if you’re going to do dirt, do it anonymously. People cheat everyday, but only dumb people get caught."
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