The Line on Sex: When is a scandal merely voyeurism?

Graff, E. J.
September 2005
Columbia Journalism Review;Sep/Oct2005, Vol. 44 Issue 3, p8
This article assesses the media coverage of scandals in the U.S. Journalism in the country is covering precisely the wrong stories about sex and politics. There have been plenty of discussions about where the serious media should draw the line on coverage of public officials' sexual behavior. On the one hand, the media should never cover consensual and private adult behavior, even when it might seem unsavory. On the other, the media should always cover coercive or criminal behavior. There is one story in which the media got things exactly right: the one about Mayor James West of Spokane, Washington, who was accused of going online and soliciting sex from young men. And yet, when the Spokane Spokesman-Review started publishing the results of its investigation into charges, West had the gall to declare he was being persecuted for being gay.


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