The big news of the weekend is that some members of the Secret Service who are tasked with anti-terrorist duties have been caught hiring prostitutes while working in Colombia. New York Newsday writes breathlessly this morning that the “scandal deepens” with the discovery that five members of the U.S. military also hired prostitutes.
I don’t get it. What’s the big scandal?
Yes, exchanging money for sex is always risky, sometimes abusive, and is illegal. But, to reach the level of scandal, rather than anecdotal wrongdoing, there’s got to be some connection to high political policy, either in the nature of the crime or in the extremely high position of the person who does the wrongdoing.
If it was Barack Obama who hired a prostitute in Colombia, I could understand calling that a scandal, though it wouldn’t really be very political. If the Secret Service agents and American soldiers had passed classified secrets on to the prostitutes, I could understand calling that a scandal.
As I understand it, though, there was no political aspect to the sex, and the Secret Service agents and soldiers are mid-level at best.
So, I ask, is there something I’m not understanding? What makes this story such a big deal, rather than a page 19 one-paragraph article?