Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The DC madam trial limps back into the news

I can't remember being so let down by a story than in May of 2007 when alleged DC madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey threatened to out prominent members of the Washington establishment in an attempt to gain leverage with the authorities.

Unfortunately for the story being any good the most prominent person Pelfray could come up with was David Vitter, the obscure Junior Senator from Louisiana. And after that a few mid-level government officials whose names would only register with their own friends and family, and maybe the women they paid 300 dollars an hour to schtupp

For a while there were rumors that Vitter's particular paid peccadilloes involved wearing a diaper. Which would have made Vitter the diaper-wearing Junior Senator from Louisiana -- and far less obscure. But such talk proved false, and the DC madam scandal slinked into obscurity.

This week the affair has been revisited with Pelfray's trial. It's no longer page one fodder, but the embarrassment of riches that was Eliot Spitzer has allowed me to forgive the scandal that wasn't. Much like two Boston Red Sox world championships paved the way for 1986 World Series goat Bill Buckner to receive a long ovation before Boston's home opener yesterday.

So far there have been a couple fascinating revelations from the court room .

First that Palfrey sent job applicants to the home of regular clients, who then graded the prospect's performance. Reporting back to Palfrey such high-end sex industry no-nos as being a "dead fish."

And that at least one woman, Fauzia Mack, truly believed that being paid 300 dollars an hour to visit a strange man's home didn't include anything lascivious.

Mack testified she called Palfrey in horror after the client she was seeing for an "hour of companionship" demanded oral sex.

Not only did Palfrey, who understandably now denies sex was part of her business model, fire Mack, but she angrily referred to her as a "nitwit" when doing so.

And we are going to have to agree with Palfrey on that one.

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