In a Sex Scandal, You Want to be the Guy, not the Gal

In the unlikely event you missed it, our former Central Intelligence Agency chief got a tad too friendly with Paula Broadwell, the author of his biography “All In: The Education of General David Petraeus.” The ensuing media storm was, frankly, a gift to reporters who were dreading that the fiscal cliff would be the only news story around once the election was over.

But a gift they could have handled with a little more care.

In my Bloomberg View column this week, I take a look at the differences in both the language used and the questions raised in coverage of the two players in Washington’s latest sex scandal. Petraeus, for example, was referred to as “vulnerable.” Broadwell was referred to as a “slut.”

They both cheated on their spouses. They both were accomplished professionals. But there was a lot that wasn’t equal about the way they were treated in the media. “They threw this poor fellow to the wolves,” said celebrity divorce lawyer Raoul Felder on Daily Beast TV. Meanwhile, The Baltimore Sun called it just another “bimbo eruption.” A West Point grad with two master’s degrees, Broadwell is no bimbo. Let’s hope the coverage is a little better next time a sex scandal rolls around.

Comments are closed.