Frank Bruni, in The New York Times, says that the coverage of the complicated Petraeus scandal is “reverting to clichés that should be retired and indulging in a sexism we like to think we’ve moved past” and that the affair is boiled down to a good man who fell into a siren’s trap.
It’s the women in these situations who are often subjected to a more vigorous public shaming — and assigned greater responsibility.
The Web site Business Insider posted an interview with an unnamed former colleague of Petraeus’s who knew Broadwell and characterized her as “a shameless self-promoting prom queen.” The colleague all but exonerated Petraeus by saying: “You’re a 60-year-old man and an attractive woman almost half your age makes herself available to you — that would be a test for anyone.”
The headline of The Washington Post story that weighed in on Broadwell’s wardrobe asserted that he “let his guard down,” a phrase that portrays him as passive, possibly even a victim. The story notes that his former aides considered him “the consummate gentleman and family man.”
(CIA Director David Petraeus, testifies before the US Senate Intelligence Committee during a full committee hearing on ‘World Wide Threats.’ on January 31, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER )
We’ll talk to Hanna Rosin at 9:50 about how we look at women and sex scandals.
-Stephanie Curtis, social media host