Sex Scandals

Do the media pay too much attention to adultery?


From Thomas Jefferson to Tiger Woods, sex scandals have been a recurring feature of American life. Today, text messages and surveillance cameras have made it harder to keep affairs secret, and the proliferation of Web sites and cable TV shows means that a politician or celebrity who cheats is more likely than ever to be exposed. Politicians and clergy who preach “family values” have had their personal hypocrisy revealed. In the wake of scandal in recent years, governors have resigned, a president has been impeached and senators have been caught using prostitutes and soliciting in an airport men's room. Nevertheless, questions remain about the ethical and journalistic propriety of publicizing private acts. Does the public have a right to know about private affairs — especially ...

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