“While it’s all very well to say political private lives should stay private, we need to stop glossing over the fact that infidelity involves a great deal of lying and the breaking of a profound commitment.”

Here’s my piece on this touchy subject, published today at The Hoopla.

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Join the conversation! 10 Comments

  1. You end with
    “It’s time for the media to accept that political private lives can be a public issue.
    It`s time for them to set aside the unspoken gentlemen`s agreement which protects cheating politicians from media exposure.
    It`s time to start reporting politicians` affairs.“

    BULLSHIT !
    The petty, pathetic embedded media already wallow in nonsense way too often to give them much credibility. Why encourage them?

    Poster boy Clinton you have used to make your point, but you need to ask yourself,
    Is spending 50 Mill$ taxpayer cash on investigating a penis, a vagina and an unwashed dress good value?

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  2. I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Dragonista.
    I never told anyone to lie, not a single time.
    Now, I have to get back to work for the Australian people.

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  3. How else then to put a stop to the culture of lies and deception engendered by this cone of silence?

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  4. In short, you/we can`t/won`t. Not in our lifetime anyway. There are really much bigger issues for the embedded media to pull their finger out over.
    Politicians marriage failure and sex affairs are about the bottom of the barrel.

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  5. Is an unfaithful politician unfit for office? Only if he or she uses their private life/family as a standard to denigrate values that do not conform to their version of ‘family values’ in order to court votes, or to put down an opponent. Otherwise, it is noone’s business but the people involved.

    You refer to the culture of lies and deception, what has this to do with marriage? Marriage breakdown, extramarital affairs, or an open relationship (yes, some politicians have lavender marriages in which their partner knows exactly what is going on) does not mean a person is inherently dishonest – it becomes dishonest when one publicly preaches the opposite.

    I remember the post in which you argued marriage equity was a liberal value as the state should butt out of the private business of citizens. Should politicians – who are citizens, after all – not have the same right to conduct their private life in, well, privacy? Why should someone cede the right to a private life because they are a politician? Does a politician’s family not have a right to privacy? Many non-politicians cheat on their partners, should they be sacked from their jobs too? v

    Dragonista, I enjoy reading your blog. Many of the topics you discuss resonate with me, and your thoughtful and reasoned arguments are rare in a world of shrieking wowserism. In this case, however, I think you really have it wrong.

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    • Yes, I do still believe that the state should butt out of people’s private business. But I have come to the view that the code of silence between politicians and the media on this one issue (ie. extra marital sex) engenders a culture where politicians think they can get away with lies and deception.

      I don’t think it a coincidence that the cheaters are often also the rorters. If the rorting involves sex then the politician knows that it is off limits with the media and so they can carry on with impunity.

      And I do believe that if you choose to become a politician, you choose to uphold a higher standard of behaviour than us mere mortals – it comes with the job.

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      • Unfoxed: The state (and media?) should butt out of people’s private business. But (not politicians) I have come to the view that the code of silence (incompetence) between politicians and the media on this one issue (ie. Iraq War) engenders a culture where politicians think (know) they can get away with lies and deception.

        I don’t think it a coincidence that the cheaters (war-mongers) are often also the rorters. If the rorting involves sex (oil) then the politician knows that it is off limits with the media and so they can carry on with impunity.

        And I do believe that if you choose to become a politician (journalist), you choose to uphold a higher standard of behaviour (propaganda) than us mere mortals – it comes with the job.

        I don`t call them the embedded media for nothing.
        The people you depend on for the `truth` are not going to give you the truth.

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About Drag0nista

Political blogger and columnist on the interwebs. Former Liberal staffer and industry lobbyist. Studying the entrails of federal politics since 1989. Otherwise known as Paula Matthewson.

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