Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I Cover the Facebook

The recent revelations about New York governor Eliot Spitzer and his links to a prostitution ring has raised more than a few questions. What on earth was he thinking? Didn't he realize how easy it would be for him to get caught? How do you justify paying over $4000 for a call girl? How did he convince his wife to stand next to him during his big announcement?

Ah, but the New York Times is tackling the real question: was that hooker hot? I won't spoil the answer for you.

The article is notable for how little information it contains: it identifies the woman formerly known only as "Kristen" (her real name is Ashley Alexandra Dupre) and gives a few biographical details, but also points out that in her brief court appearance and brief phone interview, "she told the tiniest tidbits of her story."

For me, the most interesting thing about the article is the way it so heavily relies on Ms. Dupre's MySpace page as a source. The webpage receives credit for all of the photos that accompany the article, and typically mundane details like favorite musicians and top friends are suddenly deemed noteworthy. She is an aspiring singer, and the paper of record takes the opportunity to go all Pitchfork on the one track streaming on the site: it's "a hip-hop-inflected rhythm-and-blues tune" but the singer "uses some dated slang, calling someone her 'boo'."

Just like your mother used to tell you to always wear clean underwear when you leave the house, you should always make sure your social network pages are in good order; you never know when you'll be swept up in a sex scandal and a major media outlet will rely on that information to craft your life story.

*I had originally written a title with a reference to Deep Throat (the Watergate source, not the other thing). But who needs that kind of double entendre?

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