RSS
Should a 'sexy' photo have ended a congressman's career?
Rep. Christopher Lee (R-NY) quit Congress hours after Gawker published a shirtless photo he sent to a woman he met on Craigslist. Is our scandal threshold really this low?
 
Rep. Christopher Lee, the married, New York congressman, resigned just three hours after Gawker.com posted his "sexy" Craigslist photos online.
Rep. Christopher Lee, the married, New York congressman, resigned just three hours after Gawker.com posted his "sexy" Craigslist photos online.
Screen shot/ Gawker.com

Rep. Christopher Lee (R-NY) resigned three hours after the website Gawker revealed what appears to be a botched attempt at an extramarital affair. Gawker's story: A 34-year-old woman posted a dating ad on Craigslist and was contacted by a "Christopher Lee" who said he was a divorced, 39-year-old lobbyist. During their brief online flirtation he sent her a "sexy" shirtless photo of himself. When she discovered he is a 46-year-old, married congressman with a kid, she sent the emails and photos to Gawker. Is this bungled Craigslist dalliance really a career-ending move? (Watch an MSNBC report about Lee's resignation)

Lee did the right thing: "Nothing good comes from a grown man doing muscle poses in front of the mirror" and capturing them on camera, says Jonathan Capehart in The Washington Post. The photo is "nothing risque," and the flirty emails are actually "rather charming," but Lee was still on Craigslist looking for a hook-up. For the sake of "his district, the House, and his family," he was right not to "let this thing drag out."
"Rep. Chris Lee (R-Craigslist)"

Why'd he resign? Lee's failed liaison is certainly just the tip of the iceberg, says Taylor Marsh in her blog. "A middle-aged man doesn't wake up one day and all of a sudden decide to go trolling for a mistress on Craigslist." But compared with his peers, this is "hardly lurid stuff," and it's "beyond me" why the "ignoramus" quit over it. Lee is "just another lame cheating louse," in a town and profession full of them.
"At least Rep. Chris Lee isn't a 'toad'"

"Good riddance to bad rubbish": Let's look "on the bright side," says Drew M. in Ace of Spades HQ. Lee "didn't go full Favre, nor did he emulate Eric 'The Tickler' Massa." And the GOP will probably hold his seat in the upcoming special election. But seriously, what an "idiot." If you're a congressman and "you need a little action on the side, you don't have to go on Craigslist."
"WTF? Congressman Chris Lee (R-NY) resigns"

The scandal fits our times: "Back in the good old days, a married congressman would just meet a woman at Hawk 'n' Dove, and no one would ever be the wiser," says Alex Pareene in Salon. So clearly "the internet ruins everything." But aside from his "absurdly fast" resignation, my "single favorite detail" of the story is that a Republican congressman's "cover story" to pick up a woman is "that he's a lobbyist."
"Married GOP congressman resigns hours after caught trolling Craigslist..."

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week