Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Scandalizing Menendez's Name?

For the record, Senator Menendez did not pay to have sex with that woman.

The New Jersey Democrat has come under sporadic fire from some in the media for taking part in unethical payment practices and other financial improprieties, as well as hiring prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.

Today, Nexis de los Santos Santana, one of the women who claims to be featured in a videotape which lent credence to the prostitution rumors, came forward and admitted that while, yes, she said that Menendez had paid her for sex, she had been lying.  Apparently, the whole sex tape thing had been staged as an illegal ruse a corrupt lawyer was using for somebody else's divorce case.

For his part, Menendez immediately seized on de los Santos Santana's confession as proof that, at least as far as the sexy side of the allegations against him are concerned, he's being targeted by a smear campaign.  Menendez blames right-wing bloggers from The Daily Caller, and hopes this revelation today helps tarnish the credibility of his naysayers.  With de los Santos Santana being an escort willing to lie so a lawyer can subvert the cause of justice, Menendez doesn't seem to realize that her credibility isn't all that great, either.  But he'll take what he can get, and is insisting anew that the other, financially-based allegations against him should be held with similar dubiousness until all the facts are in.

You'll recall that some conservatives have been questioning the media's relative silence - or at least, their nuanced coverage - over the Menendez allegations.  If he'd been a Republican, as even I have wondered, wouldn't the press be saturating the country with lurid conjectures and false leads about his case?  Instead, the slow, almost dignified pace with which our legacy media has been begrudgingly referencing the Menendez charges could indicate to cynics like me that perhaps they're intentionally trying to control what would otherwise be a sensational blockbuster against a Democrat from a liberal state.

We wouldn't want that now, would we?

Still, since it appears that at least this part of Menendez's mess has been refuted by at least one of the principals involved in it, please allow me to go on record as informing anybody who read my previous essay on this topic - and could otherwise still be under the impression that there was some veracity to that part of the story - that it appears all we're left with is a few boring allegations of shady paper trails.  Indeed, today's news doesn't mean that Menendez is off the hook in terms of the corruption charges he's facing; it just means that prostitution with this particular woman won't be one of them.

Which brings to mind this video a friend shared with me regarding rumors, speculation, and how we talk about other people.  It's been a charming yet convicting little vignette that's been playing off and on in my conscience ever since I saw it.

Today may be a Tuesday, but let's do a little church anyway, shall we?


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