I checked a few pure gossip sites and the David Petraeus story isn't displacing entertainer gossip yet, but I wonder if the apparent existence of another other woman is going to change that:
The collapse of the impressive career of CIA Director David H. Petraeus was triggered when a woman with whom he was having an affair sent threatening e-mails to another woman close to him, according to three senior law enforcement officials with knowledge of the episode.As The New York Times notes:
The recipient of the e-mails was so frightened that she went to the FBI for protection and help tracking down the sender, according to the officials. The FBI investigation traced the threats to Paula Broadwell....
The person who complained about harassing messages from Ms. Broadwell, according to the official, was not a family member or a government official. One Congressional official who was briefed on the matter on Friday said senior intelligence officials had explained that the F.B.I. investigation "started with two women."The right wants this to be a "what did the White House and/or FBI know and when did they know it?" story. At least one right-wing crazy already wants to blame Valerie Jarrett, the most powerful and evil person on the planet in the crazies' estimation, because, well, if anything bad is happening in Washington, it's got to be her fault. Somewhat more sober-minded right-wingers are just angry that the FBI -- even though no actual security breach was identified and no crime was committed -- didn't inform the White House or the heads of the congressional committees:
"Why didn't the F.B.I. tell us?' said Representative Peter T. King, a New York Republican on the House Intelligence Committee. "Why was the F.B.I. investigating the C.I.A. and this was involving a compromised computer of the director of the C.I.A., nobody told the president or the White House?"But I think gossip reporters are going to take this story over. I think it's going to be all about Paula Broadwell and the other other woman and Petraeus's wife and Broadwell's husband (did he really write a letter to the New York Times Ethicist a few months ago?). It's going to be about sex and threats and passions run amok. It's going to be that kind of scandal primarily, as far as the public is concerned. That may help Republicans make it a political scandal as well -- one feeding on the other -- but I think it's more likely to make Petraeus and Broadwell the villains of the piece (especially Broadwell, if she was an angry mistress making threats), which will make it harder for the GOP to persuade the public that Obama or anyone elese in his administration is the villain.
If I'm right, it's ironic, because Obama just won reelection in part by staying in touch with voters who don't pay much attention to politics -- on The View, on MTV, and so on. Apolitical America saved him, and now apolitical America may save him again.