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Senator's sexual wanderings keep us all off track

US Senator David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, has admitted that his phone number appeared in the files of the so-called D.C. Madam. US Senator David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, has admitted that his phone number appeared in the files of the so-called D.C. Madam. (LEE CELANO/REUTERS)

RE " 'D.C. Madam': Marriage hypocrisy week" ("Short Fuse," Editorial, July 13): I have been alarmed by the reaction to the scandal over US Senator David Vitter. While it is critical to uncover hypocrisy whenever possible, it was troubling to watch the media hot on the trail of all the prurient details of another elected leader's fall from grace, as if the real story lies in the double-speak of this individual rather than in the larger cultural context that attempts to make such displays of fraudulent morality appear extraordinary.

As I see it, the real story is much more disquieting: We haven't evolved much since the Clinton era. Sexual transgressions still captivate more moral attention than racist earmarking, murderous negligence, and genocidal lies. Or perhaps this is just another instance of Washington sleight of hand: Focus the public on the prostitutes and adulterers, and maybe we won't take notice of the real whores, the ones running our country.

LARA BIRK
Ayer

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