By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
I don't know if I've had a more delightful morning at the office—probably because I'm truly just never there, "working" as I do from my neighborhood bar—than the one last week when I read aloud to my colleagues, who were hooting and snuffling and snorting in glee, stories from the Times and Reg about our own dear America's Sheriff.
"[Mike] Carona Wants Sex Allegation Probed,'" I read. "Ewwww!"
Naughty Times editors! So bad!
Because according to the buxom and blonded Miss Erica Hillin a Sept. 13 letter to the OC Board of Supervisors, there was "probing" in the home the sheriff shares with his wife and son, in a hotel room at his inaugural party, on a desk, and in his truck.
"I've been in the sheriff's truck!" I yelled. "Ewwww!"
And, again according to Ms. Hill—the peach—she went along with the "assaults," um, four times, hoping to get her husband a job. Hill and her husband are reportedly now separated. That strikes me as both sad and wrong-headed. Who would leave the best wife in the world?
* * *
Oh, I had such grand hopes for this week's column. I was going to ruminate on poverty—poverty is so hot right now!—and be deep and tender and funny and shrill. The media's supposed to focus on important things now. Issues. Issues I could use to stick it to the president. Issues like that. But that all changed when there was sheriff sex to whoop about. I am the media, and I suck.
Watch me, like a ferret, chase the shiny thing!
That morning in the office, my heart warmed like a girl who's just gotten a pony by all the nasty allegations coming to light, I wondered why on earth the media ever stopped reporting on politicians' sex lives in the first place. Reading goopy tales about important people's alleged peccadilloes is fun! Even more fun than reading about my own! Remember the good old days with Robert Packwood? Fuckin' Bob Packwood, man. He was all right. For those of you who are still 12 (please don't let your parents see you reading this trash), just think of him like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but drunk. Packwood was a Republican from Oregon, a U.S. senator who manhandled every breast and stuck his tongue down every throat he could find, in the Senate elevators, everywhere, and he kept a raunchy diary so he could relive his sexy good times. He harassed or assaulted at least 29 employees—with the Senate Ethics Committee finding proof for 17 of them before unanimously recommending he be expelled from the Senate. And he was absolutely delightful.
But that was 10 years ago. So why the high-minded moratorium? If in the name of needing-to-know we can stake out Angelina Jolieand kill Princess Diana, surely we can find out what that frothy Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum isovercompensating for!
I blame, as always, Bill Clinton.
After Clinton got his ass all impeached just 'cause he had a thing for the big girls, and we got punished with juiceless George W. Bush "restoring dignity in the Oval Office" because of it, the media declared it gauche and irrelevant to report on people's sex lives—and I've lived by the stricture as well. No more Gary Harts. No more Jim Bakkers. No more David Dreiers. Oh, you didn't know about David Dreier? Hmmm. Maybe we can get Moxley on that.
Because I'll tell you what: we in the media know all kinds of things,and except over drinks or a pedicure or, hell, just instant message, we keep it to ourselves.
Look what happened when Assemblyman Tom Umberg (a Democrat) was boffing that lady in Washington, D.C. The Reg knew about it—but wasn't going to write about it—until Umberg heard they were digging, and in a pre-emptive strike gave a public apology to the Times instead.
Oh, no, he didn't!
Oh, yes, he did!
And with that, the furies of the Reg were unleashed from the lowest circles of hell. The sympathetic story the Times' Jean Pasco penned was no match for the tawdry details the Reg would roll out—most notably, that while his wife was campaigning for him because he was prosecuting the War on Terror in Gitmo, he was usually at embassy parties—oh, yeah, and boffing that lady—in D.C. instead.
Pow, Umberg. Fall down now. You're dead.
* * *
So, the sheriff. The story's an ugly one, a twist of bribes and corruption to befit Huey Long, and true or not I love every delicious morsel. (See Moxley's "Sex Bomb" in News for more details.) We'd heard gossip for years that that nice man had "girlfriends"—though I certainly hadn't heard about Hill. I'm pretty sure he hit on me during our off-the-record pedicure a few months back, but I didn't write about it because ew! He's married!
I was embarrassed for both of us and hoped I'd misinterpreted his intimation that he'd "make a really good boyfriend" when he really just meant it as a lighthearted joke, like when I joke in my column that I loooooove him. Even if he hadn't, we are talking about me, so it's not like he could help it. I didn't put it in my column, but I did tell two friends, and I'm sure they told two friends. . . .