Election? What election? Today since approximately 2 p.m. all anyone can think of or talk about is ELIOT FREAKING SPITZER. Reported the New York Times in a blockbuster story splashed across the top of the website: "Gov. Eliot Spitzer has been caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel last month, according to a person briefed on the federal investigation." It has since been splashed across all three cable networks pretty much non-stop (though CNN's "The Situation Room" seems to have switched back to primary politics). Let's look at how this story will play out across the media:
Primary Politics: Spitzer is a superdelegate, and a supporter of Hillary Clinton. What will happen to his vote? (If he resigns, he'll lose it, though Paterson is also a Clinton supporter so it may have no net effect.) But also, how will Clinton react? Will it hurt her? (Portfolio's Matt Cooper says yes.) Will she support him as she supported her own husband? Or will she repudiate and reject his support? The Bill Clinton comparisons have already been made twice on MSNBC by Tucker Carlson.
Business: Eliot Spitzer is hated in the business community as the former "Sheriff of Walls Street." Cheers went up from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange when the news broke. (It's early yet, but surprisingly so far there's not much follow up other than the initial report on BusinessWeek.com and the WSJ; Portfolio, on the other hand, is all over it with a few columns and reports. On cable, CNBC clocked in first with the news at 2:07 p.m. Also, as a side note, expect a few stories about the economics of prostitution rings (apparently sound, given that it's the World's Oldest Profession).
Media: The NYO's John Koblin has already reported on how the New York Times broke the story team of reporters led by Albany reporter Danny Hakim). Now here's the NYO scooping the NYT on what its headlines are going to be tomorrow. "It's going to be a long night" wrote NYT metro editor Pete Khoury in an email to staff. No doubt to be followed up with some navel-gazing examination of how much media scrutiny is too much and what right journalists have in the bedrooms of politicians (or the secretly-reserved Washington D.C. hotel rooms, as the case may be).
Entertainment: Expect some flashbacks to famous Johns — Hugh Grant and Charlie Sheen leap to mind. To that end, expect a number of flashbacks to hooker flicks, from gritty to glam, from Klute to Leaving Las Vegas to Pretty Woman to Scandal to Mighty Aphrodite to American Gigolo. (Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments section.)
Lifestyle: Also expect some flashbacks to Famous Prostitutes and/or Johns Through History (Mata Hari was one; Ben Franklin had a penchant for the winsome services of such ladies; though Jesus never partook, Mary Magdalene will probably come up as a famous example). Also, everything you ever wanted to know about prostitution is already conveniently collected on HuffPost's living page here under "Prostitution FAQs." Also, expect Xaviera Hollander to pop up on cable before too long.