06/30/2011 12:44 pm ET Updated Aug 30, 2011

Digital Political Sex Scandals Plague China's Government

This new form of public entertainment has also landed in China: the digital political sex scandal. The starring role, as always, goes to a respectably married middle-aged man in an important position. The script includes the usual wealth of spicy details to prolong the pleasure.

Take the hapless Xie Zhiqiang, Director of Jiangsu Province's Bureau of Health. Someone told him that emails and texting were old hat and that he should get into Twitter-style microblogging. They neglected to mention that his updates would be visible to everyone. Xie's communications with his mistress, a married woman, were laid bare for all to see, including the meeting time, hotel room number, and preliminary discussions of what they'd be busy doing. For the delighted readers, it was a carnival. Not only that, but he told his paramour to bring along any receipts she had so he could get them refunded.

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