Folks, if you had the ambition to pen the dumbest possible story on the ongoing and unfolding sex scandal that has taken Gen. David Petraeus from his post as the head of the CIA and now threatens to scuttle the career of Gen. John R. Allen, you may as well stop now and go back to dipping your fingers into a bowl of your own excrement, because that title has been claimed today. Congratulations to Diane Dimond, of The Daily Beast, and her article, "Dilworth, Charlotte: Mistressville, U.S.A.?"
What does a neighborhood in Charlotte, N.C., have to do with the Petraeus scandal? I am sorry to have to tell you. Dilworth happens to be where Paula Broadwell -- Petraeus' biographer/paramour -- resides. By pure coincidence, it also happens to be where Rielle Hunter, the videographer with whom former North Carolina senator and presidential aspirant John Edwards had a career-and-marriage ending fling, lives as well. Two ladies who had affairs living in geographic proximity to one another? Wow, you don't say? But Dimond does say, for 11 paragraphs. Paragraphs as idiotic as these:
Could the women, who each have young children, have crossed paths? It’s possible -- East Boulevard is a well-traveled strip with a multitude of establishments catering to on-the-go women. Maybe Paula and Rielle nodded to each other as they waited in line at the popular Starbucks in the 1400 block of East Boulevard. Maybe that's where Broadwell sat as she wrote portions of her biography of Petraeus, All In. One wonders, even, if it was via Starbucks's free wi-fi that Broadwell sent a series of allegedly harassing emails to a woman in Florida that she suspected of being Patraeus’s [sic] other "other woman" -- messages that may have contained classified information.
Or perhaps the two spotted each other at the Dilworth Gardens Shopping Center just off Scott Avenue, another convenient place for young moms to stop. There's also Brixx's Wood Fired Pizza, a family-friendly restaurant. Not far away are Bad Daddy's Burger Bar and the All About You salon and spa. These two notorious women might have shared manicure/pedicure space and started up a conversation -- who knows? (Then again, Hunter, a horoscope and New Age enthusiast who often spoke about the karma she felt in a room, likely would have gravitated a bit further northwest and visited the Zen Massage Center.)
Could Broadwell and Hunter have met at the Starbucks or used the Internet at the Starbucks, each independently concluding that the ratings the people gave the local pizza place on Yelp warranted a visit? IT IS TOTALLY POSSIBLE. There are a number of other places -- a YMCA, a park, a nature museum -- that Dimond saw on Google Maps that made her think, "These are also some places that two women from the same neighborhood in America might have gone and, subsequently, might have also been shaped by their shared experiences into becoming mistresses. Probably, anyway."
Dimond isn't just about idly speculating on things she knows nothing about. At times, she reaches some daring conclusions:
It's probably unlikely that Broadwell invited Hunter to a special Labor Day barbecue for TV personality Jon Stewart of The Daily Show when he was in Charlotte back in September to film an episode of his show ahead of the Democratic National Convention. Broadwell, having been a guest on Stewart's program during her book tour earlier this year, hosted a shindig for the crew in honor of wounded warriors and veterans. Not really Rielle's kind of crowd.
I mean, I'm sure Rielle Hunter would have leaped at the chance to go to a Democratic National Convention party attended by ruthless political satirists, you know?
Even more unlikely is that Broadwell threw herself a birthday party earlier this month when she turned 40. Her birthday is Nov. 9, the same day the Petraeus resignation and scandal first exploded into international headlines.
I don't even know what Dimond is attempting to say with these two sentences. I thought this was a piece about a neighborhood in Charlotte, North Carolina!
Anyway, there you have it. Until I read Dimond's Daily Beast story, I was of the mind that the most interesting thing that connects a guy like David Petraeus to a guy like John Edwards is the fact that these are both men who got so used to being praised and glorified and complimented that at some point, they each decided they were bulletproof and above the rules of polite society and could do whatever they wanted without having to worry about the consequences.
But now I see I was totally wrong, and the real story is that there's maybe something weird about the Starbucks in this one neighborhood in Charlotte that makes ladies go all mistressy.
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