A Tale of Two Sex Scandals
A Pa. Supreme Court Justice and a Canadian radio host have very little in common, except that their sexcapades may spell the end of otherwise celebrated careers.
Seamus McCaffery, the embattled Pa. Supreme Court Justice, stepped down Monday after being sanctioned last week by the Chief Justice of the Commonwealth's High Court.
McCaffery exchanged 234 pornographic emails from his state email account with others in government including some of the Corbett cabinet officials who were earlier identified as prolific consumers of pornography by Pa. Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
Kane discovered the illicit email activity while investigating the Attorney General's Office investigation of Jerry Sandusky led by Tom Corbett when he held Kane's post.
Since resigning, the Judicial Conduct Board has called off its investigation of McCaffery, but it's safe to say that the damage has been done. An otherwise laudable legal career has been besmirched by internet porn.
What remains in question is the motivation that led to this investigation. Was it outrage over the conduct of public officials at the taxpayer's expense? Or has this become a puritanical witch hunt with bipartisan support because its easier to stay quiet than it is to become the subject of public investigation and possible ridicule?
For our neighbors to the North, attention is decisively focused on the latter.
American listeners have likely heard Ghomeshi on programs like NPR's All Things Considered or in markets that air Q, which the Washington Post once called "the most popular new arts and culture radio show in America."
The CBC refused to provide details of Ghomeshi's release saying only that it had received information leading it to believe that it should sever ties with the award winning host and producer.
Ghomeshi said he would sue the CBC for $50 million and he wants his job back under the network's collective bargaining agreement with its talent.
It turns out that the CBC had received information about Jian Ghomeshi's sexual practices, including various forms of BDSM.
Ghomeshi claims he's being set up. This scandal has become the talk of Canada.
On Saturday, Ghomeshi took to Facebook to provide an emotional, lengthy and detailed account of his situation.
The day after this post was released the Toronto Star reported the stories of three women in their 20s who claimed that Ghomeshi, 47, had violently attacked them without consent, as well as allegations of a fourth woman who worked at CBC and said that Ghomeshi made inappropriate sexual comments to her in the workplace.
Allegations like these have been regularly investigated by The Star and Ghomeshi allegedly told CBC management about such allegations as they occurred in the past few years. Only now has the CBC taken action against it's celebrity host, which is perhaps a sign of the legitimacy of the current claims.
Whether or not Ghomeshi is a sex offender remains to be seen and the investigation is sure to transcend the press and the civil courts, if indeed there is veracity to the allegations. The accusations are serious, to be sure.
Nevertheless there exists the possibility that after 14 years at the CBC and 8 years hosting Q, Ghomeshi has achieved a level of fame and fortune that also makes him a target for this style of personal attack.
Even if absolved of the charges against him, Ghomeshi's sexual proclivities will shroud his future work for the CBC and his ability to do business in a relative climate of social conservativism in the U.S. and Canada. His career will end not with a bang, but instead a paltry whimper.
Jim Wertz can be reached at jWertz@eriereader.com or you can follow him on Twitter @jim_wertz.