Nothing--nothing--excites the political blogosphere like a Washington sex scandal. This Friday, ABC's 20/20 plans to air an interview with the so-called "D.C. Madam," Jeane Palfrey, who allegedly made more than $2 million over 13 years running a high-end prostitution service that attracted many powerful clients. And she kept the phone records.
The scandal claimed its first casualty Friday when a high-ranking State Department official, Randall Tobias, admitted to patronizing the service--though only for massages, not sex, he says--and abruptly resigned.
Palfrey currently faces five counts of racketeering and money laundering in federal court; she has threatened to release her entire largess of phone numbers and credit card numbers and call former clients to testify in the trial.
Bloggers are already quivering with anticipation. The phrase "D.C. Madam" is current at number six on the list of top searches at Sphere.com, one of several sites that search the blogosphere for the most-trafficked material. A similar site, Technorati, charts interest in the subject overtime, and records a giant spike in activity beginning on Saturday.
This might just be another case of "blogs imitating life," but the online legions may have their own role to play in this story. Should the D.C. Madam's copious files--she says she has 46 pounds--become public as part of her trial, it will take thousands to comb through them, Googling the numbers and cross-indexing the clientele.
And unfortunately for sweating former customers, there are thousands of bloggers itching to do just that.