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December 12, 2009

The Sanford Trainwreck: All The Dish That Fits to Print, Post, Blog, Whatever…

Sanford Holiday party3.jpg
If the divorce story has political relevance to Mark Sanford’s character, the pictures — of the couple going through the motions one last time at the Governor’s Christmas Open House before Jenny moved out — are pure tabloid.

Sanford holday party2.jpg

This is especially true of this second shot, the one the NYT chose to run, which frames South Carolina’s soon-to-be ex-First Lady in the most pitiable posture (though who knows what Jenny is really thinking or even looking at).

As I saw it, the ‘08 campaign marked the rise and almost overnight, “no-questions-asked” institutionalization of the MSM/on-line newspaper blogs so that outfits like the NYT, WAPO, the LAT and the Chicago Trib could gain parity with the indy nets and the otherwise “wild west” blogosphere for dishing sleaze, rumor, innuendo and just general “Gawker-ness.”

What’s notable about these photos in particular, though, is that they actually appear in stories in what has remained the “grown-up” side of the house, one in a NYT piece in the National News section, and one each in WAPO in Entertainment (natch!) and (a more dishy blow-by-blow in) Arts and Living.

If the old bugaboo was a breakdown between editorial and sales, I’d say today’s potential meld between reporters/news and bloggers/blog is just as worrisome.

(photo Brett Flashnick/A.P.:  Governor’s Mansion in Columbia, S.C. , for a Christmas Open House on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009)

  • KenY

    If this were to be found in the NYT Gossip section (as opposed to Nat’l News – oh wait, other than the Sunday Styles, they don’t really have one, do they ;-) , I’d be OK with it.
    I secretly want to think that her thoughts are: “Ugh, I wish this photo op would end so I could go spend the night with my one true love, Tiger Woods.”

  • http://blogs.salon.com/0003935/theRanticore Julia Grey

    She got him through the impeachment drive (some people were seriously considering the state of his Christian marriage as evidence of whether he should stay or go — that’s South Carolina for you), so now she can make her break.
    I expect to see her back in politics on her own account before long.

  • gryphon

    like magnets when you flip ones polarity next to it’s neighbor, they seem to be physically repelling each other. these are painful images.. you cannot hide a broken heart.
    I hope something better happens for her not just a book tour slagging the father of her children. maybe she feels she needs to clear the air or something but so many great books go unread now.. I wish her luck and hope she rises above it with some dignity.
    if she was classy and kept saying ‘it’s a private matter’ to every question, how differently would this play out?

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