Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Contest: Name the Spitzer Scandal

Every good sex scandal eventually generates its share of fascinating legal questions, but first, the scandal needs a name. I'll reveal my own choice at the end of this entry (no peaking!) but first some general thoughts. "Spitzergate" is already making its way into the news but it's just sooooooo derivative, as is anything with "gate" in it. Indeed, at this point, calling any scandal a "gate" should be the equivalent of not giving the scandal a name at all, as "gate" has become a working synonym for "scandal."

What makes for a good scandal name? The name should be catchy, it should encapsulate what the scandal is all about, and if possible, it should have multiple layers of meaning. That's why I always favored "The Lewinsky Affair" back in the 1990s. The rhythm called to mind less comic episodes like "The Dreyfus Affair," even as "affair" had its clear double meaning.

The NY Post headline yesterday was "Ho No," which is both too low-brow for my audience and is not, in any event, a name for the scandal. The Village Voice, which refers to the matter accurately but uncreatively as "The Spitzer Sex Scandal," has an amusing wrap-up of the tabloid coverage here.

Okay, so now we come to the contest. In the comments section, you can pick a name for the scandal or vote for a name chosen by somebody else. There is no limit to the number of entries per reader, so go wild. And just to be a good sport, I'll open the bidding with my own choice: "Eliot Mess" or a variant such as "Eliot's Mess" or "the Eliot Mess." Although I came up with this on my own, I then googled it and got a ton of hits, so I can't claim any kind of originality.

Posted by Mike Dorf

21 comments:

Adam P. said...

If he resigns, the succession of David Paterson must be referred to as "The Switch in Client Nine"

David C. said...

In reference to Spitzer's famous payola investigations, how about "the Sptizer pay for play scandal"?

Caleb said...

I like "Elliot Mess", but perhaps "Miss Smith goes to Washington" would work?

egarber said...

Ok. This is lame, but just to get points for participating:

Spitzer's Tricksters

Charles Thomas said...

I despise that "-gate" has been a suffix for any scandal. I would return to "-pot Dome," myself. Think of all the big scandals over the past twenty years or so- Iran-Contrapot Dome, S&Lpot Dome, Whitewaterpot Dome.

Teapot Dome was an enormous scandal- a Cabinet secretary went to prison! Actual prison time by an actual admin official! Not the Harding Administration equivalent of G. Gordon Liddy. It appalls me that my countrymen know so little of one of the most important scandals in history.

So in that vein I give you....

Client 9pot Dome!

By the way, I am simultaneously dead serious and tongue in cheek. I'm like that sometimes.

Mojave Joe said...

Shouldn't it be obvious? The Mayflower Scandal.

Matthew C. Temkin said...

Spitzerfreude

Ben Winograd said...

Tammany Gall.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Mann Acts Badly

Garth Sullivan said...

The Emperor Has No Ho's

(couldn't resist the pull of the low brow :)

#9's Hooker Snooker

Sonali said...

-Missy Eliot (or Messy Eliot)

-PS Eliot

Sally said...

Eliot's Boner.

As in a really big mistake...of course.

egarber said...

I vote for Sally's -- though since I just watched Superbad, my mind might be in the wrong place :)

Daniel said...

while it utilizes the dreaded "gate," the best one my friend came up with is "Spitzwhoregate." To its credit, it does flow naturally off the tongue.

newsgrrl said...

this is going around the Internet.

There once was a governor named Spitzer
his call girl, he couldn't resist her
until he got canned
doing something HE banned
Now, I'm sure sex with his wife doesn't exist, sir.

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