CBS: WaPo’s Quinn Compares Spitzer’s Wife to ‘Taliban Women’

NewsBusters.org - Media Research CenterOn Tuesday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Maggie Rodriguez did a segment on "why powerful men cheat," in the wake of Eliot Spitzer’s sex scandal, and talked to guests Dr. Sari Locker, a sex expert, and Washington Post reporter Sally Quinn, who said of Spitzer’s wife as well as other wives of cheating politician husbands: "The wife is always standing there while the husband is -- is apologizing. And -- I look at those women, and I think they might as well be in Perda, they might as well be Taliban women with scarves over their heads standing there because not once has any woman ever said, this is not acceptable."

Dr. Locker added to the discussion by condemning Spitzer and demanding his wife speak out:

And I'll tell you, I want it to stop because the fact is, in his inauguration speech, Governor Spitzer said that he wants to transform this government into something that is as ethical and wise as all of New York. And as a New Yorker, I'm appalled. And as a woman, though, I want to see his wife also say that she's appalled. So, I think it's time for women to really stop letting this happen.

Quinn later went to explain that some wives of politicians remain silent to hold on to political power, citing one example in particular:

QUINN: ...you know, you have to look at the motivations that the wives -- I mean, a lot of these wives' power is derivative. I mean, for instance, Hillary Clinton would not be running for president if her husband had not been running for president.

RODRIGUEZ: Wow, but that's quite a price to -- that's quite a price to pay for that.

QUINN: Of course it is. And they all pay a price. But the fact is that they have their own, obviously, their own ambitions, too.

RODRIGUEZ: Right.

QUINN: And for some reason they don't want to give up the power, they don't want to give up their own ambitions.

RODRIGUEZ: Well that's sad.

QUINN: Particularly if it's derivative

RODRIGUEZ: If that's true, that's terribly tragic.

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

7:12AM TEASER:

HARRY SMITH: Up next, why powerful men cheat. We're going to take a look at Eliot Spitzer and the long line of public figures involved in sex scandals.

7:22AM TEASER:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Coming up in our next hour, politicians caught in sex scandals. We're going to take a look at why powerful men cheat.

7:30AM TEASER:

JON STEWART: But obviously, the big story tonight known by anyone with a television or a Google alert set to prostitute.

DAVE LETTERMAN: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. I've been thinking about something. Let me ask you a question. Do you think it's too soon to be hitting on Mrs. Eliot Spitzer?

JAY LENO: New York Governor Eliot Spitzer admitted publicly he was involved in a prostitution ring. Which means Hillary Clinton now only the second angriest wife in the state of New York.

RODRIGUEZ: Oh, you knew they were going to have fun with that. Late-night TV comics taking cracks at the Spitzer scandal last night, and you know it's just beginning. Governor Spitzer's just one of several politicians in the last few years caught up in a sex scandal. Coming up, we'll look at why powerful men cheat.

7:31AM SEGMENT:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: But first, as we've been reporting, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer once known as 'Mr. Clean' has been linked to a high-priced prostitution ring. He now joins a long line of powerful men forced to go public with their extramarital relationships.

GARY HART: It was a very, very bad mistake. I've already said that, I will continue to say it. I have to live with that for the rest of my life.

BILL CLINTON: Indeed, I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong.

JIM MCGREEVEY: I engaged in adult consensual affair with another man. Which violates my bonds of matrimony.

JIMMY SWAGGERT: I have sinned against you, my Lord.

RUSS MITCHELL: A Louisiana Senator has been linked to the D.C. Madam case.

DAVID VITTER: I want to again offer my deep, sincere apologies to all those I have let down and disappointed. I am completely responsible, and I'm so very, very sorry.

ELIOT SPITZER: I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family, but I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family.

RODRIGUEZ: Joining us to talk about this, Dr. Sari Locker, a sex educator and psychologist, and Sally Quinn, a Washington Post reporter and capitol insider. Good morning to both of you ladies.

SARI LOCKER: Good morning.

SALLY QUINN: Hi.

RODRIGUEZ: Sari, looking at that, it really puts it in perspective. So many of them have done it. Why do powerful men cheat?

SARI LOCKER: First of all, they want sex from someone other than they're wife. They want what they're not getting at home. Often it's very specific types of sex that they want. But it's also, they think they can get away with it. There's no emotional connection. In this case I think that Governor Spitzer thought he was buying privacy, and we know that in this day and age you can't buy any type of privacy.

RODRIGUEZ: Here's the thing, Governor Spitzer especially, prosecuted these kinds of prostitution rings. He knows how they work, he knows the kind of investigation that goes into it. Sally, shouldn't he have known better?

SALLY QUINN: Well, shouldn't they all have known better? They do it exactly because they can get away with it. And there's a certain arrogance that comes with power. But, you know, there's another part of this, too. In fact, this is so loaded on so many different levels. I mean, there's the sort of moral issue that these people will claim to be moral so that you've got the hypocrisy issue. And then there's the idea of the women. In every one of those cases, you see the wife standing by her husband, no matter whether it's Hillary Clinton or Mrs. Livingston or, you know, I can go on and on and on. The wife is always standing there while the husband is -- is apologizing. And -- I look at those women, and I think they might as well be in Perda, they might as well be Taliban women with scarves over their heads standing there because not once has any woman ever said, this is not acceptable. And the message that's coming across, because these women stand by the men and because they accept it, the message comes across to young women and young men as well, no matter whether you lie or cheat or humiliate your wife --

RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, she's going to stand by you.

QUINN: It's okay. You can grow up to be president. You can grow up to be senator or governor, and it's okay. And I --

RODRIGUEZ: I watched that video of Spitzer, and I can't take my eyes off his wife. She looks crushed, collapsed, humiliated. She can't even look up. Why do they do it, doctor? Why do they stand there and face the humiliation?

LOCKER: I don't know. And I'll tell you, I want it to stop because the fact is, in his inauguration speech, Governor Spitzer said that he wants to transform this government into something that is as ethical and wise as all of New York. And as a New Yorker, I'm appalled. And as a woman, though, I want to see his wife also say that she's appalled. So, I think it's time for women to really stop letting this happen.

RODRIGUEZ: And here's the thing. Because he's such an ethical guy -- go ahead, Sally. Did you want to jump in on that?

QUINN: No, I was going to say that, you know, you have to look at the motivations that the wives -- I mean, a lot of these wives' power is derivative. I mean, for instance, Hillary Clinton would not be running for president if her husband had not been running for president.

RODRIGUEZ: Wow, but that's quite a price to -- that's quite a price to pay for that.

QUINN: Of course it is. And they all pay a price. But the fact is that they have their own, obviously, their own ambitions, too.

RODRIGUEZ: Right.

QUINN: And for some reason they don't want to give up the power, they don't want to give up their own ambitions.

RODRIGUEZ: Well that's sad.

QUINN: Particularly if it's derivative

RODRIGUEZ: If that's true, that's terribly tragic.

LOCKER: Maggie, from a psychological perspective, there is something else going on here. I think that Governor Spitzer is self-destructive. I think he had this understanding that he'd get caught, and he had a compulsive drive.

RODRIGUEZ: Maybe. A little self-sabotage there.

LOCKER: Yes.

RODRIGUEZ: Alright.

QUINN: But he's not the only one. Every one of these guys knows they're going to get caught. So that they are taking -- it's a risk-taking venture.

RODRIGUEZ: You know, we could talk about this for days.

QUINN: As well as a moral issue.

RODRIGUEZ: Sally Quinn, Sari Locker, thank you both so much, appreciate it.

LOCKER: Thank you.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC