Pay No Attention To The Hookers Escorts Behind The Curtain

March 14th, 2007at 11:53am Posted by Eli

Well. Isn’t this an interesting development…

Deborah Jeane Palfrey… is being prosecuted in connection with what the authorities say was a pricey prostitution ring in the Washington, D.C., area that serviced as many as 15,000 clients between 1993 and 2006. A federal indictment was handed up in the district on March 1.


Ms. Palfrey, evidently short of money for legal defense since prosecutors froze her $400,000 in cash and stocks last fall, attracted a good deal of attention over the last few weeks, some of it perhaps of a panicky nature, by threatening to sell her business’s phone records, showing the telephone numbers of thousands of customers, to the highest bidder….

On Tuesday, Ms. Palfrey changed course. Her lawyer told WTOP radio in Washington that she had decided not to sell the records. Instead they will be handed over to a news organization, free of charge. Which one? Nobody is saying yet.

What, if not money, does Ms. Palfrey get out of that? The news organization’s help in combing the records and identifying customers, who can then become witnesses for the defense, the lawyer, Montgomery B. Silbey, told WTOP. And what does the news organization get? The opportunity to break the news if it finds anyone prominent in the list. About everybody else, we are told, the news organization has promised to be discreet.

Mr. Silbey said Ms. Palfrey shied away from a sale, and the presumable mass revelation of names to follow, because “she doesn’t want to do the average customer any harm, unless that customer would be critical to her defense.”

Seems like an awful lot depends on which news organization Palfrey chooses. If she picks Fox News or the Washington Times or *shudder* Matt Drudge (maybe not technically a news organization, but he does rule our world, after all), the definition of “prominent” is going to track pretty closely to the definition of “Democrat.” And if there are any insufficiently deferential reporters, pundits, or disgruntled ex-government employees in there, look for them to get an instant promotion to Prominent status.

Hopefully Palfrey has the good judgment to give the list to someone with a more conventional definition of “prominent”, someone who would mention if Newt or McCain or oh-please-God-please Lieberman are on it.

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