Saturday, February 16, 2008

Letting Their Fingers Do the Stumbling

When it comes to political scandals related to the Internet, the big story this month is the regrettable text messages that Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick sent to his Chief of Staff Christine Beatty. Full of steamy love messages and the details of adulterous trysts that they had denied under oath participating in, the record of their text messages indicates yet again that government officials view electronic messages as ephemeral speech rather than potential documentary evidence. Some excerpts are here, although The Detroit Free Press, which has been conducting a special investigation into the mayor's affairs claims that it can't publish the more sexually explicit ones. As the Washington Post reports, the couple also used an embarrassing amount of LOL abbreviations in their messages, which made the exchanges appear particularly juvenile.

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