The New York Post, Rupert Murdoch’s chief American tabloid enterprise (yes, I know, the Wall Street Journal is still technically a broadsheet even after he bought it, but still), and purveyor of stinky turds posing as journalism, dropped a particularly, um, fragrant one the other day:
A well-respected lawyer in the state Attorney General’s Office spends her days toiling in securities fraud — and her nights moonlighting as a dominatrix, The Post has learned.
Alisha Smith, 36, who dresses demurely as a buttoned-down prosecutor, turns up the heat when she becomes perky persecutor “Alisha Spark,” a nom de dom she uses when she performs at S&M events for pay, according to a fetish source.
“They pay her to go to the events. She dominates people, restrains them and whips them,” the fetish source said.
Yesterday, she was removed from her duties — for which she earns $78,825 annually — after The Post inquired about her saucy S&M lifestyle.
“The employee has been suspended without pay, effective immediately, pending an internal investigation,” said a spokesman for state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
(Of course, if Smith and her boss were Republicans, she’d still be on the job, just like dominatrix customer Diaper Dave Vitter is still on the job — his “job” per his oil-industry bosses being to kill solar energy. But I digress.)
“Fetish source” — is that Roger Stone again? You know, the oppo artist guy and sleazemonger who the Republicans can’t quite openly take to their bosom for fear of upsetting the evangelicals among them?
Anyway, check out how the story is written as a bait-and-switch — it’s allegedly about Smith, but then since the actual evidence for its allegations towards Smith is pretty thin, it starts tossing in unrelated kitchen-sink crapola about Smith’s friendship with domme Jade Vixen, and then working mighty hard to insinuate that Vixen herself is guilty of crimes without of course providing any actual proof.
The other problem with the Murdoch Post’s smear is that it assumes its readers are cave-dwellers ignorant of modern American society. As most people with even the most cursory knowledge of dominatrices understand, most professional dommes make a point of not having sex with their clients. It’s part and parcel of the whole domme culture: You can’t effectively dominate a man if you allow him to penetrate you; it’s that simple. Instead, you’re far more likely to tell your client to go home and meditate on his knees while thinking of the stress-relief whipping you just gave him. (Oh, and did I mention that this is all perfectly legal?)
The Murdoch Post crowd and their Republican allies are trying to shock New Yorkers with silliness. And they’re trying this in the Age of C.S.I., when a major recurring plot point for the original series involves a very sympathetically depicted dominatrix and therapist, Lady Heather, and her involvement with the hero of the show, Gil Grissom.
I can see at least three reasons for this smear. One is the desire for the Murdoch media empire to draw attention away from itself and its own scandals, scandals that have touched the New York Post itself. Another, considering the target of it is the justice and law enforcement community, is to warn the FBI off of delving into the Murdoch empire’s alleged hacking of the phones of 9/11 victims.
But the third, and in my view most important, reason, is to frighten New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman off from investigating the seamy soft rotten underbelly of Wall Street and the banking industry.
This is nothing less than a shot across the bow of Schneiderman and his AG office. (Or a horse’s head in the bed, if you prefer Mafia intimidation analogies.) He has been, as Forbes recently called him, “a big thorn in Bank of America’s side”. The Murdoch Post article lets slip a hint of this by mentioning that Smith was praised three years ago by Andy Cuomo for her role in getting a $5 billion settlement from Bank of America in a securities-fraud case.
Wall Street tried to silence Schneiderman last month by having its flunkies kick him off the mortgage-abuse investigation panel, only to see Schneiderman step up his efforts — and be joined by another state Attorney General, Minnesota’s Amy Swanson.
It looks like they decided to up the ante a bit.
UPDATE: Yves Smith over at Naked Capitalism sees what I see, and further notes that the only actual “crime” Smith may have committed would be not reporting to her day-job bosses any second-job income of over $1000. (h/t wendydavis)