This is what passes for editorial judgment at USA Today, the self-described “nation’s newspaper:” A splashy front page Valentine’s Day story amorally informing readers that web sites catering to “‘discreet’ encounters” are thriving.
A “‘discreet’ encounter,” for those of us of who prefer straight talk to euphemism, is an extramarital affair. For much of the past 3,500 years, since Moses descended Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments, it has generally been considered forbidden fruit.
Not so much anymore, according to USA Today, which shamelessly featured the founder and CEO of Ashley Madison, a Toronto-based web site that unabashedly aids and abets adulterous liaisons.
“The day after Valentine’s Day is one of our biggest days of the year,” boasted Noel Biderman, who launched his site 10 years ago, under the slogan: “Life is short. Have an affair.”
Biderman explained that, on Valentine’s Day, “People are disappointed by their spouses’ lack of effort and they feel especially undervalued when there is a societal expectation of romance.”
So Ashley Madison steps in and assists the disappointed, undervalued spouse in hooking up with some stranger; in violating his or her sacred marriage vow.
What particularly galls is that Biderman insisted that he actually is saving, rather than destroying, marriages. He maintained that an adulterous affair actually is a “marriage preservation device” and suggested that his web site performs some sort of public service by facilitating adulterous affairs.
In the time of Moses, Biderman would have been stoned – and deservedly so.
Alas, in our social nihilistic times, that wily serpent rates a front page story in USA Today.