The electron trail
Posted by Ron Coleman on January 26, 2008
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Friday that her office would investigate reports that Kilpatrick and Chief of Staff Christine Beatty exchanged romantic text messages in 2002 and 2003, despite testifying in a trial last summer that they did not have a physical relationship then.The Detroit Free Press examined about 14,000 text messages on Beatty’s city-issued pager from those years that indicate the two had been intimate during that period. They reveal the two carried on a flirty, sometimes sexually explicit dialogue about where to meet and how to conceal their numerous trysts.
The Free Press did not explain exactly how it obtained the messages. The newspaper said it cross-referenced the messages with the mayor’s private calendar and credit card records to verify events in some of the notes.
The ether betrays its secrets freely. Professionally speaking, it’s downright astonishing — and somewhat depressing — to see what people will punch into their cellphones and email accounts. It is a testament to great emotional desperation, the banal electronic background hum of hurting human souls. Interestingly, there’s a “literature” on the Internet that suggests that lovestruck, broken-hearted, and on-the-make men write more pathetic extended emails than women.
The question is, do these electronic devices really facilitate illicit relationships, i.e., allow ones to happen that otherwise would not? Or are we just getting better records of what was going on all along?