When the political becomes more than personal

Hey Asian Americans, another one of us is in the news. This time, Gina Chon, a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal (owned by Rupert Murdoch), was forced to resign over a sexual relationship between her and Brett McGurk, who was at the time a national security advisor to George W. Bush. They were both married to other people at the time. McGurk is now Obama’s nomination for the next ambassador to Iraq. Chon resigned because she violated the Dow Jones Code of Conduct by getting sexually involved with someone she was covering, and because she shared unpublished information with McGurk. E-mails were recently leaked that showed the two discussing business along with jokes about blue balls.

I think in any industry or institutional setting, there are always going to be relationships outside of business, people having drinks and what-not, and I’m sure people are public about their friends in high places. I’m also pretty sure that this kind of sexual fling happens from time to time. However, I think this does seriously compromise a journalist’s impartiality. You can write a fairly unbiased article on your golf buddy, but I think it’s hard for anyone to be impartial towards a spouse, fling, or anyone else with whom one has romantic relations.

As for McGurk, he apparently likes Asian women (married at the time to Caroline Wong McGurk), and that’s not a crime, nor, I suppose, is it a crime to be fooling around with a reporter who is covering you (journalistically speaking, of course). However, I can’t help but think that this relationship was a serious error in judgment. It seriously affects how people perceive his integrity, despite whatever other credentials he has. After all, the public has a right to know what government officials are doing, and if his actions compromise the public’s ability to get the story, I’m not sure that’s a good way to foster public trust in government. Republicans are stating that they have reservations over McGurk, but as of right now, Obama is sticking by his man.

15 thoughts on “When the political becomes more than personal

  1. I do not see what is the fuss…

    Do people honestly care more about private affairs like these than attempts to write into law things that will have far-reaching effects on people’s lives, such as the NDAA 2012 and CISPA?

  2. I agree. I don’t see what’s the hell, anyway. These thing will happen more or less.
    He has good taste in Asian women.

  3. why did she have to resign, and he gets to keep his job?!

    who was she married to at the time? another pasty white guy??

  4. The basis of who is fired or who resigns is based not on the moral issue, but based on whose duties and obligations are compromised by the indiscretion and “mistakes”.

  5. Some positions also require no other integrity than getting the job done, and being trustworthy, but only to your backers.

  6. Raguel,

    I don’t know if this is a private affair. If it were a colleague or even an intern, that’s private, but politicians and media-creators? I’m not sure where the line is, but the idea of politicians being in bed with the media (literally) strikes me as something very scary. Often it’s the media that is the only force keeping politicians in check.

  7. Who cares if they’re just civilians. It’s their personal lives if they aren’t involved with some very sensitive stuff.

    But since they aren’t; the scary thing about this is that if he’s to become the ambassador that means he’s got to go through many levels of psychiatric diagnosis to be sure he’s fit for duty to have access to extremely high levels of classified info.

    But given his history of lapse of judgement, who’s to say that like previous FBI cases involving Chinese spies (or other Asian countries) married to FBI directors that there won’t be problems?

    Also, the GAO better go track down those missing BILLIONS of re-construction funds that only Cheney knows is where. ~_^

  8. This seems to be a growing trend. It seems Brett McGurk had a case of blue balls and dim sum…

  9. Haha!

    “It IS on the rise! particularly Jewish blue balls and dim sum…… There’s even research on it! LOL!”

    Haha! Why is it always the Celebrity Club? Why is it always Jewish blue balls and dim sum vs. Asian blue balls and, um, challah? 🙂

  10. W.T.F. Why did I bother reading this? I’m about to go eat dim sum with some friends. Now I’m going to be thinking about blue balls when I eat Ha Gow. Thanks guys.

  11. @bww – it’s not ALWAYS jewish blue balls and dim sum.

    I have one client family that is a Korean man and a white Jewish woman – w/ 2 very spoiled kids, but you overlook it sometimes b/c they are so frickin’ cute (the kids). But their father doesn’t act very Korean, which is weird. Maybe that’s why he married a WF? B/c he doesn’t “act very Korean”? His story reads kinda Korean since he makes tons of money and went to an Ivy League school – BUT he actually got into the school based on sports. He did mediocre on SAT’s and studies.

    I have another client family that is another Korean man and white woman – but I don’t think she’s Jewish. He’s a plastic surgeon. So I guess that sounds more typical… and their daughter is so frickin’ cute too!

    Wait, I have ANOTHER client family that is a Korean man married to a model from South Africa. I shit you not. This is his second marriage. His first was to a Korean woman.
    *by Korean, I mean, Korean-American really in all scenarios.

    So I see both ways around me.

  12. Tommy,

    You’ll never think of har gow the same way again.


    Hmm. Interesting. 🙂 Honestly, they authors of the study are probably on to something. I do think I’ve seen that Jewish focus when it’s the other way too. I do think there are a number of cultural similarities.

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