Heartfelt thanks to former Rep. Christopher Lee, a Republican who represented a congressional district in New York. By his real-life example, he has helped parents across the country to explain to their kids why it is not a good idea to use the internet or texts to send incriminating photos of themselves to perfect strangers.
Parents across the country have been trying to figure out how to alert their teenage sons and daughters to the perils of “sexting” and ill-advised emails. To the rescue comes Congressman Lee! Apparently interested in some kind of sad, extramarital fling, he uses a Craigslist forum to make a contact, emails a woman a photo of himself in all of his shirtless, flexing glory, lies about his marital status, age, and occupation, gets caught in his fabrications, and resigns his office. And — most importantly for parents wanting to make a point to their teenagers — the ex-Congressman becomes the pathetic punch line to countless jokes. This latter point is crucial, because if there is one thing teenagers cannot abide, it is being viewed as a pathetic joke.
We also should thank Craiglist for acting as a kind of country-wide weeding mechanism. Any Member of Congress who thinks it is a good idea to send an embarrassing photos and have unguarded conversations with unknown Craigslist acquaintances probably shouldn’t be handling secret information or making judgments on important national policies.