ever since two junior footslog reporters toppled a US president 30 years ago, the american mainstream media has liked to get ahead of the game by giving a beltway scandal a “-gate” suffix, in honour of the watergate, the vast, swanky washington hotel which hosted that crappy little break-in which eventually did for nixon: these range from carter’s billygate and reagan’s irangate/contragate on down (recent clinton-or-bush -gates including coingate, filegate/travelgate, monicagate/zippergate, plamegate, rathergate/memogate, troopergate and wiregate… )

full marks if you can recall the full details of some of the above from their -gate nickname alone: intention is to position the journalist as a fearless icon-toppling investigator: the effect, by contrast, is a mush of same-old-same-old, a scandal so dull we called it a ‘-gate’

unfolding currently is the slightly more promising hookergate, promising because — as well as massive bribes and corruption, election fixing, senators and congressmen (some already indicted or jailed), the CIA (the boss just resigned abruptly, after only 18 months in charge), a fellow named Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, native american tribes and gambling laws (the full mess is a clusterfvck of three or four ongoing investigations which refuse to stay distinct), and hookers obviously — the tale features all-night poker parties which turned into orgies IN THE WATERGATE HOTEL

it has been suggested that, rather than “hookergate”, the story be dubbed “WATERGATEgate“: then we’ll have come full circle and this stupid convention can be retired for good…