Gubernatorial Girlfriends: An Analysis of News Media Frames of Political Scandal

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Tech

Since the earliest days of the American republic, political sex scandals have been a part of the political discourse. Despite the passing of several hundred years, much discussion is still given to political sex scandals by the popular media. Little attention, however, is paid to research into the relationship among political sex scandals, the media reporting of sex scandals, and the ways in which politicians are able to use the media during admissions of sex scandals. This project analyzes the most common characteristics within three major newspapers reporting on five cases of gubernatorial admissions of extramarital affairs. The multiple case studies analysis observes 89 newspaper articles to secure data from the initial speculation of a gubernatorial extramarital affair to the admission of an extramarital affair and the period of time (up to one month) following the admission of an extramarital affair.

Political Infidelity, Media Reporting, Political Scandal, Political Sex Scandal