Sympathy for Paula Broadwell? Nope.

Yesterday’s New York Times had this feature article on David Petraeus’ former piece of ass Paula Broadwell. If you don’t remember her name, no one can blame you. This is the woman who was discovered to have been giving up the poonanie to the now-former CIA Director and rock star General widely credited with turning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan around in our favor.

Reading the wailing sob story about how poor Paula’s stellar career has come to a screeching halt, one gets the feeling the NYT is trying to drum up sympathy for the woman who has received much harsher treatment at the hands of society than a man. A buddy of mine pointed out “gender bias” as being behind Broadwell’s lack of success while Petraeus recovered and landed on his feet after having pled guilty to mishandling classified information and sentenced to two years probation and a $100,000 fine.

Nearly four years later, Mr. Petraeus is now a partner in a New York private equity firm, and has advised the White House on the war against the Islamic State. He publishes op­ed articles, speaks publicly and has affiliations with three universities, including Harvard.


Ms. Broadwell has struggled to find her footing. For weeks, reporters camped outside her home in Charlotte, N.C., where she was trying to restore her marriage. Friends sent over groceries and hot meals for her family — her husband, Scott, and sons, 8 and 10 — and staged interference so Ms. Broadwell could cut across her neighbors’ lawns, climbing over fences, to escape for a morning run.

She lost her military security clearance; her promotion from major to lieutenant colonel was revoked when the news broke. The F.B.I. still has her computers — including her dissertation research — and she withdrew from her Ph.D. program. She said she was told in more than one job interview that, while she was qualified, hiring her would be a public ­relations nightmare.

Well, what the hell did she expect, accolades? Pats on the back and “attagirls” for bagging the General?

sinclairYes, she lost her clearance. I’m fairly sure Petraeus doesn’t have his either. That’s what happens when you take classified information home and share it with someone who has no need to know. Yes, she lost her promotion. It happens all the time to male troops who are caught in flagrante delicto. BG Jeffrey Sinclair was dropped two ranks for sticking his dick into a subordinate officer. MAJ Jim Gant admitted to an affair with a Washington Post correspondent, busted down to Captain and forced to retire, despite an illustrious career as a Green Beret.

Did little Paula expect special treatment?

At least she wasn’t charged, fined, and put on probation like Petraeus was.

But that hasn’t stopped some from implying that double standards are keeping poor Paula down.

I disagreed. Strongly.

Fact is Broadwell’s ego was being stroked like a Roman cock at  an orgy, being flown to Petraeus for weeks at a time, being on the receiving end of his thoughts, and hopping around in his bed.

She bagged Petraeus. THE Petraeus. She was writing his biography. He became her mentor. That must have been quite the boost to her overachieving ego.

But fact was she was his subordinate. She didn’t have even an ounce of the star power he had, and in the end, she didn’t have the illustrious career that he had either. Sure she had the degrees, was a research associate at Harvard, was the deputy director of the counterterrorism center at Tufts, but he was the one widely credited with turning around two difficult wars, and he was the one who was the Director of the CIA. His was the household name, and she was the lackey.

PaulaBroadwell_0No, she didn’t get the dream career she thought she so richly deserved, but arguably neither did he. Despite grumblings from some Republicans that he should be drafted to run for President, fact is he intentionally mishandled classified information, much of which was found in his house, lying around in an unsecured drawer. Kind of sounds like another candidate currently running for president, hmmmmmm? I’m sure he could have had a successful political career, but despite writing op eds and advising the White House, he’s working at an equity firm. Let’s get some perspective, eh?

Bill Clinton landed on his feet too, while Monica Lewinsky faded into obscurity, but again, it wasn’t because there was some kind of double standard discrepancy between men and women, but because Clinton was the President of the United States, and Lewinsky was a nobody – an intern kid, who was an unknown then, especially compared to the leader of the free world! Arguably, even Lewinsky landed on her feet. Media appearances, social scene invitations, commercials, talk shows and reality TV, a degree from the London School of Economics, and fashion design. I’d say she landed on her feet, although it took some time.

Plenty of rich and powerful women have affairs and land on their feet. Hell, Madonna has made an entire career out of it!

So let’s not pretend that Broadwell’s lack of success is somehow related to her plumbing. We don’t know how far she would have climbed in her career had she not hopped in the sack with Petraeus, but nothing is guaranteed in life, and the decisions we make dictate the lives we live.

So, no. I have no sympathy for Broadwell. What I find really galling is that she somehow blames the media for her plight, and has founded a non-profit combating gender bias in the language the media uses to report its stories.

With a friend, Kyleanne Hunter — a former Marine attack helicopter pilot — she has founded a nonprofit, Think Broader, focused on combating gender bias in the news media. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the sliver of bias that bothers her the most is “mistress.”

She recently presented on the topic to a roomful of editors at The Huffington Post, as well as to a team at Yahoo and the United Nations. She is working with a professor at Harvard to try to come up with a system for tracking biased language, she said — from unnecessary words (“female fighter pilot”) to journalists primarily relying on male sources to the subtle ways language can affect the way an article is framed.

She has also, quietly, reached out to female journalists she thought would be sympathetic, asking them to stop using the word “mistress”: Christiane Amanpour at CNN; Norah O’Donnell at CBS; Susan Glasser at Politico, who advised her staff to refrain from using the word.

For the record, I don’t think it’s the word “mistress” that is so unappealing. It’s the act of keeping a side piece that’s distasteful. No matter what word you use, lover, whore, etc., it doesn’t change the nature of the thing, no matter how much you pressure the media to use alternate language.

Maybe Broadwell should try and understand that, instead of trying to push the onus onto others to somehow heal her wounded character.


30 responses

  1. …’she didn’t get the dream career she thought she so richly deserved’??? Oh, SHE deserved some toplofty position based on the fact that she humped a senior officer?

    Wow. That is just mindboggling ego-stumping. So now, instead of saying ‘my bad’, which is what the rest of us might have enough sense to say when our egos go galloping off to the distant horizon, she’s blaming ‘other’, meaning gender bias.

    Well, pity pooh! Do I feel sorry for her? No, I do not. She whored herself publicly to get what she wanted and now no one will hire her.

    Why? Oh, that’s simple. She can’t be trusted.

    She should have thought of that before she dropped her undies on the floor.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that a better approach would be “Don’t do things that cause your clearance to be revoked.” Less whining that way.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I thought it was an insult to call a woman a broad, and yet her non-profit is called Think Broader. I guess she wants us to call her a broad.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. She didn’t seem to mind using her femininity to bed Petraeus. Wouldn’t being his paramour get her some pretty high level access to information germane to her career and Ph.D work?


  5. ” No matter what word you use (…) it doesn’t change the nature of the thing, no matter how much you pressure the media to use alternate language. ”

    True across the board.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. She says “How long does a person have to pay for their mistake?”
    I don’t know; there are some mistakes you pay for the rest of your life. I’d also want to look closely at the meaning of ‘paying for it.’ Certainly, Petraeus lost the most due to the affair, because he had more to lose. But there were others, like her family, who DIDN’T make a mistake, and are suffering because of her actions. There are also those who were part of the general’s entourage who lost their best chance for stardom because Petraeus went down.
    But I guarantee this: if you stop posing for pictures and stop giving interviews, people will stop talking about you, and your husband and your kids won’t have to hear about the mistake Mommy made once again.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Yes! This!!! SO much this!


    2. “Stop paying attention to me for being somebody famous’ piece of ass! Stop, I say, stop! STOP!!!” *jumps up and down furiously, making a scene.

      –Paula Broadwell’s tactic.

      Doesn’t seem like it would work.


  7. Well, truly, and rifgteously said.


  8. Ghost Rider 6

    When I heard about the scandal, I was very disappointed in the General but not at all surprised. I had read her book when it was first published, and something about the access she had been granted and, by extension, their relationship rang some alarm bells for me.

    As is usual in cases like this, the only ones for whom I have any sympathy are the innocents…the families and especially the children. As for her, as a soldier, she should been able to figure this out: “Live by the dick, die by the dick.”

    Besides, if I’m interpreting her recent activities correctly, it appears she may have a budding career in the PC & Grievance Establishment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep! That’s what I’m thinking!


  9. she doesn’t like mistress? how about doxy? I think she fits the definition of doxy quite well

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A whole lot of words fit. I’m fairly sure she won’t like any of them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. true. Trollop also comes to mind


      2. Ghost Rider 6

        Someone who exchanges sexual favorites for something of value…what’s the word I’m looking for?

        Liked by 2 people

        1. One might ask a certain journalist named Nina Burleigh that same question.


  10. Hey Nicki, this may be off topic and you may not remember the conversation, but i just wanted to say that thanks to your advice, and if everything goes well, i’ll be enlisting with the USMC in the future. Ultimately what you said convinced me to do it. This is the country i love and it’s treated me well, i thought i’d do what i can for my country and fellow countrymen. Besides i have family that was in the Military(predominantly Navy), so i think i would be fine. So thanks for the advice.

    PS:What was your job in the Army?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Henry, good luck to you. Any idea what field you want to try to get into?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just thought of the graduating scene from Full Metal Jacket where R. Lee Ermey reads “Private Joker, Journalist…”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Utilities, i thought i should try for a field were i could find work in after i get out. As much fun as it would be to be work with tanks or high explosives i’m trying to think practically.
        I also have two Uncles who were in the Navy, one worked construction and the other one worked as an electrician and they both have jobs in those fields, so it seems like a logical thing to do.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Smart. My son enlisted as a wheeled vehicle mechanic in the Reserves. It will DEFINITELY come in handy. My daughter is a crypto linguist in the Marine Corps. Also a useful field after you get out. I hope you will post your mailing address here when you get to Parris Island (you’re going there, and not California, right?), so we can send care packages! Folks around here do stuff like that. 🙂


        2. Well said.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. I was a Reservist that was a 1345 (Engineer Equipment Operator). Worked a lot with the Utilities types and they were good folks.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. I’m east of the Mississippi so yeah i’ll be going to Parris Island. Also i appreciate the care package, though when you say mailing address do you mean at Parris Island or home address?


        5. No, I mean your Parris Island basic training address. We sent lots of protein bars and books to my kid when she was there. 🙂


        6. Overall my rationale when it comes to jobs is get the job that the majority of my generation won’t do so there’s little competition.

          Liked by 1 person

        7. VERY smart! Keep it up. We need more like you in the human race!


    2. Henry, I do remember the conversation, and I’m so honored to have factored, even in small part, in your decision! Congratulations, and kick some ass, as I know you will!

      My MOS was 46R – broadcast journalist. I then added 46Q, which is print journalism and public affairs. When I enlisted in the Guard after a break in service, I enlisted as an intelligence analyst.

      What do you hope to do for a job?


      1. For the job it would be something in utilities, i wrote more about that in a reply to someone else so you should be able to see it.

        As for what you said, you’re right. Days like these the Military is needed more than ever. So i thought i’d do what i can for my country, instead of asking what it can do for me.

        PS: If i’m stationed in Virginia i owe you a drink.


        1. And the military needs people like you. The drink will be on me. Thank you for the decision that you’ve made! I don’t mind admitting I’m a bit proud.


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