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Congressman quits after shirtless-photo flap

Married Republican congressman resigns after topless picture said to be of him is revealed, along with e-mails he reportedly sent to woman he met on Craigslist.

2 min read

This is a story with whose protagonist, I feel sure, many men will sympathize.

Especially if those men are politicians or NFL quarterbacks.

I refer, with sad, troubled eyes, to the demise of Christopher Lee, a Republican congressional representative from New York.

The 46-year-old Lee announced his resignation on his Web site after he allegedly sent a photograph of his rather fetching upper half (rather than his better half) to a woman he encountered on Craigslist.

It seems, according to Gawker, that the congressman was in need, as are so many male politicians, of female company.

So he reportedly scoured the Craigslist "Women Looking for Men" section, which, I am told, is rather smaller than the "Men Looking for Women" section.

Gawker reported that Lee happened on the details of a 34-year-old woman who had written: "Will someone prove to me not all CL men look like toads?"

Frankly, I feel the congressman proved this very well. The picture in question shows a well-sculpted torso for a man of 46--if it is indeed his torso that's being shown. (I don't allow topless pictures here, so I have embedded a video of Rep. Lee fully clothed.)

The congressman seems so rightfully confident of his appearance that he reportedly told the poster he was 39. Yes, the magic number 9 at the end of so many ages on dating sites.

Gawker said Lee told his potential Craigslist date that he was divorced and a lobbyist, which, some politicians might feel, are but slight misstatements rather than heinous lies. (Ah, perhaps I have failed so far to mention that Lee is married and has one child.)

His Craigslist correspondent was, however, miffed that his words did not seem to entirely correspond with the facts. A 34-year-old government employee from Maryland, she sent details of her casual online encounter to Gawker, the blog said, after she had Googled her e-mail wooer.

Stories like this are supposed to enjoy morals at their core. However, there is surely something simply unfortunate in seeing a member of Congress scouring Craigslist for a date.

Those with a forgiving disposition might cheer that at least he doesn't seem to have been searching for a paid encounter. That would have been profoundly sad for a member of the House Financial Services Committee.

Those with a more critical and less wandering eye might wonder what level of technological intelligence features in Congress these days, when one of its members thinks Craigslist, rather than, say, PinPointsX, is the place to find a discreet date.