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Prostitutes? In Washington? Shocking, and the Internet vibrates in anticipation

ABC News apparently has all the phone numbers of clients of an accused call girl ring in D.C. but why are they not releasing them?

There's already a federal indictment of a woman accused of running a call girl ring in Washington D.C. A deputy secretary of state, Randall Tobias, has resigned. Tobias admits to using the services of Pamela Martin & Associates only for back rubs. Deborah Palfrey, the woman who ran Pamela Martin services, is gaining some notoriety in the blogosphere.

Palfrey is threatening to call many prominent D.C. men into court to testify on her behalf. Clearly, Tobias would happily back up Palfrey's claim that her service was about massage and fantasy, not prostitution.

So where are the names? ABC News was apparently given all of Palfrey's phone records from years of transactions in Washington. Yet so far ABC has only hinted about the men found in those records. ABC does say a Bush administration economist, a prominent CEO, some military officials, lobbyists and the head of a conservative think tank are on the list. There are two things to keep in mind: First, ABC wants to carefully confirm names and phone numbers.

Second, the May ratings period began April 26 and ends May 23. The more public curiosity about the names, the bigger the ratings when ABC does finally release them. There are numerous e-mails from readers asking for the names; inquiring e-mailers want to know. Sadly for Internet users, most of the names will appear on TV before they appear on the ABC Web site. ABC's TV profits are still far greater than what they make off the Internet. Bet we see most of the best big names before May 23.