Sex, Duke, Donna, John and Brett

by Jim Longworth

It was one of those weeks where a whole bunch of weird stories made news, none of which seemed to have anything in common. Until you start to connect the dots.

First up (no pun intended),the Trojan company released its fifth annual Sexual Health Report Card. In it, the condom maker rated colleges based on such factors as availability of contraceptives, accessibility of health resources and commitment to STD testing. Schools like Columbia University, Michigan State University, Ohio State University and Brown University scored high, but Duke University didn’t fare too well. That’s okay, though, because that same day, another kind of sex rating report surfaced from the Durham campus.

This one came from co-ed Karen Owen, and it was titled, “An Education Beyond the Classroom: Excelling in the Realm of Horizontal Academics.” In common vernacular it is being referred to as “The Duke F*** List”. You guessed it. Owens penned a 40-page report of her sexual exploits with 13 different men during her sophomore, junior and senior years. Most of the young men were members of the lacrosse squad, whose team lineage included trouble with a stripper. Now the tables have turned as Owen stripped the basket bearers bare for all to see. Her “thesis” includes a detailed ranking of each man, taking into consideration

such factors as personality, lovemaking skills and size of his athletic equipment. To be fair, Owen says she only meant for the report to be read by three close friends. Unfortunately, one of those friends made sure the sex study went viral, complete with photos and names of the baker’s dozen. Owen also admits that her sexcapades were fueled by alcohol, which should make her parents proud that they invested a quarter-million dollars for their daughter to drink and fornicate.

Okay, so the next morning, NBC’s “Today” show featured a report from Duke, then Meredith Vieira was back in studio for an interview with Donna Rice Hughes, president of Enough is Enough, a company that fights against porn and advocates for internet safety. Among Rice’s pronouncements were, “Kids today are doing things that my generation would never have imagined,” and, “There seems to be a lack of modesty these days”.

What makes this interview particularly ironic and hypocritical is that Vieira failed to disclose exactly who her guest was. More than 20 years ago, compromising photos of Hughes and a married man were splashed across the front pages, resulting in the derailment of her lover’s career. Back then her name was simply Donna Rice, and the man’s name was Gary Hart, Democratic frontrunner for the 1988 presidential nomination.

But while Rice was preaching about morality and failing to disclose her place in political history, a grand jury was issuing subpoenas for an investigation into another former presidential candidate, John Edwards, and whether campaign funds were spent to support his mistress, Rielle Hunter. The symmetry of all this is mind boggling, including the fact that Rice’s affair was revealed by the National Enquirer, and so was Hunter’s two decades later.

And while Rice was telling Vieira’s audience that nothing posted on the web is private, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre’s privates were being projected all over the internet. It seems that while Favre was a NY Jet, he pursued Jet staffer Jenn Sterger, including leaving desperate phone messages and e-mailing her photos of his genitalia. Strangely, on the day that Rice was advising us about internet privacy rights, someone was violating Favre’s, similar to the way the Duke lacrosse men were violated.

So there you have it. Within one 48-hour period the following occurred: a condom company reported on college sex; a Duke coed rated her college lovers; a woman who had bedded a presidential candidate preached about modesty and privacy; a football star showed his privates; and another presidential candidate was under investigation for using his privates.

It seems that everything these days is about numbers. How many passes did you throw? How many people did you sleep with? How far ahead are you in the polls?

Because of that, I advise today’s athletes, politicians and college students to be careful how they score, and with whom.

Jim Longworth is the host of “Triad Today,” airing on Fridays at 6:30 a.m. on ABC 45 (cable channel 7) and Sundays at 10 p.m. on WMYV (cable channel 15).