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An extramarital affair doesn’t mean David Petraeus can’t do his job

Series two of agent thriller series Homeland is really surpassing itself.

Last week, the director of the CIA was under investigation for being a threat to US national security and later resigned over his affair with his biographer. Wait, sorry, that’s not Homeland, that’s the actual news.

In many ways, I wish it was an episode of Homeland. Poor David Petraeus seems like a nice chap – affair aside – and so far, unlike in the TV show, (spoiler alert) he hasn’t turned out to be a terrorist.

He’s actually rescued the nation from numerous threats.

Fiction aside, at the end of last week Barack Obama made a statement supporting the general.

He didn’t think Petraeus had “compromised national security” as a result of his affair. Sadly, it was too late.

His career is ruined and his marriage is in tatters.

The fact is, we’re all a bit uptight about senior politicians, figureheads and celebrities (a nod to you Tiger Woods) having extramarital affairs. And honestly, I’m not sure why.

Now, it goes without saying (or should do, but I’ll say it anyway so I don’t incur the wrath and scorn of wronged lovers everywhere) that affairs are not good.

It’s not nice for your wife (or husband), especially if you do it time and time again (seriously Tiger, calm down).

But is it really anything to do with anyone else, other than the people involved?

The reactionary American public’s meddling disapproval comes as no massive surprise. 

This is, of course, the same morally dubious nation that still buys Chris Brown records and hands him music awards – remember him?

He of female-bashing fame? An actual criminal, as opposed to a sloppy moralist.

Public figures don’t need a separate moral code to the rest of us and their being famous is not an excuse for laughing demonically as their careers are dismantled.

Petraeus may well be a cad, a cheater and a bit of a bugger to be married to, but his job title isn’t ‘head of the marriage committee’. It is (or was) Director of the CIA.

Hopefully the next episode will pan out better for the anti-hero.

Agree or disagree? Should we keep out of figureheads’ private lives? letters@tntmagazine.com

Photos: Getty


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