THE CONSPIRACY OF TRIVIA

THE RULES FOR RAISING MONEY JUST DEODORIZE A LOT OF SMELLY BEHAVIOR

It's often said, in trying to sort out the rights and wrongs of some public controversy, that the scandal isn't the illegal behavior--the scandal is what's legal. The press understandably tends to concentrate on whether laws were broken. This is a bright line that relieves journalists of the need to make (or, worse, be seen making) moral judgments. But in this world of sinners, the fact that some people choose to cross the line is less interesting and important than the question of where society chooses to draw the line.

Campaign finance is a perfect example. To be sure, it's bad...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!