Been a while. Been thinking about lists. We at the PG like lists, and you'll see plenty of them in the next couple of weeks.
With "Frost/Nixon" coming out and Watergate back in the American consciousness, at least for a while, I was thinking about how scandals came to be known as "a word that represents the scandal"-gate for ever after.
Here are some Gates of '08:
Trooper-gate -- Did Gov. Sarah Palin use her office to have an Alaska state trooper -- who happened to be her ex-brother-in-law -- fired? Here's an AP story from Dec. 19:
The state commissioner at the heart of the Alaska "Troopergate" investigation plans to run for Anchorage mayor. Walt Monegan, former Anchorage police chief, said he'll file papers later Friday ahead of the April 7 election. In July, Gov. Sarah Palin fired Monegan as public safety commissioner. Monegan said he was dismissed for failing to fire Palin's ex-brother-in-law, an Alaska state trooper.
The matter was reviewed by an investigator hired by the Alaska Legislature and one hired by the state personnel board. The legislature's investigator concluded Palin had abused her office. The personnel board concluded Palin violated no ethics law.
Blag(oya)-gate -- Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested earlier this month for criminal charges including trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by fellow President-elect Barack Obama. Now everyone is learning how to pronounce "Blag-oy-a-vich."
Spygate -- Back in February, the big sports buzz was about a guy named Matt Walsh ratting out the New England Patriots for illegal taping of other NFL teams. The NFL had destroyed six confiscated tapes and other documents pertaining to the Patriots' taping, which resulted in Coach Bill Belichick being fined $500,000. The team was fined $250,000 and forfeited its 2008 first-round draft choice. NFL Commissioner Goodell also met with Sen. Arlen Specter, who got in the Commish's face about taping of both the Steelers and Eagles and was generally huffy about the way the NFL handled Spygate. The senator told The New York Times, "The American people are entitled to be sure about the integrity of the game. It's analogous to the C.I.A. destruction of tapes. Or any time you have records destroyed." Kind of like those silent moments on the White House tapes during the Watergate investigation . . .
Spitzer-gate -- As scandals go, this one is just sad and stupid. New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer was stupid enough to become involved with a call girl and it's sad that his stupidity embarrassed his family and ended a promising political career.
Sushi-gate -- You have to feel a little sorry for Jeremy Piven, feeling sick enough to bow out of the Broadway run of "Speed-the-Plow," but his mercury-by-sushi defense isn't cutting it with the folks who know a thing or two about seafood or, apparently, "Plow" playwright David Mament, who said: "My understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer."
Bonusgate -- As recently as Christmas Day, the PG had a story about how state House majority leader Todd Eachus, D-Luzerne, said he'll stop paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees for the former legislators and staff members charged in the ongoing probe into whether taxpayer money was used illegally for political campaign work.
"Stargate: Universe" - This is my excuse for mentioning that Robert Carlyle, who made an appearance in the recent "24" pre-season TV movie, will lead the next team in the second Sci Fi Channel spinoff of "Stargate: SG1." He's taken it off in "The Full Monty," been a cannibal in "Ravenous," a drunken dad in "Angela's Ashes," a Bond bad guy, the evil Durza in "Eragon" . . . I think he's ready to handle a Stargate team.