The State, South Carolina’s largest newspaper, published a fascinating but lengthy behind-the-scenes look at how it cracked the mystery of Gov. Mark Sanford’s disappearance and how it got hold of email messages between Sanford and his mistress. Buried in that story are these nuggets (emphasis mine):
A reporter called a Sanford staffer, saying the paper had e-mails that outlined an affair between the governor and Maria. Unless Sanford would address the issue privately, The State would have no choice but to ask him — with TV crews filming — if he knew Maria at his press conference that afternoon.
The names of two other women tumbled into the newsroom.
Fearful Sanford’s staffers did not get it — that the paper would ask publicly what Sanford’s relationship was with Maria — a State editor called [State Sen. Tom] Davis, Sanford’s former chief of staff.
Davis, a Beaufort lawyer, recently had been elected to the state Senate. When called, he quickly said he no longer worked for Sanford.
The editor said he knew that but wanted to talk with Davis. Sanford had landed from Argentina, and the paper had e-mails about an affair with a woman in Argentina.
The editor told Davis why he thought the e-mails were genuine. They mentioned Coosaw, the Sanford plantation, and Sanford’s love of digging holes; they quoted Bible verses and contained details about Sanford’s known schedule.
And more names of women were coming in over the transom. The total was at three and counting.
“Women?!” Davis responded, sounding incredulous. “Women?!”
I wonder how long it will take the media to confirm or debunk claims that Sanford has had more than one extramarital affair.