Great use of the irritating verb “liaising” there. But that blackmail stuff seems like a stretch. The value-add of prostitution is that it replaces the tiresome negotiations, performance and cajoling of a hookup with a business transaction that is relatively straightforward. At 47 bucks, it’s a good bet Agent Tightwad was getting a better deal financially than he would have gotten from a sexual liaison purchased with dinner and movie, drinks, dancing, flowers, feigned interest in small talk, and so on.

In this case, Colombia tolerates prostitution within certain areas, which apparently included the hotel. So where is the opportunity for blackmail? If the idea of Secret Service agents paying hookers is embarrassing, it’s because we have chosen to make it so. The scandal here — and the only reason the rest of us have now had to hear all about it — is that the agent didn’t want to pay the woman (presuming it was a woman) what she was asking for.