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'20/20' hits the books - on lying, cheating politicians

Blame it on the snow, but while waiting for the late, local wall-to-wall coverage Friday night, I couldn't help but tune in to ABC's "20/20" featuring Barbara Walters' "Stand By Your Man? Sex & The Political Wife." It focused on Jenny Sanford, estranged wife of South Carolina Governor and famous hiker Mark Sanford, and her memoir "Staying True."

I probably tuned in because last week's "20/20" program featuring Andrew Young, the former aide to former Senator and famed baby daddy John Edwards, was such a successful mix of sex, lies, scandal, reprehensible male behavior and politics that I couldn't turn away. Riding the big ratings and its sudden commitment to book culture, "20/20" couldn't turn away either apparently, and was back for another bite of the apple.

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It was just as much of a nasty delight. Same theme as with Edwards last week: Narcisisstic and sanctimonoius southern political male acting like an infatuated adolsecent in the thrall of his first infatuation wrecking lives, lying his butt off and turning your stomach. And all of it seen through the eyes of the spurned wife. Last week, 8.1 million tuned in to see Edwards chewed to pieces.

But last week, ABC had Bob Woodruff interviewing Young -- and Young was, well, kind of sleazy and worm-like himself.

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This week, it was Barbara Walters interviewing Jenny Sanford -- a TV conversation made in heaven. Walters is intrepid in the questions she asks, and Jenny Sanford was fearless in answering every one of them in a way that at least seemed authentic.

They talked about Mark Sanford having their wedding vows changed so that he did not have to pledge fidelity to his new bride.

"Did that bother you?" Walters asked.

"....I got past it," Sanford said.

They talked about Sanford referring to his mistress, a TV reporter in Argentina, as his soulmate, and Walters aszked, "Did he ever call you his soulmate?"

"Not that I am aware of," Sanford answered.

Jenny Sanford explained how even after the affair became public and her husband said he and she were going to reconcile, he begged her to let him visit his mistress.

How did you feel, Walters asked, when he went to see her?

"It ripped me up."

I can't wait for next week's installment in the "20/20" Book Club.

How about you? Did you watch? What did you think? Will you buy the book?

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