historical moments in journalism

Reporter Reveals How She Got Exclusive Sanford AM Airport SCOOP

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Well here is a sort of sad but interesting angle on the Sanford Firecracker Love Scandal, straight from The State reporter Gina Smith, who drove 200 miles to corner the exhausted governor of South Carolina at 6:15 in the morning yesterday as he was arriving back at the Atlanta airport, probably all morning breath-y.

Sanford was nervous — not so much when I first approached him, but certainly once we were seated in the airport terminal and the interview began.

For several moments, he gazed off, searching for the words, his mouth opening, then closing.

He seemed tired, deflated. And not because of a long international flight.

Suddenly, he launched into a talk about his love of the Appalachian Trail and hikes he’d taken on it dating back to his high school years. That led him to talk of other “adventure trips” he’d taken over the years, including his time in Congress, to recharge and regroup — the coast of Turkey, the Greek Islands, various parts of South America.

So basically he gave her the exact same spiel he would later deliver later that afternoon to the nation and his wife, family, God, dinosaur sheet pal, and so on. Weird, huh?

Also, tangentially: Who’s the anonymous tipster who told The State that Sanford would be on the plane, and who sent them those sexy emails between Sanford and “Maria”? (Answer: Mitt Romney.)

Hunch leads to airport and tired, troubled Sanford [The State]

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About the author

Sara K. Smith was Wonkette's morning editor from 2008 to 2010, and now contributes a weekly (?!) column to Wonkette, to prove she still loves you all!

View all articles by Sara K. Smith


Hey there, Wonkeputians! Shypixel here to remind you to remember our Commenting Rules For Radicals, Enjoy!

  • CorkPopper

    Ooh, His Girl Friday, one of my faves. They don’t make ’em like that any more.

  • Crapola

    Jenny Sanford is clearly no one to be to fucked with.

  • takes12no1

    Awww ain’t it so sweet that he can afford to just recharge and get away like that to the Greek Isles, Turkey, S.A….woulldn’t it be nice? If I want to “get away” I have to lock myself in the bathroom.

  • SuperStarr

    Thanks god we still have MSM and real reporters for chrisake.

  • thejesusandmarycheney

    “I live in a world where when I walk out of the grocery store, I try to make eye contact with everyone I meet because if I don’t (people will be left with a bad impression of me),” Sanford said.

    Heaven forbid.

  • jodyleek

    “Who’s the anonymous tipster…”
    Sarah Palin, of course. Knockin’ off the competition, one dalliance at a time. Look for a Magic Underpanties/Romney scandal to play-out forthwith.

  • WadISay

    Actually, that was a pretty coherent conversation, considering his willie probably started crawling up his esophogus when he saw her.

  • SayItWithWookies

    “I don’t hate my job,” he said near the end of our interview. But, he said, he was close to hating it.

    It was a job where he should have the ability to accomplish big things, he said.

    “Unfortunately,” he said, “I didn’t.”

    That’s what happens when you spend your term being a sanctimonious bastard instead of trying to improve your state.

  • x111e7thst

    [re=347985]takes12no1[/re]: Pharmaceuticals = in cubicle vacation.

  • trondant

    If by “hunch” she means “anonymous tip”, then yeah, whatever.

  • InsidiousTuna

    So he gets off an international flight and agrees to sit down in the terminal for an interview at 6:00 am?


  • thejesusandmarycheney

    [re=347992]x111e7thst[/re]: All aboard! This train’s not stopping ’till Ativanville.

  • ManchuCandidate

    Mittens wishes he had the iron balls in his mormoni undies to do something like this.

    Some English guy wrote about a “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” or a more eloquent disgraced mayor of DC once said: “the goddamned Bitch set me up!!”

    It’s probably Markie Mark’s sugar mommy (she has $$$$$$$$$$) and the motive. Jenny.

  • Texan Bulldoggette

    [re=347985]takes12no1[/re]: “I have to lock myself in the bathroom.”

    You obviously don’t have small children. They are either banging on the door, sitting in your lap or chatting with you while you take care of your business. Our bathroom is busier than the MN airport Larry Craig was visiting.

  • ProfessorJukes

    ‘Sometimes, he went alone on the trips. Sometimes, with friends. But always, he said, with the blessings of his wife, Jenny Sanford.’. I don’t think so.

    Yeah, actual reporting! Woo-hoo! Even if Jenny gave it to her on a silver platter. (E-mails from his pvt. acct., not the state one.) Well… rather be lucky than good. But she did do a good job of getting some lies out of him with softball before going for the jugular.

  • Scrodd

    Good thing she cornered him at the gate before he got tempted to use one of the “cruisey bathrooms” at Hartsfield. Tap tap tap. Also.

  • Larry Fine

    Maybe now this reporter can move up to a job on TMZ.

  • ph7

    He seemed tired, deflated. And not because of a long international flight.

    Good reporters are also good physiologists!

  • Bowdoin

    [re=347982]Crapola[/re]: Is that why he roamed all the way to Argentine way?

  • Lionel Hutz Esq.

    He seemed tired, deflated. And not because of a long international flight.

    I.e. He had just had a hot hummer from an Argentinian whore.

    And I’m pretty sure it was his wife, not Mittens who leaked the emails, as Mittens undoubtedly would have kept them to masturbate to.

  • Cape Clod

    [re=347981]CorkPopper[/re]: “I’ll knock on that coconut head of yours so hard, it’ll ring like a chinese gong.”

    I love that film, too.

  • Baseproduct

    Speaking as someone who has been cheated on, I applaud Jenny Sanford for her conviction to make that asshole feel just as bad as he made her feel.

  • Bowdoin

    [re=347991]SayItWithWookies[/re]: That’s what happens when you spend your term being a sanctimonious bastard instead of trying to improve your state.

    Give the guy a break. He didn’t have much to work with, it being South bygod Carolina, fer krissake.

  • hobospacejunkie

    A Wonketteer said it yesterday somewheres: his wife was the source of the emails. You do not fuck with spurned southern women. They will cut you, or worse.

    Rachel interviewed Gina Davis last night. In addition to being a Chatty Cathy, her noggin is almost perfectly spherical and she has an eight head (what others refer to as a fivehead. In Texas, even our metaphors our bigger, if that is indeed a metaphor. Call the grammar police — aitch ee double hockey sticks upside down — stat.)

  • lizard scum

    OK, thanks, Sarah, that’s a better picture than the last one, which should have been of David Vitter, wearing a diaper.

  • ph7

    oh, and apparently some passenger on the plane down from Atlanta to Beunos Aires tipped off the newspaper that Sanford was on the plane, too. So, the newspaper, hearing from the press secretary that Sanford would be back Wednesday, just staked out the returning flights from Buenos Aires to Atlanta. Not exactly Woodward and Berstein stuff, but at least a reminder why newspapers can matter – if they chased stories other than who’s fucking who.

  • nappyduggs

    “And why is there no other media here?” I wondered. “Could we be the only ones onto this story?”

    It’s how you think when you’re playing a hunch, following an anonymous tip that Sanford would be on the plane and anonymous, unverifiable e-mails about an alleged affair between Sanford and woman from Argentina.”

    Gina, Gina, GINA. You coy, round-faced little minx. I look forward to your next big scoop, aka the hidden camera vids of Mittens and a sweet little thang putting Grecian formula on his back hair in an Indian casino hotel room.

  • Min

    Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. That right there was movie magic, folks.

    I’m starting to think that, in Sanfordspeak, “Appalachian Trail” is code for something unseemly.

  • Extemporanus

    Like Larry Craig, Mark Sanford has learned an important lesson about talking to strangers in airports:

    You can only stall for so long.

  • prizepig

    and so Mark Sanford begins his campaign to be the first president elected by “pity votes”

  • blader

    Lolita has been ID’d:

    she’s a pork belly trader…Sanford gave up a Skil tools trust fund heiress for a frigging argentinian pork belly trader????

    It really must be love.

  • thejesusandmarycheney

    [re=348015]Min[/re]: One wonders what unspeakable perversion “Greek Islands” is code for.

  • Tomthebunny

    [re=348015]Min[/re]: Hershey Highway perhaps?

  • V572625694

    [re=348013]ph7[/re]: “…if they chased stories other than who’s fucking who.” You mean like, WMDs in Iraq? Waterboarding at Gitmo? Who’s in the pokey at Bagram AFB? Why Hopey won’t consider a single-payer health insurance plan?

    Who cares about that shit? I wanna know who all these orange guys are fucking!

    Well, then again it does matter, when this Orange One voted to impeach Clinton because of adultery. Hypocrisy is news, dontcha think?

  • slithytoves


  • schvitzatura

    [re=348014]nappyduggs[/re]: Gina Smith gives off a strong young Hillary Clinton vibe. I’m sure that did not help Sanford’s arrival stateside demeanor much, post-Argencoital.

  • bologna_wallet

    I bet Palin is having an affair in a foreign country. My guess would be Russia

  • Carrie_Okie

    ‘s what he gets for effing around with Hopey’s socialist wealth re-assignment. He’s likely had a predator drone following him since Sandford started yasking foodstamps out of poors’ hands.

  • Don Juanquete

    Colbert for Governor!

  • nappyduggs

    [re=348028]schvitzatura[/re]: Totally see it. Re-entry is a bitch.

  • hockeymom

    What about one of his sons as the tipster? I’m sure the wife was pissed, but she spent about 20 years constructing this seemingly perfect life. An angry kid might not care about “what people think”.

  • LittlePig

    [re=348020]thejesusandmarycheney[/re]: Not to mention “coast of Turkey”. Sounds like the action that rabbit is getting in the previous thread’s photo.

  • Monsieur Grumpe

    Snark aside, this guy needs to be booted for leaving his job for 5 days. He’s the Governor of a state for Christ’s sake. Not much of a State, but still, can him like Hobo Beans.

  • Min

    [re=348020]thejesusandmarycheney[/re]: Indeed.

  • Mad Farmer Manifest

    [re=347998]Texan Bulldoggette[/re]: I frequently find myself saying, “I’m peeing! This isn’t a group effort!” as I try and fail to get a little privacy.

  • earnestcivilservant

    I cannot even read the emails, the are such sap. Junior High? I cannot believe the stupid State sat on those emails since December. I can totally believe his wife ratted him out. He’s lucky she didn’t pull a Lorena Bobbitt.

    Who’s the Lt. Gov? He should start packing his desk, I think he’s moving to a bigger office.

  • Paul Tardy

    Mitt Romney: I guess now that we are not going to bomb Iran or bail out GM, it might be safe to a Romney presidency.

  • 102415

    [re=348019]blader[/re]: Fail, sorry, that’s his wife. I see no sexy time pig trader picture. Keep trying though. Probably we need to go to Argentinian People or Star for actual pictures. Try in espanol.

  • blader

    I follow those websites for their articles, not their pictures

  • 102415
  • Mr Blifil

    Damn, now I have sympathy for this radioactive fuckwad, what with his mouth opening and then closing. I do that kind of shit ALL THE TIME.

  • thejesusandmarycheney

    This lady’s quite the catch. Polyglot, rich as ten popes, marathon runner. Today we are all lecherous governors.

  • widget09

    Whyfore no pics of “mistress”??? Mark has a bright future with those annoying boner commercials like Viagra & Ceilas. I can see him now in one of those bathtub bits with his latino flamingo. Maybe those boner drugs are the reason for his filandering.

  • Come here a minute

    I’m still disappointed that both of the latest Republican “sex” scandals have been between consenting heterosexual adult adulterers. They hardly qualify. I think Mitt must be fucking a goat (his pet).

    “Gentlemen of the press.”

  • Terry

    “Mark Sanford met Maria back in 2001 in New York and the two developed a friendship after she asked the politician some advice on saving her marriage.”

    Asked a politician for advice on marriage? I’m speechless.

  • Extemporanus

    [re=348019]blader[/re]: Unfortunately, it’s gonna take more than pork bellies to save that tool’s bacon.


  • thejesusandmarycheney

    [re=348090]thejesusandmarycheney[/re]: Although, one Argentine website calls her a “morocha terrible.” My Rioplatanese is rusty; that phrase can mean either “sexy brunette”, or “indigenous lupine demon”.

  • TeddyS

    The investigative reporter and her newspaper would have a lot more of my respect if they had not waited for months to publish the emails.

  • blader

    Fail, that is the apartment building of one Rolando Espinoza, side-kick to the notorious Cubano ex-patriot vollyballer Pablo “Keibir” Gutierrez

  • Tommmcatt

    Eventually, there will be pictures, right? Right?

  • One Yield Regular

    What do those South American girls have below the border than South Carolinian girls don’t have?

  • takes12no1

    [re=348039]Monsieur Grumpe[/re]: SC…It’s really not that bad…really…no really…well…

    [re=348052]earnestcivilservant[/re]: the lt. gov. is a bigger fuckup and dick then Sanford…google Andre Bauer idiot.

    and I don’t think his wife Jenny would be the source for the emails. She is too concerned about the children…the boys. Probably someone on his staff who he fucked or fucked over.

  • takes12no1

    [re=348114]One Yield Regular[/re]: “below the border” indeed.

  • trondant

    [re=348114]One Yield Regular[/re]: Teeth?

  • Wugou

    After a tough legislative session, I always let Calgon “take me away.”
    And by “Calgon” I mean “crack cocaine.”

  • Timmy’sinthewell

    “Sparky” Sanford is no Cary Grant.

  • 102415

    [re=348106]blader[/re]: Caramba! You are so right. That’s the gay angle!

  • Scrodd

    [re=348020]thejesusandmarycheney[/re]: “One wonders what unspeakable perversion “Greek Islands” is code for.”

    Lots and lots of anal sex with large, hairy Greek men.

  • WadISay

    [re=348105]TeddyS[/re]: This is true. Here in MN, everybody has known for years about Norm Coleman’s, shall we say, unconventional family life and extracirricular activities, but the papers have never published anything about it. Fuck you, community journalism.

    That said, I thought Gina Smith and Maddow’s interview of her were both just terrific. It’s got to be a torment being in the newspaper business in one of the most illiterate and regressive states in the Union.

  • 102415

    Oh, dear. Bauer. Worser.

  • TGY

    In Argentina, they shoot people who’re careless with emails. It’s all that hot blood and stuff.

  • pdiddycornchips

    [re=348114]One Yield Regular[/re]:

    Fur. Lots and lots of fur. The jungles of South America are indeed exotic.

  • ph7

    [re=348114]One Yield Regular[/re]: Plastic surgery at afforable rates.

  • Wonderman

    I say “hiking the Appalachian trail” should become the euphemism for “hot sex with Argentenians” right away.

  • DustBowlBlues

    Oh man, this story just gets sweeter and sweeter. MSNBC says this wacky douche has no intention of resigning as guv of his scary winger state. Stay in the news, guv. Make them drag them you out of your office when they pry your cold, dead fingers off the desk.

  • CthuNHu

    Don’t mess with Jenny Sanford, indeed…


    “…there’s really no way to describe this exchange that doesn’t end with us telling you that his testicles are now in a jar over at the [SC governor’s] Lace House.”

  • S.Luggo

    [re=348262]CthuNHu[/re]: “Mark does have a security detail …”. When. It. Can. Find. Him. Otherwise, Mark relies on elements of the Waffen SS living in Argentina.

  • CreationSchwarzkopfPalin

    Dear AzucarBebe69,
    I enjoyed your sexy profile a great deal, and I pray to God Almighty that you will write me back. I am the governor of an exciting beachfront state in America. I love exploring Turkey, hating the unemployed and movie merchandise bedding. Enclosed is a photo me disrespecting the S. Carolina state flag, because it looks really Muslim.

  • OzoneTom

    Okay everyone, Sara needs help with the alt-text for this one.

  • OzoneTom

    [re=348054]102415[/re], [re=348113]Tommmcatt[/re]: The bittenandbound.com site has three small pictures of The Argentinian Firecracker.

  • Scandalabra

    They had faces then…

  • surfman

    It had to be her husband who forwarded the emails

  • oldguy

    [re=347982]Crapola[/re]: Fucked without, either. Also.

  • assistant/atlas

    [re=348137]Scrodd[/re]: You should try to look up “rhetorial question” on the internets. Also, “mental bleach” because I want to know if that exists and can wipe the image of Sanford and Greek buttsecs from my brain.