There is no such thing as buying someone's silence.
Silence really doesn't exist. If people want to tell the world it's easy to do. Tell one other person in the world and if the information is grimy enough it will be retold a thousand or a million times. Bad news travels fast. Sordid news for some reason always rises to the top. Regardless of how hard you try to cover it, you can't. Blogs, news media, social media and the massive ability to communicate around the globe sends bad news out faster than a Texas tornado.
Bad news was hushed a bit back in the day. We've heard rumors and stories for years about President John F. Kennedy. Many years later they have been retold and written about so many times. Of course is there any real proof that any of the rumors were true? Did anybody actually see with their own eyes Kennedy doing things he wasn't supposed to be doing? There are those out there in media/gossip land who will rise to say yes while others will attest either the stories were fabricated or not accurate. Of course you have the famous stripper Blaze Starr who said her encounters with Kennedy before he was president were more than about social issues.
Of course, Kennedy was assassinated at such as young age he never had to face buying somebody's silence on a major publicized scale that we know about. Who knows what kind of little backroom deals or power moves were made to keep Kennedy's mistakes submerged? In the day in which Kennedy lived the question must also be asked did anyone else care about what he was doing with Marilyn Monroe, Blaze Starr or the many other women? Obviously, yes, people always raise an inquiring eyebrow but it didn't hit the fan like it does today.
Today we have our current president who is being alleged to have a past involvement with a porn star. Allegedly his attorney paid her $130,000 to keep quiet about an affair with President Trump before he began his actual campaign for office. Has Stormy Daniels kept quiet? Apparently $130,000 doesn't buy silence. With all the media attention surrounding President Trump and Daniels she knows there is much, much bigger money to be made. A hardback book deal can easily make her a million dollars and probably several million.
Someone will want to make it into a movie thus more mega dollars. Someone might offer her a cable TV show that would run for a few weeks or some kind of crazy radio deal where she might talk about her allegedly nasty details with Trump. Possibly another way to look at Daniels being quiet is that $130,000 buys silence until one learns they can get more money. My question, though, is who really wants to hear the details? If there is truth to it I don't want to hear about it. I got so tired of hearing about Clinton, Monica and a cigar. Who wants to hear this stuff?
Just recently the sad news about ESPN President John Skipper broke. He met with the executives of the Disney Corporation that owns ESPN and sadly disclosed that he had a problem with cocaine. Someone he had bought cocaine from was threatening Skipper about breaking the news pertaining to his problem. Thus what Skipper thought was something the drug world people would keep under wraps and protect their own was a mistake on his part. He is just too big a fish for some dope head to keep confidential about. After all, there might have been big money to be made from blackmailing Skipper. He did the right thing by coming out with his problem with corporate executives. His loss is personally crushing to him and the sports world. After all, who wins from any of this? The answer is nobody. However, the extortion jerk has not profited any more with his tidbit of information that he has about Skipper that we know about.
In short there is no such thing as buying silence. People tell what they want to tell. Usually it's to protect themselves, build themselves up, make someone look bad or to gain attention or cash. Sometimes it's ugly blackmail or extortion that is taking place and who needs that?
Dr. Glenn Mollette is the author of 12 books. His syndicated column is read in all 50 states.