On Monday, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the “madam” whose Washington, D.C., escort agency boasted clients from among the U.S. political elite, made 13 years’ worth of phone records public on her Web site. So far, former deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias and Louisiana Senator David Vitter have been outed, and journalists are investigating to see who else turns up. The hype has it that this list could serve as a veritable “who’s who” of the rich and the powerful, the influential “movers and shakers” of American politics. Some might even consider having one’s phone number appear in Palfrey’s documents to be a sort of status symbol. But that would, of course, be nonsense – because I’m not in there.\nYes, despite being a prominent media commentator whose words have been known to stir the halls of power on a regular basis, my phone number does not appear on Palfrey’s list. But there are many good reasons for this.\nFor one, when you’re as important as I am, you can’t help but be busy. So busy, in fact, that it would take at least three or four escorts a day to keep up with me, and such demands would be an intolerable drain on the agency’s resources. I’m sure they would have been willing to make arrangements given sufficient compensation, but doing so would create a shortage of high-class Washington talent, raising the asking price and putting my good friends in the federal government at a disadvantage. That simply would not do.\nAnd it’s not like Palfrey’s company, Pamela Martin and Associates, was actually all that elite. Oh sure, they were sort of elite – certainly more so than, say, propositioning someone off the street. But we’re talking about the equivalent of buying a saucepan from Target rather than Wal-Mart, whereas individuals of my prominence shop at Williams-Sonoma.\nAlso, while I’m sure their employees were attractive, I doubt they could have held up to my exacting standards. After all, they only had to impress various Washington functionaries who – let’s face it – are not accustomed to being around incredibly beautiful women all the time. Nor do they possess terribly rarefied tastes. I doubt, for example, that their fantasies ever involve peanut butter and contortionists. They lack the necessary flexibility (in all senses of the word).\nAnd who’s to say that I’m not on that list anyway? It’s a long list, and some number could belong to one of my many assistants – or a major political figure that called the service in order to curry my favor. When your days are as occupied with actions as vitally important as mine, it’s difficult to keep track of such details. Even a close examination of the records would lead to difficulty determining conclusively that none of those numbers are related to me.\nAs a measure of power and prestige, Palfrey’s list falls far short. But all this talk has filled me with curiosity about the case’s progress. Would anyone happen to have her number handy?