They were busy watching pornography when they should have been scrutinizing the ins and outs of another sordid business' Wall Street. Caught with their pants down S.E.C. employees are left holding the (insert pun here) while we are left footing the bill. I wonder if President Obama's latest round of regulatory reform will address porn addiction?
Newsweek, in a rare moment of lucidity, summed it up nicely.
The inspector general of the already beleaguered Securities and Exchange Commission released a report saying that 33 of their employees viewed "pornographic, sexually explicit or sexually suggestive images using government computer resources and official time," most of them over the last two and a half years. The news came in a summary of the inspection requested by Republican Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, a staunch transparency advocate. Employees painstakingly worked around tools used to prevent them from looking at porn; one overfilled his hard drive and had to store images on discs in his office. Several employees were in the agency's upper pay grades—between $99,000 and $222,000. The Washington Times also reported on SEC employees' porn use last month, but as The Washington Post's Ed O'Keefe points out, federal employees looking at naughty pictures is nothing new—similar incidents have dogged other agencies.
I will say that I have some sort of twisted admiration for these public sector voyeurs. If I could get paid $222,000 a year to sit around and surf porn....