Just how little is the sanctity of marriage and fidelity revered by the mainstream media?
Consider the following astounding statement made today by "CNN Saturday Morning News" host T. J. Holmes:
Unfortunately, you know, people have to stop cheating in this recession. But given the recession, people are being forced to improvise a little bit more as they're looking for a little variety out there in their lives.
Unfortunately? Mightn't a decline in adultery be a hidden benefit during this economic downtown?
Apparently not (video embedded below the fold with full transcript):
T. J. HOLMES, CNN HOST: Unfortunately, you know, people have to stop cheating in this recession. But given the recession, people are being forced to improvise a little bit more as they're looking for a little variety out there in their lives.
BETTY NGUYEN: That could get a little tricky, and so we hear. And as you will see, CNN's Randi Kaye is dishing the dirt.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This private investigator for Massachusetts has been tailing cheating spouses since he was 16, when his father first taught him the business. But today, John Dinitale says business ain't what it used to be.
JOHN DINITALE, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Surveillance cases, especially domestic surveillance cases, you could see just falling off the chart.
KAYE: In the last year, Dinitale has seen a 75 percent drop in infidelity cases.
DINITALE: We'd seen some what we would consider good size surveillances that would keep us busy for a week at a time just kind of go by the wayside. And I don't think there's any question that that was the result of people not being able to afford it.
KAYE: In a slumping economy, even hanky-panky takes a hit. A full day of surveillance work will set you back about $2,500; a full week, $15,000. So, some spouses are doing their own snooping.
DINITALE: It's not unusual now where a client will call and say, "Look, I've already done all the legwork. I've been checking his BlackBerry, I've been looking at his text messages, I've been downloading his cell phone bills.
I think I've got about three or four witnesses down there tomorrow.
KAYE: Dinitale still gets some surveillance work, but this new recession style-cheating looks different. With corporate America tightening its belt, gone are the fancy dinners out billed to the expense account. Now, cheating couples cook at home it.
DINITALE: It has to be the economy and people are just not spending money the way they used to.
KAYE (on camera): John Dinitale says cheating spouses are cheating with a little less style these days. Instead of booking rooms at high-end hotels like the Ritz or the Four Seasons, he says they're choosing what he calls the "no-tell motels," like this one.
(voice-over): Or in some cases, they're skipping the hotel expense completely and just using the car. Dinitale trailed one couple with his partner and will never forget how it ended.
DINITALE: There were no heads in the front seat anymore. I'm working with a guy and I said, "Mark, did you -- did you miss that? Did they leave?" No, no, no. I said, "Well, let's just sit here for a second." And the next thing, two feet come right up on to the windshield. Mark looks at me and says, "Now I know what they're doing."
KAYE: Not all couples are doing that. Some are just hanging out at the park. It's free.
DINITALE: We'll be scrambling around trying to pick up a good spot where we can set up the video and this will be a typical spot.
KAYE: The economic slump has put a damper on divorce, too. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers say 37 percent of attorneys polled reported fewer divorces during an economic downturn. Divorce lawyers say more couples are sticking it out, not because they want to, but because they have to.
DINITALE: They're staying together because they can't afford to get their own place.
KAYE: As the saying goes in this business, it is cheaper to keep her.
Randi Kaye, CNN, Austin, Massachusetts.
Is this fitting fare on a national news network?