It makes the Elliot Spitzer scandal look like a prostitution picnic. Max Mosely, president of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the nonprofit association that governs Formula One racing and other international motor sports, was shown on videotape last month allegedly participating in a Nazi-death-camp-themed orgy with five sex workers in a posh London apartment.
For his part, Mosely says that News of the World, the British Sunday tabloid that revealed the video on its website, is trying to frame him, and the allegations that he took part in Nazi role-playing are “entirely false” and an “unwarranted invasion” of his privacy.
If you've seen the video, however, it's pretty clear that although Mosely's privacy was indeed invaded, the allegations that he was getting some kind of fascistic freak on are entirely true.
The discrepancy? Mosely, caught red-hineyed, admits to the S&M “torture dungeon” part, but not the Nazi-death-camp part. Never mind the prison guard and striped prisoner uniforms, barked orders in German and Mosely's own background as the son of famous Nazi sympathizers. It was a set-up, Mosely claimed before successfully pressuring News of the World to remove the video from its site.
The day after the scandal broke, another British tabloid, The Sun, reported that the FIA would not fire Mosely. “As far as the FIA is concerned,” a spokesman said, “this is a matter between Mr. Mosley and the newspaper.” He added that Mosley's lawyers were “in touch” with News of the World.
But the director of Britain's Holocaust Centre is less sanguine about Mosely's indiscretion and has called for his resignation. Others calling the concentration-camp-inspired S&M role-playing with hookers inappropriate behavior for the president of a major sporting organization include former Formula One champions Sir Stirling Moss, Jackie Stewart and Jody Scheckter, as well as current racer Nico Rosberg.
Days after the scandal broke, the major automobile companies that sponsor Formula One released statements, probably generated by the Hedge-o-matic 3000, an industrial public-relations computer that is fast replacing firms in helping corporations protect their image. Honda asked that the FIA reach an “immediate decision in the best interests of F1 and Motorsport.” Toyota criticized any “behaviour which could be seen to damage Formula One's image.” And BMW and Mercedes' joint statement argued, “The content of the publications is disgraceful. As a company, we strongly distance ourselves from it.”
Mosely has responded to the criticism by calling for an unprecedented special conference of the FIA in Paris at a to-be-determined future date. He also fired back at BMW/Mercedes for their own Nazi pasts: “Given the history of BMW and Mercedes-Benz, particularly before and during the Second World War, I fully understand why they would wish to strongly distance themselves from what they rightly describe as the disgraceful content of these publications.”
BMW and Mercedes, you may recall, produced engines used by the Luftwaffe, and Mercedes provided the Nazis—including Hitler himself—with staff cars. And so the iron heel has called the boot black.
I figure Mosely will resign, maybe even before the FIA meeting. He almost resigned from his controversial 15-year presidency in 2004, and rumors had been circulating before the scandal that he might step down before 2009. But should he?
I think, yes. But it needs to go much further. Formula One should be completely shut down. Not because it has been discredited, but because auto racing is overwhelmingly, unrelentingly, fucking boring.
What is Formula One? Cars. Going around and around for hours. Unless you're lucky and there's a fiery crash, the excitement level is a consistent zero. You might as well stare at the freeway.
I think Nazi-death-camp-role-playing-S&M hooker orgies would make a better international sport. Hear me out.
First, if you haven't frantically searched for it already, most of you know you want to see the videotape of Herr Mosely's Playhouse. Cast the first stone at me if you're not at least tempted to click here:www.jalopnik.com/373884/f1-boss-max-mosley-caught-with-five-hookers-in-nazi-orgy-video-scandal
And if this video were still up on YouTube, I'll bet you 20 lashes that more people would have viewed it by now than have ever viewed more than 20 seconds in a row of Formula One.
Admit it or not, everybody wants to take a peek at a sadomasochistic orgy. Even Israel Insider published the photos.
But most people would just as soon watch the Mac color wheel spinning around on their desktop than cars zipping around a loopy track.
Second, sadomasochistic orgies would out-thrill Formula One by a lap. Consider the ease of inventing arousing rules to amp up the competition. Say the safe word first and you're eliminated. Break character, laugh or forget the German word for “wiener” (it's “wiener”), and you're out. You get the picture.
Finally, this hot, new, truly extreme sport would remind the world that sex may sometimes be shocking, perverse, gross and even a little painful, but, ultimately, the vast majority of sexual encounters between adults—as long as they're safe and consenting—are kind of silly.
I'm sure you've watched the video by now, and I'm guessing your reaction was mostly a mixture of humor and embarrassment. Watching that naked old geezer half-heartedly flip his whip as the mean guard or take it as the naughty prisoner, or sip his cup of tea while the hookers relax with a glass of wine after the big event, hardly brings to mind a plot to conquer the world. It just brings to mind how mundane and commonplace sex is. Mosely may very well be a closet Nazi, but his performance in the video hardly counts as evidence of anything more than him being a run-of-the-mill freak.
So, yes, sack the creep. Not for the hookers or for the sadomasochism or the Nazi-esque role-playing, but for subjecting the world for 15 years to a sport as dull as watching paint dry and then, when he finally does something interesting, trying to deny the public a chance to see it. Come on Mose, be a sport. Write to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.