Let's say that the following information was gathered from "sources close to the investigation," which is how the media usually refers to snitches.
You will surely be able to call this investigation to mind. It lasted more than a year, breaking the unofficial city record for investigation of a misdemeanor, and when it was over everyone knew how the FBI had compiled 29,000 man-hours of observation of the brothel in the 4300 block of Canal Street.
But if you have a prurient interest in these matters -- and almost everyone does -- you are currently SOL because the FBI, Orleans DA and both political parties are adamantly disinclined to release the names of the males involved in these criminal duets.
So, just as surely, you have heard, passing over iced expressos or iced Jim Beams, well, names. Names of those on the FBI's record of cathouse comings-and-goings. Clients. Customers. Fans. Whatever. Names you recognize. Names of family-values politicians and sports celebrities and Carnival kings and media stars. Names who would love to remain what there are now: unconfirmed rumors.
That could well happen unless the female employees of the love-for-sale salon are actually facing jail time. In that case, their attorneys swear they will subpoena the FBI snoopings and thereafter, on the principle of takes-two-to-tango, publicize the names of all the johns involved.
Until that gratifying day comes along, New Orleanians will have to be content with playing "Guess who?" But in the interest of fairness, this corner has been in contact with the aforementioned "source close to the investigation" and has been able to compile a list of those who are not on The List. The following persons have been investigated and CCC'd (Cleared, Commercial Concupiscence). Investigator's comments follow:
Alec Gifford. Alec gets in trouble in the kitchen, not the bedroom.
Roman Catholic clergy. The proprietress angrily insisted she does not operate that kind of establishment.
Charlie Sheen. Interviewed, subject asserted that on the dates in question he was in the company of his beloved new wife, "Whatshername."
Edwin Edwards. Believe it or not.
Legislator Emile "Peppi" Bruneau. Subject professed to not understand the economics of prosititution. "Are you telling me there is a product involved that can be sold, yet retained and sold again? This is truly a marvel of the capitalist system!"
Al Davis Sr. During the period in question, this individual was working 100 hours a week.
Emeril Lagasse. No BAM! BAM! BAM! at this address.
William Jefferson Clinton. Depending on what's meant by "sex."
Judge Ronald Bodenheimer. FBI sources indicate this may be the only illicit activity they will not allege against this subject.
The Rev. Jimmy Swaggart. Though subject has lengthy record of this activity, he is not known to absent himself from the vicinity of Airline Highway.
Actor Rob Lowe. In interview, subject claims sufficient sexual gratification enters his life via osmosis from the West Wing.
Tort attorney Stephen Rue. Believed to have a strong interest in the names of husbands under suspicion, particularly those husbands with a net worth in excess of $750,000.
Metropolitan Crime Commission director Rafael Goyeneche. This subject stated his only interest in this address was possible connections to the Mafia, Colombian drug cartels and the Taliban.
Editor Michael Tisserand. Subject reportedly told friends: "$250 an hour! Not for all the women on Ally McBeal! All together!"
Actor Nicolas Cage. Subject told interviewer he would not frequent such an establishment because "everything I do ends up in Chris Rose's column."
Rap artist Juvenile. Is known to prefer parties in his home in a prominent Northshore community.
James Gill. Told investigators his only interest in the Canal Street address was in tracking several subjects of his political column.
David Duke. During questioning by agents of the FBI's Moscow office, subject denied visiting said establishment and cited his long opposition to interracial dating.
Richard Pennington. Though subject initially refused to answer questions without one William Jefferson present, he later relented and said it was a police matter and therefore beyond his experience.
Note: Here is a partial list of persons whose names have not been linked to the FBI whorehouse investigation. No matter what you may have heard.
Kaare Johnson, Jim Singleton, Puffy Combs, Ricky Graham, Gov. Mike Foster, Judge Sharon Hunter, Angus Lind, Wilt Chamberlin, Blaine Kern, Gen. Tommy Franks, Eminem, Al Gore, Martha Stewart, Britney Spears, Morris Bart, Bob Breck, Bunny Matthews, Better Than Ezra, Ron Foreman, Ron Brinson, Ron Swoboda, Ron Reagan ...
There has been a certain amount of street corner speculation that, because of this publication's physical proximity to the 4300 block of Canal, some of its employers might be named should details of the FBI probe be made public. Rest assured that bordello exploration by members of this staff would be fiscally impossible. "Sources close to the investigation" guarantee it.