The picture we have today of the MP for Braintree is rather different from that of two weeks ago. Then, courtesy of the Sunday Mirror, we were aware that he had sent a photograph of himself not quite in his paisley pyjamas to a Twitter follower he believed to be a young, female party worker. 'Sophie', as he now knows to his cost, did not exist but was actually the Guido Fawkes reporter Alex Wickham.
The story was published on the first day of the Conservative conference, Newmark resigned as charities minister and the "scandal" almost completely overshadowed the defection of Mark Reckless to Ukip.
Over the following 24 hours it was reported that "Sophie" had sent flirtatious tweets to half a dozen Tory MPs, but that only Newmark had responded. The Sunday Mirror editor Alison Phillips and her boss Lloyd Embley both insisted the story was in the public interest, but declined to name the undercover freelance reporter who had brought them the story or to elaborate on the methods used.
SubScribe, in common with some other commentators - but not this website's Style Counsel blogger Richard Dixon - felt that the sting had been a malicious fishing expedition, with the line cast into the Tory pond in the hope that someone, anyone, would bite. The justification for the enterprise had been reports that "MPs were using social media to meet women", which did not seem a particularly heinous crime. Lots of people do - and one of the "targets" was unmarried.
As the days went by, further details of the operation emerged - including Wickham's identity and the fact that "Sophie" had followed about a hundred Conservatives to make her Twitter account seem genuine. This was not, Guido insisted, a fishing expedition, but a carefully targeted operation with an agreed strategy. Newmark was apparently regarded as "a bit of a creep" by some Tory women. Was this enough to justify setting him up for a sting? Were the other MPS who had been mentioned also potential targets or were they just the only ones to come forward out of the 100 or so followed by Sophie?
If Brooks Newmark had always been the target, was it luck that he took the bait? Or were the morsels on his hook tastier than those offered to others? Or was Wickham's information about the MP so accurate that there was never any doubt that he would succumb? Other MPs responded to "Sophie's" flattery in a professional manner but, as Susie Boniface pointed out on Question Time, Newmark took the conversation out of the public arena, swapping mobile numbers and "takiing things to the next level".
By this time I was contemplating a "second thoughts" blog, but still felt some sympathy for my former MP. "Sophie" was supposed to be in her twenties, that's grown-up. "She" had made the running. Newmark was foolish, but not a criminal or corrupt.
Yesterday's Sun changed all that. Its splash seemed to confirm that he did, indeed, have form and that he had performed a selfie striptease for another woman he had "seduced" via Facebook. Newmark announced that he would not contest the next election and that he would be seeking residential psychiatric help. This last was reported in the Mirror and the Mail on Sunday, which ran a full-page mea culpa that talked about demons, anorexia, depression and the need to remove the stigma attached to mental health problems.
The Mirror's coverage was a combination of the Mail and Sun's, but does not - from a distance - appear to have been self-generated. (Having misinterpreted the earlier story, I am aware that this may not be the case.)
This is where it becomes interesting, particularly for Sir Alan. The Sun and the Mail on Sunday both rejected the Wickham story. It has been surmised that this is because they were concerned about the subterfuge used to obtain it. The enthusiasm with which they have followed it up this weekend suggests that Wickham judged his market right, but got the sale pitch wrong.
Could it be that the Sun was already working along the same lines? Perhaps it didn't want to publish on Tory conference weekend - both it and the Mail were gushing about Cameron's speech later in the week. Perhaps it hadn't quite joined up the dots of its own inquiries. Or perhaps its position as market leader brought in the "single mum" who has now put the cap on Newmark's career.
This is relevant. The emergence of the second woman, Newmark's departure from political life and his admission that he needs psychiatric help probably confirm the public interest. But if the Sun had been on the same trail without the subterfuge, the Mirror would find it hard to argue that that was the only way to get the story.
This morning's further revelations about a "two-year affair" with the Facebook mum don't really take the ethical/public interest arguments much further. MPs do have affairs and people tend not to take much notice these days unless they involve Chelsea football shirts, airport phone calls from Alastair Campbell or Glenn Mulcaire's hacking skills.
One element of today's story troubles me, though. The woman at the centre of it told the Sun that she did not regard herself as having an affair, but that she was in a "full-on" relationship. She says she had no idea that Newmark was married and didn't question him because "I thought 'he's an MP, he's not going to lie'." Right.
But if you were embarking on a relationship with someone you knew to be in public life wouldn't you google them? Not in a sneaky, checking-up-on-them sort of way, but to find out what they'd achieved, to learn more about their interests, to see what other people said about them.
Mistresses have argued through the ages that they didn't know their lovers were married, but to have a two-year "full-on relationship" with an MP and remain in ignorance? I think not.
Malicious and misconceived: SubScribe's earlier thoughts on the subject