Chris Lee's 'Clueless' Online Behavior Launches Scandal

February 11, 2011 Updated Feb 11, 2011 at 7:39 PM EDT

By John Borsa

February 11, 2011 Updated Feb 11, 2011 at 7:39 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Chris Lee's shirtless demise was stunning. And it all started as a joke, according to the woman who launched the scandal.

"She thought it was funny," said Danielle Belton, editor of and friend of Yesha Callahan, the woman Lee apparently flirted with on Craigslist.

The scandal unfolded at supersonic speed. Within hours of a gossip Web site posting the story, Lee's career was finished.

"The story breaks, the guy resigned," said Robert Thompson, professor of pop culture at Syracuse University.

"The whole thing didn't take much longer than a very long movie," he said.

Lee's fall from grace has become the subject of late-night fodder.

"The scandal broke at 2:00 and by 6:30 the guy was gone. Who said Congress cant get anything done," David Letterman joked with his audience Wednesday night.

"Today was the start of New York Fashion Week," said Late Night host Jimmy Fallon. "In fact, I was just talking to Congressman Chris Lee and he told me shirts are totally out this season."

Even local businesses are in on the humor.

A Lancaster dry cleaner posted a sign in its front window.

"Hey Chris - your shirt is cleaned and ready for pickup," the sign read.

"The biggest scandal is that somebody who's presumably representing us ... is so incredibly clueless," Thompson said.