Public Shame

Wednesday, January 16, 2008
What is it about public service that turns people into bloody idiots? Just yesterday, I learned about the following:

Andrew Cuomo, the Attorney General of NY, called Barack Obama's political style "shuck and jive." Tries to salvage the situation by claiming he meant to say "bob and weave." I tend to think of this as a Freudian slip. Anything you want to tell us, Andrew?

Mike Nifong, the disbarred NC District Attorney who so ineptly tried to prosecute Duke Lacrosse players on charges of rape, has filed for bankruptcy. Popular opinion seems to be that he has done so to shield himself from the lawsuits filed by the players. "'This looks like a smart move for Mr. Nifong,' said Charles Tatelbaum, a Florida lawyer who has represented doctors who filed for bankruptcy to shield themselves from lawsuits. 'This stops all the cases against him so he doesn't have to pay legal fees if he doesn't have insurance.'" So it wasn't bad enough that he tried to railroad these young men in an attempt to feed his own ambition, now he's trying to get out of the natural consequence of his actions. Grow up, Mike.

Colorado State Representative Douglas Bruce kicked reporter Javier Manzano during the traditional morning prayer on the House floor for taking a photograph. Mr. Bruce's response was to say, "I think that's the most offensive thing I've seen a photographer do in 21 years. If people are going to cause a disruption during a public prayer, they should be called for it. He owes an apology to the House and the public." Umm...Doug? Are you high? You're a public official, and you physically assaulted a member of the press who was doing his job (Mr. Manzano was there to cover Mr. Bruce's swearing in). Maybe you've been spending too much time with Ted Haggard. You're both from Colorado Springs, you're both evangelicals, you both seem to have a tenuous grasp on what constitutes acceptable behavior. Hmm.

These offenses don't really rate an entry in the What the Fuck is Wrong With These People, but seriously, what are they thinking?

8 comments:

Shawn Powers said...

Ok, maybe if Manzano had goosed Bruce, I might understand the kicking. Or if he had the camera up Bruce's pantleg, looking for a shot of ol' winky...

But taking a picture? Yikes, I'd hate to see the child that snuck a bite of macaroni during the dinner prayer at his house. Or God forbid what might have happened if someone's cellphone went off during that kick inducing prayer. There might have been blood.

Janiece Murphy said...

Shawn, it boggled my mind, too. The response was so wildly out of proportion to the perceived impropriety, I can't get my head around it.

And from a context perspective, it's helpful to know that Mr. Bruce considers himself a devout kind of guy, and portrays himself as such. Mr. Manzano probably wanted the picture in that context.

John the Scientist said...

What's wrong with "shuck and jive"? We say that about both whites and blacks down South.

Me? I'm offended that a Yankee like Cuomo used my regionalism. Tryin' to be folksy, is he? Like Grandma used to say, Yankee politicians are "slicker than snot on a doorknob".

Janiece Murphy said...

John, I think the offense came from the fact that Cuomo is a yankee, and thus what might be perceived as a regional expression in your neck of the woods was a racial slur coming from him.

And I like your Gram's expression. Hee!

Nathan said...

Cuomo the younger has never been anywhere near as impressive as his dad.

Jeri said...

I have ceased to be surprised at what people in the public eye will do.

Did you read about Kelly Tilghman, a sports announcer, who said on air that the only way that young golfers could beat Tiger Woods was to "lynch him in a dark alley." She is currently suspended for two weeks. :P

Janiece Murphy said...

Nathan, I didn't realize they were related. Duh.

Jeri, I hadn't heard about that. Again, what was she thinking?

Jim Wright said...

Again, what was she thinking?

I suspect she was thinking exactly the way she thinks when "it's only us white folk" around. And so was Cuomo.

What's sad and infuriating is that none of the this behavior is unusual.