Groundless gossip: Gov. Paterson slams salacious speculations
Nayaba Arinde | 4/12/2011, 5:31 p.m.
"The purpose of the rumors is to get people to think more about whether or not I'm resigning than the fact that I'm announcing my candidacy on February 20," said Gov. David Paterson in a candid one-on-one with the Amsterdam News.
The New York Times has, for the best part of two weeks, floated the promise of the publication of a story that is so scandalous that it would force the resignation of the non-elected former lieutenant governor, who stepped in to the office of governor when Eliot Spitzer got caught up in a real, grimy sexual tryst. What they had, Grey Lady rumors whispered, rivaled the sordid titillation of Client No. 9 and his black socks. There was talk of drug use and extramarital goings-on. The story was going to be big, they said.
And the people, they waited.
And they waited.
And then they waited some more.
"In spite of the fact that people talk about my poll numbers and how much money I've raised, somebody is going to a lot of trouble, and committing a lot of fraud, and telling a lot of lies to keep me out of the governor's race," snapped Paterson.
For sure, the enemies of state's first Black, and incidentally legally blind, governor, reveled in the deliciously contemptible salaciousness of the gossip column, gotcha pseudo-journalism.
"The negative innuendo attack on Governor Paterson is being fed by stereotypes, jealousy and betrayal," declared Marquez Claxton, activist and former City Council candidate. "The governor remains charismatic and effective at delivering his message, unless you are swayed by the biased media coverage. We are in an age when the New York Times has become more like TMZ."
"For the last two weeks, I have been the subject of salacious rumors over and over again to the point that last weekend during the Super Bowl, three different media outlets were contacted at the same moment and told that the governor was resigning, which is an outright lie," said Paterson. "In addition, the governor has not done anything wrong and will not be resigning. The source of these rumors is a profile that is being done on me by the New York Times, and the New York Times has allowed it to be known that there would be a bombshell in this article. But when I sat down with the Times on Monday morning, there was no bombshell to report. They talked about my staff members; they asked me why I hired staff people; they asked me about my campaign, my expenditures; and they asked about how I use my time. They did not ask me any questions about any of these false charges.
"So my question is, why would a news outlet who knows that these rumors are being spread about you--and that they are being sourced in the article--not clarify for the public that they have not come up with any of this evidence? Why would they not assure the public that the governor is not going to have to resign?"