Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sycophant, Thy Name is Alan Chartock

This guy won't stop carrying water for Eliot Spitzer. Regardless of Spitzer's intelligence and "guts", the @#$%^&%$ steamroller ex-Governor does not have the temperament, or moral clarity to be serving the public in any capacity. (Obviously, the current asshat triumvirate is not worthy either. But, why pile on?)

Alan Chartock, what don't you understand about how the serious character shortcomings of this unbalanced nut limit his options?

Some examples:

From Charles Gasparino:

As a reporter covering him - and then becoming the target of one his office's no-holds-barred intimidation games - I saw Spitzer's shortcomings first hand: his zealotry, his wild temperament and his penchant for sleazy tactics.

... Spitzer became governor largely thanks to his many hyper-publicized cases against Wall Street titans like Dick Grasso and Hank Greenberg- cases that he pursued by going after everything and everyone connected with his targets, no matter how personal, by leaking constantly to the press and by making his own nasty, off-hand public comments.

Keep in mind, Spitzer was charging Dick Grasso with making too much money. Yet, as chronicled in my book on Grasso, "King of the Club," when Grasso refused to settle, Spitzer's "investigation" wound up probing whether Grasso had had sex with his secretary and fathered a child out of wedlock. The apparent effort to beat Grasso into submission included threats of tawdry press leaks about alleged personal indiscretions - allegations Grasso denies, and for which little evidence ever materialized.

The press downplayed Spitzer's early brush with scandal - his lying about how his father helped finance his campaign, a possible violation of campaign-finance laws. Reporters largely ignored the implications of this prosecutor threatening to put a "spike" through the heart of one of his targets - as he bullied Ken Langone, because Langone had decided to fight Spitzer rather than cave.

Kimberley Strassel:

Consider the report in the wake of a 2005 op-ed in this newspaper by John Whitehead. A respected Wall Street figure, Mr. Whitehead dared to criticize Mr. Spitzer for his unscrupulously zealous pursuit of Mr. [Hank] Greenberg. Mr. Spitzer later threatened Mr. Whitehead, telling him in a phone call that "You will pay the price. This is only the beginning and you will pay dearly for what you have done." Some months later, after more Spitzer excesses, Mr. Whitehead had the temerity to write another op-ed describing what Mr. Spitzer had said.

Within a few days, the press was reporting (unsourced, of course) that Mr. Whitehead had defended Mr. Greenberg a few weeks after a Greenberg charity had given $25 million to the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation -- a group Mr. Whitehead chaired. So Mr. Whitehead's on-the-record views were met with an unsourced smear implying bad faith. The press ran with it anyway.

In 2005, Mr. Spitzer went on national television to suggest that Mr. Greenberg had engaged in criminal activity. It was front-page news. About six months later, on the eve of a Thanksgiving weekend, Mr. Spitzer quietly disclosed that he lacked the evidence to press criminal charges. That news was buried inside the papers.

My former boss John Faso fought an uphill battle against Spitzer in the 2006 New York Gubernatorial race. Every media outlet was bowled over by the "Sheriff of Wall Street" and no one thought to ask the important questions about his duplicitous budget plan and obvious temperament issues. Throughout the campaign, John always remained steadfast in his characterization of his opponent and proved to be prescient in the end.

When asked for his reaction after Spitzer's fall from grace, Faso opinied, "I really don't feel vindicated. But I do feel when you look at the things I tried to raise in the campaign, one of the many things I said was that Eliot Spitzer had one set of rules for himself and one set for everyone else. I never would have imagined it could be so glaring."

John wrote a New York Post editorial shortly after Spitzer's resignation.

Some highlights:

Spitzer didn't seem to care who or what he ran over, so long as it advanced his political career. Yet many New Yorkers thought that was just fine, so long as he was going after "rich guys" or "big business."

What I didn't count on was the credulousness of the media in simply buying - hook, line and sinker - the claims made by Spitzer's campaign. The spin, buttressed by millions in TV advertising, created the absurd notion of one man able to change everything on "Day One."

There was little critical analysis of his record, including the fact that Spitzer had lied about the source of the questionable millions poured into his earlier campaigns. Apparently, lying about political money wasn't relevant, since he was standing up for truth and righteousness.

Newspapers endorsed him (even ones that knew better, like The Post), paying little attention to Spitzer's tactics as AG or the fiscal house of cards created by his proposals. News "analysis" was often no more than reporting the latest polls or which candidate had raised the most money.

The media treated the race as a foregone conclusion. One prominent New York journalist even addressed an open letter to the new governor the day before the election.

And, we should be cheering for this guy to make a comeback as a public servant?

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