[This Wendy Cortez] story didn't just fall out of the sky. This is a story that was first broken by a guy named Chris Tidmore, who was at the time a journalist with The Louisiana Weekly. He's now running for public office. But, he's made himself available to the media to talk about this. And, he says that there is more to come. This is exactly what he printed back... in 2000 or even when Vitter was running for Senate as well. He denied all that stuff back then, the mainstream media kind of left him alone, and now all of a sudden, it is in our faces. And, it looks like everything Chris wrote back then was true.
Actually, Tidmore "printed" this story about Vitter and Cortez on June 3, 2002-- a day or two before Clancy wrote the following in his "alternative" weekly:
When Vitter pulled out of the governor's race because of family considerations, he showed a side of himself that most politicians don't often reveal: he's human. The stress of working in Washington, living on the Northshore and trying to jump-start a statewide campaign for governor has taken a toll. Public life always does.
His announcement that he and his wife Wendy have been in counseling caught most folks by surprise -- not because they sought help but because he decided to make it public. He told me shortly afterward that voters are always skeptical -- and rumor mills always ratchet up -- when political figures vaguely cite "family considerations" as the reason for a career-altering decision. He says he figured that if he simply gave everyone the rest of the story, that would be it.
For once, he figured wrong. Vitter's foes wasted no time circulating all sorts of sordid speculation, none of which is supported by any evidence whatsoever.
Although Vitter and I have never been pen pals, I hate to see anyone in public or private life subjected to malicious rumors. His foes should either put up or shut up. Otherwise, give the guy -- and his family -- a break.
So, while Clancy Dubos was transcribing Vitter's lies about the basis for his marriage counseling, Chris Tidmore was breaking a story that would gain national attention 5 years later. Clancy Dubos probably hadn't read Tidmore's story when he wrote his column defending Vitter from the "malicious rumors" spread by Vitter's "foes" that were not supported "by any evidence whatsoever". But Dubos never returned to the issue, either. He never evaluated the detailed evidence that Tidmore had compliled and presented in an even-handed manner. Clancy was no doubt extra-skeptical about the Vitter/prostitute rumors because they were initially aired on the radio by RSCC member Vincent Bruno. Dubos doesn't think much of Bruno, and neither do I, quite frankly. Back in the early nineties, Bruno was David Duke's "spiritual advisor" (again-- great work, there, Vinnie!). But despite my low opinion of Bruno, when I learned of these rumors several years ago, me and a friend met Bruno at a Metairie bar, and discussed politics and religion (ugh!) over drinks. I asked Bruno in-depth questions about what he knew regarding Vitter and Cortez, and he gave me specific information that I verified through other well-placed sources. It checked out.
With this in mind, I get a hearty laugh when I read about Dubos praising Tidmore and talking about how the "mainstream media kind of left [Vitter] alone" regarding the claims made in Tidmore's reports. Clancy could also say that his "alternative media" weekly left Vitter alone, too. In fact, it transcribed Vitter's lies and defended him against "sordid speculation". Meanwhile Vitter was getting his revenge on the truthtellers and ascending to higher office. Finally, five years later, Dubos seems surprised that the story is "suddenly... in our faces". No thanks to you, Clancy. No thanks to you.
Since the revelations about Vitter and the D.C. Madam, Dubos has taken off the gloves. It's clear that Vitter played Dubos back in 2002, and Dubos rightly took him to task in this column from July:
Vitter should stop hiding behind his wife and kids and come out to face the music. He spent enough time pretending no one could see him; it's time now to buck up and answer all questions thoroughly, openly and honestly.... If he doesn't have the guts to do all that and take his licks like a man, then he's got no business being in this business -- and the rest of us should all thank Vitter's merciful God that he was outed as a phony, a liar and a coward before he got any closer to the White House.
I don't think exposing Vitter's phoniness qualifies as God's work, per se, but as someone who has repeatedly touched on this issue over the years, I will thank those-- like Chris Tidmore and the Flaming Liberal-- who have worked to expose Vitter's hypocrisy and lying.
Programming Note: WDSU is supposed to air an exclusive interview with Wendy Cortez during their 6 o'clock broadcast.