Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"Because New Orleans Needs an Alternative" 

Sunday, Gambit Weekly editor Clancy Dubos appeared on WWL-TV and talked about Wendy Cortez and the New Orleans angle to Senator Vitter's prostitution scandal. He said:

[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.

Labels: , , , ,

11 comments DiggIt!


I'm not too much a fan of Clancy these days. Not that I ever have been. But that Jindal cover really has him in the doghouse at the moment.

By Blogger jeffrey, at 4:12 PM  

Clancy Dubos is a Vitter Republican. Or at least he was (the Vitter part is perhaps in the past now).

So it's hardly surprising that he gave Diaperman the benefit of the doubt. Hopefully he'll really take the gloves off. But I'm not holding my breath.

By Anonymous matter, at 5:09 PM  

same here, I don't think Clancy is up to taking Republicans to task for more than a day and a half at a time.

It's a shame, too, because Gambit occasionally comes up with some good stories, but they're still a Republican publication.

By Anonymous YatPundit, at 5:31 PM  

I don't know if I'd call it "Republican"... but it's definitely a Yuppie rag that exists largely to sell ad space to boutiques and candle stores.

So you get a lot of mushy middle, Yuppie Left news coupled with a veiled conservative bent in the commentary.

By Blogger jeffrey, at 5:54 PM  

i just read the restaurant review and food news each week.

By Anonymous mark c., at 7:30 PM  

I'm finally unpacking about 20 boxes of books that i boxed up in the weeks after the storm, so I could pitch out my water-soaked bookcases. In one of them, I found a copy of "Figaro" circa 1975. That was truly the last "alternative" newspaper this town ever had.

By Anonymous YatPundit, at 8:47 PM  

I've been calling the "alternative" a bigger embarrassment than the daily almost since I've started blogging; bigger cities than New Orleans have one timid daily, smaller cities have real alternative weeklies.

In this case, when even the "alternative" press accepts the official story and doesn't look for dirt when it first starts to come to light, we end up with people like Elliot Stonecipher saying that it had to be outsiders because everybody in Louisiana already knew about it. Of course, La. pundits had to assume the outsiders, that it had to be, were Democrats, because national Repubs would never play dirty -- even with somebody who got involved in a presidentila race and bucked the White House.

By Blogger bayoustjohndavid, at 9:12 PM  

Yea, the alternative press is in a strange spot right now, the Internet is stealing a lot of their thunder and they seem to merging into what they loathed in the first place. Many have worked their way out of relevance by becoming advertising rags beholden to clients. I suspect this is part of what happened to the Gambit after the storm when they lost a lot of staff.

I do miss Tiss though.

Since Katrina, I have seen canned editorial and almost weekly special sections being utilized to save revenue I suppose.

From a purely graphic standpoint, I saw a lot of clip art being used shortly after the storm. Awful, awful stuff.

They usually have great covers though.

By Blogger Varg, at 10:40 PM  

You are as obsessed with the Vitter story as all the other assholes were 8 years ago with the Clinton/Lewisnsky bullshit. I bet you were disgusted 8 years ago with the jackass Republican obsessiion.

By Anonymous El Stevo, at 9:16 AM  

read vitter's statements concerning clinton/lewinsky, then you might understand.

By Anonymous mark c, at 10:14 AM  

el stevo, lolis explains

By Anonymous mark c., at 11:23 AM