Another thing my Dad mentioned to me yesterday from his watching of 24/7 TV "news" was that the Democratic Party chair had said something insensitive about the expected Gulf Coast hurricane, and then apologized. Dad couldn’t remember the chairman’s name, so I assumed it was Howard Dean. I said something about Howard’s an OK guy; he just gets carried away.
It wasn’t until a few minutes ago that I picked up on the fact that it was Don Fowler. You SEE how outside the spin cycle I live my life?
Anyway, Don and I have been known to exchange unpleasant words, but I feel for him on this one — and I think I can say, with some confidence of being supported by others who know him, that he’s a way better person than one might gather from the video clip. If someone had been following me with a hidden camera back in my newsroom days, you’d think I really was, as Don once suggested, a devil of some sort. Gallows humor goes with the territory. A defense mechanism, or whatever. I probably wouldn’t be aware of it, except I have been guilty of saying similar things in my wife’s presence, and SHE has made sure I know that she is appalled. And when I see it through her eyes, I am chastened, even ashamed.
There’s no explaining things like this afterwards; you just look bad, period. But I’ll say it again — I feel for Don on this. Yes, he’s a partisan, and that causes us to disagree sometimes, but he’s not a bad guy at all.
You know that column I did about the Capital City Club, and how it was started to allow blacks and Jews and women into the halls of power? Don was one of the people who started that club. And it is my impression that things like that are much more representative of who he is than an ironic wisecrack made to a friend in what he evidently supposed was a private moment.