That Scott English is a card

Scott English, Mark Sanford’s chief of staff, has been trying really, really hard to make light of the sordid story distracting us all this week — the one involving this year’s official Sanford candidate for governor.

Some of his recent Tweets:

My parking space has been next to Andre Bauer’s for 7 yrs. I was forced to make this statement. Just letting the chips fall where they may.

I had to do it to protect my family. I will have no further comment (in the next 10 minutes).

To get ahead of this story, I did a fist bump w/ a member of the SC House. Inappropriate physical contact?

Frankly, I think he was much closer to the mark with this one from Monday:

Just a little bit closer and we will have hit rock bottom.

What makes him think we’re not there already, I don’t know.

9 thoughts on “That Scott English is a card

  1. Matt

    I agree. Pretty humorous.

    And Mr. Folks deserves the mocking.

    He has the entire MSM around the state waiting with bated breath for when he’s going to dangle the next blog post for them to “report” on.

    I saw the Post and Courier political reporter send a Tweet wondering who Will released his cell phone records to. Guess it wasn’t the P&C.

    Wasn’t there once a day in the world of journalism when a reporter would do their own digging to uncover the veracity of a story…instead of letting a blogger (meaning someone who doesn’t have to abide by that code of journalistic ethics) dictate the terms of his own invented story?

  2. Brad

    But Matt, exactly where would these enterprising newshounds go to get said information? There are two people who know what happened or didn’t happen here. One says nothing happened. The other says something did, and that he’s got proof. So naturally people wait for the other shoe to drop, while Will just enjoys the hell out of all the attention.

    That said, there is one person out there who, based on what I’ve read, could supply at least second-hand confirmation, if anything did happen. But that person is already on the record as not wanting to talk. I need to call him about something else, so when I call him, I’ll ask him (even though I’m NOT a reporter, and haven’t been one since 1980). But I’ve got a pretty good idea what he’ll say.

    You know what I’m nostalgic for? A time when this kind of stuff was not a fit subject for public discussion. The pre-Oprah, pre-Phil Donahue, pre-“Broadcast News” when news interviews didn’t automatically include highly personal sharing, generally accompanied by weeping on camera.

    The kind of stuff we THEN considered news WAS stuff you could go out and dig up.

  3. Kathryn Fenner

    Bill Clinton was impeached for lying to authorities about an extramarital affair. That’s when this stuff became relevant, I believe. If Nikki is lying about her affair, *I* can see the difference, but Joe the Plumber will think it’s just same-old same-old politicians lying. Now, suppose there’s an investigation into some business dealings of NH–and they stumble upon the affair, and she lies about it–that’s the same thing.

    Newsrooms are so lean, it’s tempting to go with a juicy story that reports itself.

  4. Matt

    I’m nostalgic for that too.

    I guess what I’m thinking–and you would be able to speak on this as a former editor–is that for the past four days the story hasn’t been “A candidate for governor had an affair with a prominent political blogger” but has instead been “A prominent political blogger CLAIMS (rather vaguely) that he had an affair with a candidate for governor”. You said above that the blogger claims to have proof, and naturally the reporters wait for the other shoe to drop. My question is: wouldn’t a news editor want to see the proof BEFORE deciding to run with the story?

  5. Brad

    Yes, he would. But he doesn’t get that choice any more. The thing has already been reported in 100 other places, and the candidate has already put out an official statement on the matter, and has cancelled campaign appearances, and the whole community is buzzing about it (wherever I go the last three days, people ask me, “Whaddya think?” And I know what about, but I make them tell me before I answer), and it is ALREADY HAVING AN EFFECT ON THE RACE… all before an editor gets to make such a decision.

    Think about this for a moment — the day after all that had happened, what would you and most readers have thought about The State if it had had nothing on the subject? You’d like have thought it was clueless, or deliberately “covering something up” or whatever. It probably wouldn’t occur to you that the paper was being high-minded and ignoring the story until there was something more substantial there — not without the paper TELLING you it was doing that. And to tell you, it would have to acknowledge the story.

    That’s the bind I found myself in Monday. I thought about ignoring it, but then readers started to bring it up in comments — at least, I remember that one did, and I decided I had to acknowledge it.

    At this point, I’d truly be remiss not addressing it, because the impact it’s having on the campaign is considerable. Frankly, I think what it’s doing is propelling Nikki to inevitability on the nomination, with her rivals unable to get anyone’s attention — except as suspects in having attacked her by feeding the story to the media. Which is not the kind of press they want.

  6. Matt

    Thanks, Brad. Your explanation makes sense.

    More than the media, my real beef is with the political consultant subculture that I resisted getting sucked into as a long-term career several years ago. See I actually have a soul, so I don’t fit in with a lot of them. The guy that you mentioned you’re going to be calling has a lot of people challenging his character and integrity right now, and rightfully so.

  7. Brad

    The source in question didn’t answer his phone. I’ll try again later. I really do need to talk to him about the other thing…


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