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The Bad Form/Psycho Babble Awards

January 5, 2015

The winner, of course, is Fred Dicker. It’s an obvious selection. The surprise runner up is the New York Times, which compounded bad form and psycho babble with inaccuracy.

At this stage of his career, whatever Dicker had is long gone. Only bile remains. It’s not even journalism anymore, it’s score settling for his failed bromances. His attempt on Friday to opine on Mario’s legacy was like everything he writes now – brimming with personal disappointments.

Dicker said Mario was “arrogant, angry and resentful” (toward him) and that his legacy was “strange, infuriating and tragic.” The only thing missing was for Fred to say: “He weally, weally hurt my feelwings.”

This was to be expected from Fred. The only real surprise was that he couldn’t wait 24 hours before disparaging a dead man.

What wasn’t expected was the Times’ incredible dig at both Governors Cuomo. In this regard, the Nagourney-Craig piece on Saturday contained an anecdote about a recent telephone call between Andrew and Mario in 2011 in which the son supposedly belittled the father’s achievements as governor.

Set aside the notion of why the Times would run an examination of the father-son dynamic right after the father died. Instead, consider this question: What is it with the Times? Why is it obsessed with second- or third-hand gossip?

Parse it. The only way you could report that particular anecdote and not have it be second- or third-hand gossip is if you heard it directly from either Andrew or Mario.

That must not have happened because when Andrew and his people read the account in the paper, they clearly went off on the Times editors, prompting the paper to run a correction stating that Andrew’s critique applied to his own record, not his father’s.

And what does one say about an error like that? Mulligan?

And when will the Times come off gossip mongering? Every extended story it writes now seems to turn on some overheard exchange that is supposed to make the participants feel “real” to readers.

Is the masthead going to change now?  “All the Gossip That’s Fit to Print.”

Another article that ought to be noted in this dubious awards post is one by Michael Goodwin. His piece was actually quite positive in part. High in his commentary, he said this: “(Mario) remained fundamentally decent, his integrity beyond reproach. Befitting an era where politics was hardball, not personal, he could be incredibly gracious even to those who disagreed with him.”

(How does this statement by Goodwin square with Dicker’s claims? Are they even talking about the same fella?)

Where Goodwin goes off is in looking back at famous Democratic Convention Speech in 1984 and concluding, as only someone with the Post’s worldview could, that Mario was on the wrong side of history. Reaganomics may have blown out the federal fisc, but we won the Cold War! Mario, even ailing Mario, would have been all over that.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. David Shaffer permalink
    January 5, 2015 3:50 PM

    I’m no devotee of Dicker’s, but I wonder if the percentage of your work that you devote to denouncing him is at all proportional to whatever share of responsibility he may bear for all the pathologies of Albany and New York State.

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