This Ain’t Nothin’ But The Man Tryin’ To Keep A Brotha Down

My e-mail inbox was full this morning. I knew exactly why.

Last night the Times-Picayune’s Johnathan Tilove posted a story on The Zipper decamping from the federal clink to his daughter’s crib, which he’ll be using as a halfway house for the next six months. And I was quoted in the piece.

Specifically, Tilove used my quote about why The Zipper’s rehabilitation in the eyes of his toadies and other like-minded simpletons is such a damaging phenomenon…

On his political blog, “The Hayride,” Scott McKay, who opines from a conservative Republican perspective, wrote of his disgust with the gushing sentimentality shrouding the coverage of Edwards’ release.

“The idea that this man did good for the state because he was flamboyant and entertaining and made lots of deals, and oh-by-the-way-it’s-unimportant-that-he-might-have-skimmed-a-few-bucks-off is not a harmless one,” McKay wrote. “Edwards practiced a crony-capitalist economic regime in Louisiana for decades which poisoned the business climate here and ran off both capital and talent in alarming quantities; we are still trying to recover.”

Tilove had some other relatively interesting material in the piece. Not about Edwards per se, mind you, but about how his release and other aspects of his political/criminal career affected the local political scene. For example, he had a friendly quote about Edwards from one of the Zipper’s immediate successors/political victims, former governor Buddy Roemer, “who is contemplating a Republican presidential run.”

Yeah, I know. That has to be a joke. After all, I’m sure there are lots of presidents who at one point in their political career lost to David Duke in a primary election.

But he also had a quote from The Godfather, also known as LSU political science guru Wayne Parent. Any article with Parent’s input is worthwhile, and this is no exception…

“Like Huey and Earl Long before him, Edwin Edwards made common Louisianians feel great about themselves. And like Huey and Earl, he derived political strength, not from the laws that governed his office, but from this enthusiastic personal loyalty,” LSU political scientist Wayne Parent wrote in his book, “Inside the Carnival: Unmasking Louisiana Politics.”

On word of Edwards’ release, Parent said, “I am struck by the number of Louisianians who think he was guilty of the crimes for which he served time but nonetheless have enormous affection for the man.”

Of course, Tilove also had a quote from Tulane history professor Lawrence Powell…

But Tulane University historian Lawrence Powell said that Edwards was “one of the smartest guys who ever governed the state,” and “in that long tradition of buccaneer liberalism, or rogue populism,” in Louisiana that “actually delivered public goods to the disadvantaged people, and he did it for blacks and whites. It always came with a little lagniappe for him and his friends, but that too was part of the Long tradition.”

Powell, whose class you can take for the mere price of Tulane’s average $36,000 yearly tuition (surely a bargain, no?), appears to be precisely the goofball I was warning about yesterday. I suppose giving him a voice is the price of a balanced piece for Tilove, though it’s instructive that for $36,000 a year it seems you can expose your kid to the precise mentality that pervades the housing projects and prisons of our fair state.

I do hope that Edwards has some Viagra or Enzyte handy, though. That old man is gonna need it for what people like Powell want to do to him.

Nonetheless, I’ll be positive and graciously accept that I got quoted in the same article with Professor Parent, of whom I’ve been a fan since I was a kid sitting in his class at LSU.

But I do have one quibble. It is customary in this age of New Media and the internet that when you quote from a source, you provide a link to the material you quoted from. And no link appears in Tilove’s piece.

Now, I don’t blame Tilove for that. I’m being quoted fairly regularly in the Picayune and the Advocate these days, and neither one ever does a live link. Gerry Shields from the Advocate will include the URL of this site when he quotes me, but it’s never a live link. And the Picayune a few days ago had a direct quote from something that appeared here and attributed it solely to “a conservative blogger.” I was going to raise a stink about that but it was in a piece written by “Times-Picayune staff,” so I figured there was no point trying to find out who the culprit was.

I’m told that at both papers this is policy. Other than a few folks who represent the “in crowd” among the New Media, they don’t typically link to sites like this one.

You know why. Bees and dogs aren’t the only animals who can smell fear.

Anyway, congrats to Tilove for a good piece on the Zipper. And he can feel free to quote me anytime. Eventually folks will know how to find us on the web.

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