David Paterson Can't Even Lie to the New York Times Correctly.

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There are only so many ways to say "blunder," "mistake," or "fiasco," before you finally get to "out-and-out-fuckup." Which is where we've arrived today.

Gov. David Paterson's having quite the week. Yesterday, his press secretary Marissa Shorenstein became the fifth in a series of high profile resignations brought forth from his office, thirteen days into her new position. A new position she ascended to, of course, after Paterson communications director Peter Kaufmann hung up his hat earlier this month in the wake of a scandal involving Paterson's driver David Johnson physically threatening a woman. Which also involved state police visiting the woman's house, and Paterson staffers (like Shorenstein) calling the woman. It also, as we learned, involved Paterson himself calling the woman. And this all came after weeks of speculation about a New York Times bombshell that would cause Paterson's resignation, and he's been battling bad press, an unfortunate series of revelations, and resignations since those very first whispers.

So, Paterson the Spin Doctor, went on the radio this morning to try to clear the air, confessing that he, David Paterson, the governor of our state, was the source of the leak that lead to all of this:

"The individual who first made it clear that there had been a conversation was myself," the governor told John Gambling, a host on WOR (710 AM).

So, we're now hearing that Paterson was the one who told the New York Times that he called Sherr-una Booker, the woman in question. From Paterson himself.

And as it turns out, he's lying. Or just wrong. So say the people who broke the news of the call, the New York Times, as the sentence that follows is:

His statement, however, is not accurate.

What follows is a timeline of the reporting on the original piece, which begins with this:

In the course of reporting, The Times learned that the governor had called Ms. Booker, but that information did not come from the governor.

Now, Paterson wasn't under oath, but eventually, he will be. And not that this question is guaranteed to come up in a trial, but if he can't even lie to the press correctly and without getting bruised, how's he going to do it without perjuring himself? Furthermore:

  • Why's he naming himself as the source of the leak when he isn't?
  • Is he protecting someone?
  • If so, who?
  • And then: why?

The punchline here, of course, is that the Paterson administration finally someone they haven't called to lie for them.

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Interm Press Secretary to David Paterson, C. Monster, advising the governor's staff on their new press strategy.
Paterson remains our 10:1 favorite to resign behind 2:1 favorite Peter Kiernan, Council to the Governor. We'd bump anyone else in his position up to a 3:2, except for the fact that David Paterson has yet to act in a manner befitting someone in his position - a governor abandoned by his now lawyered-up lieutenants and former political allies, political intestines in hand and unraveling, without a doctor or even a cleanup crew in sight - which of course would be, quite simply, to resign. He's hung in there this long. Why quit now?

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]


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