Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Op-Ed Columnist - What Is Paladino About? - NYTimes.com
Is the Republican candidate for governor of New York a racist, sexist, pornography-loving creep? Or are there other, more benign, explanations for the stomach-turning e-mails distributed by Carl Paladino?
One of the things that can happen in the news business is that some portion of a story becomes so vile, so offensive, it is virtually impossible to effectively recount or describe. Reporters keep their distance. Editors lunge for the delete button.
Such is the case with the images and videos forwarded by Mr. Paladino to a wide variety of people. The public should know about these mailings, and Mr. Paladino should give a full, thoughtful explanation of why he trafficked in such filth.
Example: A photo showing a group of black men trying to get out of the way of an airplane that is apparently moving across a field. The caption reads: “Run niggers, run.”
Example: A doctored photo of President and Mrs. Obama showing the president in a stereotypical pimp’s costume holding the hand of the first lady, who is dressed as a prostitute in a grotesquely revealing outfit.
Example: A video clip of a nude couple engaged in intercourse with the title: “Miss France [expletive].” Mr. Paladino characterized it as “a keeper.”
Example: An image showing a woman performing a sexual act on a horse.
There are many more. Mr. Paladino has acknowledged forwarding the e-mails, which he said was evidence of “poor judgment” on his part. But that’s not sufficient. The e-mails raise legitimate questions about the fitness of the sender to hold the highest office in the state, and Mr. Paladino should feel an obligation to put those questions to rest.