Saturday, August 22, 2009


Why do the bad boys always seem to be badder in the summer? (Yes, I know, I said “badder.” Live with it). Who knows, but there seems to be a pattern. This summer has been particularly frisky and mischievous for some of the most high profile bad boys. And don’t get all huffy about the exclusion of uber-bad boys John Edwards, Michael Vick, Rod Blagojeich and Glenn Beck from this piece. They’re still bad. Real bad. It’s just that I have written about all three of them ad nauseum lately, so I chose to focus herein on some of their bad contemporaries.

Plaxico Burress will serve two years in prison, it was reported this week, after pleading guilty to one count of attempted criminal possession of a weapon. But here’s the rub: Burress shot himself in the leg with the gun. Unfortunately, the gun he was carrying was not licensed. So, the married father of one, with another on the way goes to prison, and even when he gets out, it is not a given that the one-time Super Bowl star will be back in the NFL. "This was not an intentional criminal act," attorney Benjamin Brafman said. "In my judgment, a two-year prison sentence is a very severe punishment." So, that would suggest what? That Burress unintentionally carried an unlicensed weapon into a crowded public place? Burress, 32, has a history of unlawful behavior, which the judge probably considered. He’s still charged with smashing into the back of a Broward County, FL woman’s car with his Mercedes. Not only hasn’t he settled anything with her, but he was driving without insurance. And let’s not forget his two separate domestic disturbance instances in 2008, when he was hit with a restraining order in his own home. I hereby charge Plaxico Burress with serial badness.

Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina just will not go gently into that private night. He insists on staying public. This week he addressed a luncheon group and once again apologized for his bad judgment and behavior in carrying on an affair with an Argentinian woman. His wife and kids have already moved out, followed by a September Vogue interview in which Jenny Sanford is not cutting her husband much slack – you know, because he’s bad. Sanford now admits his political career is over, but he insists on finishing out the remaining 16 months of his term. More bad judgment on his part? You be the judge. Here is what a lame duck looks and sounds like:

Dr. Conrad Murray
is on track to be charged with manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson, according to a report from Fox News. Murray, who has admitted administering the intravenous anesthetic propofol to help Jackson sleep just hours before his death, says the truth will set him free. Hmmm. Since the truth is that the doctor gave Jackson a drug that virtually everyone in the medical community agrees is for use only in a surgical setting, one wonders how that might free him. So, why manslaughter and not murder? Possibly because there is nothing much in the doc’s background to suggest criminal patterns, except for some unpaid child support. And, it seems clear (so far, anyway) that it was not his intention to kill Jackson.

Senator John Ensign is the next in the long line of legislators who seem to believe that if they just don’t talk about their extra-marital sexual indiscretions, they whole thing will just somehow go away. However, Ensign, who admitted having an affair with the wife of one of his best friends, (both worked for Ensign), now comes forward to say he did nothing legally wrong. No mention of ethics or morals or any of that, just nothing legally wrong. Ensign, who was among the loudest legislators calling for Bill Clinton’s resignation during the Lewinsky affair, says there is a big difference between his situation and Clinton’s. I haven't done anything legally wrong. President Clinton stood right before the American people and he lied to the American people," Ensign said. Still, like Mark Sanford, Ensign keeps apologizing. And like our old friend David Vitter, he’s hoping the whole thing magically disappears.

I could go on – I mean I could talk about Jon Gosselin (oh, God, are we still talking about him?), or former NY Times reporter Jayson Blair. Blair is the guy who ruined his own career and brought down two of the most powerful men in the NY Times newsroom, when he fabricated stories a few years ago. Blair, long considered in journalism circles the worst of all bad boys, has taken on a new profession – life counselor. So Woody Allenish, no? Anyway, I’m not going into any great detail about that because anecdotal evidence suggests that you stop reading after about 700 words on a blog entry – we’re at 811 right now. So I lost many of you somewhere in the John Ensign paragraph. Damn. So much badness to report, and such short attention spans.

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