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Adam Serwer, blogging from home, on the Times weird expose:

...the heft of the story rests on the reader either believing that Johnson's convictions for drug offenses as a teenager in Harlem disqualify him from being close to the governor, or that someone with past run-ins with the law has no place in public life or politics by definition.The Times' big expose seems to be that the governor takes counsel from a scary black man from the hood, who "6-foot-7, with a booming voice," casts an "imposing figure." Even writing that makes me want to cross the street, my iPod Shuffle clutched to my breast.

It's tough to know precisely where to place theblame. As PB notes, it wasn't the Times that hyped the story. Still, even on it's own, I just didn't see much there. The upshot seemed to be that Paterson might be getting some bad advice. But we knew that, right?

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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