Paterson 'Bombshell' Shocks Few

This wasn't the sordid affair the press was hoping for

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The "bombshell" story that was expected to threaten New York Governor David Paterson's career turned out to be a dud. For weeks, gossipmongers dreamed of trysts in utility closets and makeout sessions at steakhouses. But the story actually centered on the criminal history of Paterson's aid, David W. Johnson. As The New York Times reports, Johnson was arrested for selling drugs as a minor and, more recently, allegedly threatened two women. Hinting at hypocrisy, the Times notes that Paterson has been a prominent critic of violence against women.

By and large, commentators aren't impressed. They say the Times's thuggery allegations are too thinly sourced, predicting the guilt-by-association charge won't significantly tarnish the governor.

  • No One Will Care About This  Ben Smith at Politico writes: "The story refers to the eyebrows raised by the governor's reliance on his from-nowhere aide -- though this isn't all that unusual in politics -- and the subtext of disorganization in Paterson's office aren't going to raise a lot of eyebrows in New York. And whatever the Times' sources may have said about the governor himself don't appear in the story."
  • Paterson Can Relax, writes Taegan Goddard at Congressional Quarterly: "After all the speculation, it's really not much for Paterson to worry about." Henry Blodget at Business Insider adds "If one really squints, we guess this story could be viewed as somewhat sexy and scandalous.  But barely." With an air of remorse, he adds, "If this really is all there is to it, we and others owe Governor Paterson an apology."
  • Isn't This Aide a Success Story? asks Jenn Kepka at Orbital Matters: "I'm kind of hard pressed to do much more than give a cheer for a guy who has risen from being twice arrested for drug crimes as a teenager in in early-90s Spanish Harlem to being the closest aide of New York's governor. Isn't that kind of the new American dream?"
  • The Takeaway  "There were no sexy Paterson revelations. No drug-fueled orgies spilling into the halls of the Governor's mansion. Tell all your friends: Paterson's closest adviser is sort of a thug. The great phantom David Paterson scandal of 2010 ends with a whimper," writes Gawker's Adrian Chen.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.