In his September 27 op-ed piece Bob Herbert asks:
Is the Republican candidate for governor of New York a racist, sexist, pornography-loving creep?
As the remainder of Herbert's column goes on to document, the answer appears to be "yes." The story of Paladino's forwarding of videos and images, Herbert writes, is "so vile, so offensive, it is virtually impossible to effectively recount or describe. Reporters keep their distance. Editors lunge for the delete button."
The upshot is that behavior that in a social setting would likely result in isolation or ostracism, or in a corporate setting could result in someone getting fired, receives only superficial coverage. As reported by Herbert, the images circulated by Paladino include:
- 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."
- 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.
- A video clip of a nude couple engaged in intercourse with the title: "Miss France [expletive]." Mr. Paladino characterized it as "a keeper."
- An image showing a woman performing a sexual act on a horse.
"The images and videos are so blatantly hostile to blacks and women that it’s fair to wonder whether Mr. Paladino is prejudiced against them," Herbert asks. Paladino probably misses the irony of his proposed "Dignity Corps" for the poor — with the implication that the poor lack dignity — Herbert suggests, coming from someone who traffics in racist and pornographic images
Greg Mitchell, who attended St. Bonaventure University with Paladino, reports that, like George W. Bush, Paladino managed to avoid service in Vietnam. An ROTC activist in college, Paladino took the ROTC money but deferred his commitment to serve after graduation by attending law school first, thereby avoiding the height of the Vietnam War.
Moreover, Greg Mitchell notes, Paladino "must be one of the first major candidates to openly campaign with a daughter from what he acknowledges was an "extramarital affair" with an employee (he kept the existence of the kid from his wife for nearly a decade)."
What happened to the Republican Party's claim on "family values?" It's difficult to imagine how this story would be covered if the perpetrator was a Democrat, largely because it's difficult to imagine the Democratic party nominating anyone with this kind of public personal history and behavior to any high office.
Paladino's antisocial conduct doesn't stop at racism and pornography. This week he threatened to "take out" a reporter.
"Paladino he is an insult to Italians," blogger VGCPOST commented on YouTube. "The dude is not fit to goven any state . He acts like he is from the cast of the Goodfellas."