One Last Deal Hudson Post

A couple quick thoughts on Deal Hudson, and why the story seems to have died before it ever became national news. One is related to a
NY Times editorial today, calling for the head of General William Boykin and the fall of Illinois Senate candidate Jack Ryan.

All three are scandal stories--two sex related (Ryan and Hudson)--and one's about alleged religious bigotry.

Here's what the Times wrote about Boykin:

General Boykin has to be removed from his current job. He has become a national embarrassment, not to mention a walking contradiction of President Bush's own policy statement that the fight against terror is bias-free and not a crusade against Islam. (General Boykin preached of a 1993 fight against a Muslim warlord in Somalia: "I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol.")

The Times is headhunting--there's a scandal, and the editorial board wants someone's head to roll. They want someone fired, or driven to resign. That's the way these kinds of stories resolve. Since Ryan took some time to resign and Boykin wasn't fired, all the followup news was about whether they should resign or be fired. The stories gained legs and didn't stop in Ryan's case, and won't stop in Boykin's case until there's a resolution.

The Hudson piece died for a simple reason. He resigned. And so there's no story there, at least in the way scandal stories work. That's a flaw in our current 24/ 7 news cycle that the Bush campaign (and Kerry as well) and PR professionals are exploiting. A quick decision and a trophy--a high level personality losing their job--will kill a scandal. It's old news. And all the important questions, like how did Hudson gain such influence in the way the Bush campaign dealt with Catholic votes, get lost in the tsunami of the 24/7 news cycle.

One aside--the Times editorial raises some interesting questions. Is an Evangelical Christian, a Catholic, an Orthodox Jew, a Muslim--anyone who holds a faith which makes exclusive claims about truth and salvation--that their God is bigger than someone else's and their faith is truer than someone else's, unfit for command duty in the US military?


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