Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

Save us from Eliot Spitzer’s charitable impulses

When a politician falls from grace, it’s hardly a surprise that he or she tries to rebuild his public image. A recent story in The New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/28/nyregion/28spitzer.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=Spitzer&st=cse&oref=slogin) tells about how former New York governor Eliot Spitzer is considering ways to undo the damage he has done.

The story reports:

“Now, in interviews with friends and former aides, and through e-mail messages obtained through a Freedom of Information request by The New York Times, a picture emerges of Mr. Spitzer trying to focus on the future and his family, with the threat of criminal charges still hanging over him. He is working at his father’s real estate firm, and has discussed with friends whether to undertake charity, environmental or free legal work to try to rehabilitate his image.”

 Later:

“His close friends remain in touch and have encouraged him to rehabilitate himself through some charitable work, though he is more focused for the moment on building on his father’s already estimable wealth.”

It is hardly a surprise that Spitzer’s “Richie Rich” friends are advising him to get into “charity” work since that’s the way the society types try to undo the messes they have created. “Vanity charity” is all the rage as times get tougher and the illusory “help” benefits few except those who are the “exec dir” or “exec VP” of some organization that raises money and then distributes it – to its high-paid, high-status staff. Charities that truly set out to help the unfortunate are the ones that are not located in nice buildings in the good part of town, and don’t employ “names and faces” who are looking to clean up a fraud or a DUI.

It’s akin to a recent episode of “The Office,” where the once-high-flying Ryan reappears after his arrest for fraud involving Dunder-Mifflin’s Web site and paper sales, and announces that he has reformed and is “giving back to the community” through volunteer work. Jim points out that, in fact, the “giving back” is not really “giving back” because it was ordered by a judge and is, in fact, community service.

That’s how Spitzer and his ilk see charity work: as a way to serve what should be a prison sentence.

The person I feel most sorry for is his wife. She should have broken his head with something big and heavy for what he pulled, and instead she has to suffer in silence.

I guess the upshot of this rant is simple: Keep that philandering, low-life, slime bag away from any charity, and especially those charities that really work to help people, as opposed to the fake charities that are run by the rich and famous. Eliot Spitzer is, and always will be, a person with no values, ethics, morality or respect for others or others’ feelings.

Let him fade into well-deserved obscurity and keep him away from the needy. His ilk need the needy to make themselves look good, and don’t care about them or their struggles.

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September 29, 2008 - Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , ,

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