Go Away, Sam. Steve Novick for Mayor.

I’ve posted enough times (three, as the case may be) to suggest a simple bit of friction in my mind regarding Sam Adams.  I don’t much like Mr. Adams, but my sense of outrage starts way too late in the proceedings to much care for your — what is it?, www.samadamspleasegooffyourself.com and www.predatorareyousam.com ?

There’s this thing where I don’t quite understand Randy Leonard.  Sam Adams met with him privately, Leonard asked him if anything more was going to come out, Adams said “no”, the Oregonian published the interview with Beau Breedlove, Leonard muttered on the lie from Adams has new damaging information had come out.  It may be that I’m too far out of the orbit and Leonard is too close to Adams and works with him every day, but I didn’t see too much new information in that interview that significantly altered my view:  I had pretty well inferred sexual advances at the age of 17; it seems implausible to imagine just out of the blue two weeks after the 18th birthday — Sex, with nothing unsordid before then.  Mind you, Mr. Breedlove denies actual sex, but acknowledges prolonged kissing in a public restroom (the detail of setting I wave away as neither here nor there).  But, mind you, I cannot accept even here the cries out of a pedophile (or, rather whatever the term is to “phile” for pubescent teenagers) “grooming” for, like three weeks.

Dissecting some issues of concern, coming to conclusions based in the minituae of details further than some would come to conclusions, and just what damaging details Breedlove revealed, Adams comes off badly for two reasons:  #1:  He initiated it.  Ergo:  Predator, such as it is.  As a means of comparison, the 22 year old Monica Lewinsky that the 17 going on 18 yeard olf Breedlove is being compared to was the one who flashed her thong at President Clinton.  #2:  Another difference between Mr. Adams and Mr. Clinton in their Major Age Gulf Affair, a dent in Dan Savage’s g-danged “Rules of the Game”.  Clinton, in his recollections, in his wary “I just screwed up” reflection, collected the thoughts that Lewinsky is a smart good young woman — worthy of giving a collection of Walt Whitman to, it would appear.  Mr. Adams to Breedlove after this ill-advised fling:  see panel two in this cartoon:  “I didn’t find it compelling.”  Logical enough — Adams is in his 40s, and Beau is bouncing from the age of minority to the age of majority — not much in common there except an active Libido.  But Beau named his dog “Lolita”, couldn’t Adams at least give him a Nabokov book and put in a good word for him?  (The latter one just suggests a matter of sleaziness, the former one suggests a matter of criminality.)

Back to Randy Leonard and the sense of not having “anything new come out”.  I sort of feel the same way with the Willamette Week.  Mark Zusman came on KPOJ the day of Obama’s Inauguration and relayed the story.  And relayed the story of confronting Sam Adams with the story, and Adams’s reaction — shaken to the core, denial, fidgeting nervously — then having to accept its reality.  At any rate, an understandable reaction.  Zusman left out an important detail which I wished I knew — its omission allowed me to at least take the Adams result as “understandable reaction”.  I understand why this had to be omitted with journalistic practices of sourcing, but its omission throws a chink in the story of Adams’s reaction and my ability to at least understand Adams.  Here:

During the Jan. 15 interview, WW asked Adams why Vezina would say something that Adams—at the time—was contending was a lie. Adams suggested it was because Vezina had an ulterior motive. Adams said it was because “I accused him of trying to rape Beau.”

Wait.  What?  Adams accused his accuser of rape? 

Seriously, everything — including the character assassination of Mr. Ball, makes some type of semi-respectible sense.  But — um — you don’t falsely accuse people of committing rape.  That’s a… no-no…. significantly shifting my impression of Mr. Adams.

And its omission contradicts the impression left by Zusman when first hearing the story.  I suppose a dripping of information allows the Willamette Week to prolong its import on the story, a by-product of the more assured import in having to handle your sources, and there was probably no way for Mr. Zusman to relay this withoug biting his tongue.  But, beyond that, I do have a bit of a problem with this:

There is no evidence that Adams’ claim has any factual basis. WW waited to publish this story until it could get responses from Vezina and Breedlove. But Breedlove did not return more than 15 messages asking about the alleged rape attempt.

“More than 15 messages”?  Couldn’t it have stopped at, like, reach attempt number 10?

As for Adams, Bang #2 here comes with:

Contacted on Friday, Jan. 23, Adams backed away from his earlier explanation of Vezina’s actions and offered a new one. He acknowledged that Vezina was telling the truth about Adams’ having had sex with Breedlove. But the mayor still insisted that Vezina’s motives weren’t pure.

Okay.  The “Rape” allegation wasn’t floating here — is there another equally contemptible thing Adams could float?  He’ll have to sit on that one, until he comes up with something to fill in the vague “motives weren’t pure”.

Instead, he said Vezina was angry because he learned that Adams lied to him about his whereabouts on July 9, 2005.

Hm.  A bit of defense comes in the comments section, which I don’t quite buy because at this point Mr. Adams should know he’s speaking to a broader crowd:

Boy24  writes on Jan 28th, 2009 1:28pm Comment 33 | Respond

I have read this again. The obviously distraught mayor states on January 15 that at some point four years earlier he accused a person he was then dating of trying “to rape” a mutual 18yo friend. Then he says that he does not really know what happened between the two men but the young man was very upset. In the context of the conversation between two middle-aged gay men, “rape” can only mean unwanted sexual attention. It is an unfortunate wording, because some people can think that an actual sexual assault was discussed. Which is an absolute impossibility, given the young man’s physique and other factors.

This report will certainly leave readers feeling dirty, both because of the tactic developed by this tabloid in attacking the mayor and actual content of the conversation. I do, however, strongly object to framing this story as a new development (Mayor Goes On Attack) when it is just another droplet of the interview conducted on January 15 and and reported a week ago. WWeek is serializing the bit of compromising information about the mayor they have, in order to boost readership while disregarding completely the negative impact this reporting has on people (other than Sam) and the city. It also sounds like the reporter really took advantage of the mayor’s distraught state during this interview.

annie  writes on Jan 28th, 2009 1:48pm Comment 36

Mr. Boy24, “Rape” is not a word to just be bandied about. It has a serious and real connotations associated with it. Your mayor appears to have a problem with using powerful words that could get him in a whole lot of trouble, should the person he’s labeling a “Rapist” decide to fight back. Yep, it appears Sam’s level of being distraught has amped a couple of notches… […]

I see the activists of that sort (the sort that placed an angry note at an emptied Willamette Week box) have an empty “Just Out” bin downtown with a paper plastered saying “Worried About Perceptions?  In 2009?  Imagine ‘Just Out’ Covering Stonewall”.   Whatever.  We’re a few paces too far for that to qualify.

Leave a Reply