Today Joe Monahan came with a powerful rebuke of the Albuquerque Journal for its failure to cover and condemn Martinez Chief of Staff Keith Gardner. The rebuke, written by outgoing Bernalillo County Commissioner Michael Wiener, was stinging in its directness.
Wiener was the subject of numerous Journal articles after a photograph surfaced of him with some young women while in the Phillipines. He wrote,
“I’m in absolute shock that Keith Gardner–arguably the second most powerful person in the state–wasn’t the lead story in the ABQ Journal for his extremely profane comments and unapologetic abuses of power. If anyone ever had any doubts that the Journal is biased and plays favorites, look at the difference between how the Journal covered Gardner and how they destroyed me.”
Wiener compared Gardner’s actions to his own:
“I’m a lowly County Commissioner, Gardner is the Governor’s Chief of Staff. Gardner is on tape calling respected elected officials “mother-fuckers” and “cock-suckers,”brags about being able to get traffic violations dismissed by his daddy, offers to slide his friend into a high-paying government job and brags about circumventing open government laws by private e-mail. I had my picture taken while on a trip to visit my daughter. I broke no laws, was on my own dime/on my own time–with my fiancee standing 5 feet away. Guess who made the front page of the Journal day after day after day after day–and who didn’t?”
The Journal regularly criticized the actions of Bill Richardson’s chiefs of staff, David Contarino, James Jimenez, and Brian Condit. Not one of them was ever caught on tape admitting to concealing their communications from the public to avoid discovery of their actions and possibly going to jail. Not one of them.
Wiener concluded his statement by calling out the editors of the Journal,
“they run the Journal like it’s the glorified mouthpiece of an out-of-control high school clique and as more and more people catch on to that fact, the more and more the circulation, readership and relevancy of the Journal will continue to drop.”
Perhaps Wiener was referring to Jay McCleskey, because from where most of us stand these days, it sure looks as if McCleskey is the one calling the shots.