David Paterson's appearance on Larry King Live was his most high-profile move yet to stifle the phantasmagorical sex rumors about him that exploded last Sunday—Super Bowl Sunday no less! We were one of a number of outlets speculating about an unpublished New York Times article with sexy revelations crazy enough to force Paterson's resignation. But it contained no such things, said Paterson's camp. And Paterson did not resign.
But since Sunday, Paterson has been a case study in just how hard it is to take away the chattering class' delicious rumors once they start getting passed around like a lukewarm shrimp cocktail. He's issued a number of denials, but each one seems to glance off the rumor mill and fly crazily back in his face: Fighting back against the Post's claims of extra-marital humping prompted some more unsubstantiated rumors; Chris Smith wrote for Daily Intel that Paterson's appearance on "Imus" only aided in "keeping the larger nuttiness alive by claiming the Times's phantom story had "hypersexualized" him." And still, the question hangs over everything: What the hell is in that article?
Thus Paterson ended up on Larry King tonight, hoping that saying the same things he'd been saying all week to more people would fix things. And once there, Larry King asked him if he had trouble reading the real headlines about this supposedly non-existent story. It's enough to make a guy want to call a situation "Kafkaesque!" Which he did:
Someone did the reading in English class! It's an appropriate allusion though, since Paterson is approaching this thing with as much direction as Josef K trying to grasp the charges against him. On Larry King, he claimed that addressing the rumors would only strengthen them, when he has been vehemently denying them all week. Then he went on to deny, in great detail, the Post's best rumor: That a state trooper discovered him and a mystery woman smooching in a utility closet in the governor's mansion:
And when King asked Paterson "Who's after you?" Paterson's anti-speculation stance got a little muddled with his own *hint* *hint* *nudge* nudge*:
For me to speculate about it would be as wrong as the speculations made about me. I can't prove it, I don't know who it is. Maybe those in the media could check their sources more. Maybe those in the media might investiagte why their sources are saying what they're saying.
(Cue twilight zone music!)
Paterson's flailing is a tacit admission that there really is no way to stop a tabloid machine that revved up to peak RPMs—at least not until the Times finally publishes their big expose and we can all see for ourselves if it is or is not a 3,000 word narrative of his night with two state assemblywomen in the garden shed or whatever. And Paterson once again urged the Times to come out with it, or at least "clear the air".
Also, he blamed Eliot Spitzer for making the Governor's office so sex-rumorific:
Probably the most Kafkaesque part about this whole thing is: WHERE THE SHIT IS THAT NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE!?