Third Time's The Charm: Latest NYT Paterson Bombshell Really Explodes

Well! New York Times exposes on Gov. David Paterson are like Godfather movies: They come in threes. But unlike Coppola, The New York Times saved the best for last. Hypocrisy? Violence against women? Abuse of power? It's all here. Damn.

Where to begin? How about with the brutal Halloween beating David W. Johnson, Paterson's 6-foot-7 driver and closest confidant, allegedly gave an ex-girlfriend last year. From the Times article:

According to the woman's account, Mr. Johnson confronted her in their bedroom, choked her, tore her Halloween costume off, pushed her into the dresser and then continued to choke her with one hand.

In her account, she screamed for Mr. Johnson to stop and then screamed for the help of a friend who was visiting. The woman said Mr. Johnson first took one telephone from her to prevent her from calling the police, and then chased her into another room when she went to find a second phone.

Mr. Johnson then turned to the woman's friend and told her to leave, "if you know what's good for you," according to the woman's account.

After this altercation, the woman says she was pressured by the State Police into not pressing charges. The State Police confirm contacting her. Oh, and not just any State Police: A member of the special detail which protects the governor—and David W. Johnson. The head of the state police told the Times "We never pressured her... we just gave her options." How thoughtful. Still, the woman pressed forward with her charges against her high-profile ex. Until this February, when she got a call from Paterson himself. (Paterson claims the woman initiated the call.) According to the woman's lawyer, Paterson told the woman, "If you need me, I'm here for you." She didn't show up for her next hearing, and the case was dropped.

What to make of this episode? The Times will not tell you, since they are a serious newspaper and print "just the facts." But the article leaves exactly the right blanks to fill in with a clear case of Paterson using the State Police as his own private Stasi to make a violent problem go away for his sketchy best friend. The Times notes that the timing of Paterson's call puts it right as the paper was digging into Johnson's history of altercations with women for their earlier article. Hmm... And the article repeatedly points out that the State Police—Paterson's police—visited the woman despite the assault being under NYPD's jurisdiction. Hmmmmm.... Oh, and after the Times visited the woman's house, Paterson got upset about it during a meeting with the editorial board. Uh huh...

Whether it was intentional or not, we have to admire the way the three Times Paterson scoops build on each other to create the perfect Portrait of the Governor as a Real Asshole: In the first installment, we learn of Paterson's girlfriend-beating trouble magnet aide, David W. Johnson. Maybe Paterson doesn't have the best character judgment, we think with a shrug. The second article reveals that Paterson pays for his vacations with campaign cash and gives his friend's ex-girlfriend a job. OK, so he has a little thing with using the power of his office to make things happen for himself and his buddies... uh oh. Then: Boom.

Three articles full of interesting facts. Three is also the number of sides of a triangle. Let's triangulate.