OFF THE GRID

Please Don’t Ever Forget Bernie Kerik

Oct 21, 09 | 8:44 AM   byMichael Wolff
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I have never met Bernie Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner and Rudy Giuliani crony and business partner, but he is my Facebook friend. He friended me.

This might be because, indicted on a variety of tax abuse and public corruption charges, he’s looking for good press. He was sent to prison yesterday for leaking sealed documents to the Washington Times. Or perhaps he friended me because I have written none-too-flatteringly about Judith Regan, with whom he had trysts in a city-owned apartment and with whom he had a terrible falling out. Or because I have written trenchantly, I hope, about his former patron, and, perhaps, the future governor of New York, Giuliani. Or because I am from Paterson, NJ, where Bernie began his police career, and where everybody, my mother tells me, knew Bernie was up to no good.

Or because he has a Facebook addiction. Or because he actually needs a friend.

He has really been abandoned. Not only by Judith Regan and Rudy Giuliani but by the media. Once linked like a dead weight to the further political ambitions of Giuliani, he's been decoupled by the media, in an act of boredom or memory loss or strenuous PR activities on the part of the former mayor. (The Times identifies Kerik as Presidents Bush’s choice for homeland security chief, when, in fact, he was foisted on the Bush White House by Giuliani.)

That seems unfair to Bernie Kerik and to the general public (or at least the people of the State of New York).

Bernie and Rudy exist because of each other. Rudy would not have been the kind of mayor he was (for better or worse) without Bernie; Bernie would probably not be in the fix he’s in without Rudy.

That sense of incredible entitlement and being above the rules which characterized both the former mayor and the people around him undoubtedly contributed to what Bernie seems to believe are his mere minor breaches of legal etiquette. Judge Stephen Robinson described Kerik yesterday as a “toxic combination of self-minded focus and arrogance,” which is an even better description of Giuliani himself. It is probably also true, as Kerik maintains, that he would not have been so aggressively pursued were it not for the deep hatred that exists for Giuliani.

And yet Giuliani walks free and Bernie Kerik is in jail.

I do not mean to suggest that Giuliani should be in jail (though I would put him there if I could), or that Bernie Kerik shouldn’t be.

I’m just saying that Giuliani should not be free of Bernie Kerik and that he should not be governor.

The media really ought not to forget Bernie.

More of Newser founder Michael Wolff's articles and commentary can be found at VanityFair.com, where he writes a regular column. He can be emailed at michael@newser.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: www.twitter.com/NewserColumns.
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OFF THE GRID is about why the news is the news. Here are the real motivations of both media and newsmakers. Here's the backstory. This is a look at the inner workings of desperate media, the inner life of the publicity crazed, and the true meaning of the news of the day.

 

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