Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Political Lesson for Isaac Ford

“This was a straight setup. I’m disgusted we even showed up,” Isaac Ford grumbled after Monday night’s candidate forum. He had witnessed the same sad performance out of his brother Jake that the audience had, and was one of the few Jake Ford supporters in the room unwilling to pretend that he had made a good showing.

“What? The debate?” I asked. I was standing only about four feet away and had overheard an argument between a Ford supporter and a Cohen supporter only moments before.

“This was a fucking setup,” he said.

“How is a debate a setup?” I asked him. I won’t pretend that I’m a Jake Ford supporter, but I can honestly say that if they thought something was unfair, I wanted to hear about it.

Isaac looked at me angrily and said “It’s not a debate. It’s a forum, sir.”

“Okay,” I said, still waiting for what was unfair about the forum.

Instead of answering me, he looked up and said “What’s your name?”

“Rick Maynard,” I said, holding out my hand. I had spoken to him briefly the day before at his brother’s campaign rally, but I certainly couldn’t fault him for not remembering. I’m sure he met a lot of people that day.

“Rick Maynard, what do you do?” he asked defensively. I wasn’t really sure how that tied into what was unfair about the forum, but okay.

“I am a local blogger---“

And that was all Isaac had to hear.

“You’re a local blogger. That’s what I thought. You’re one of those Cohen bloggers, so get out of here. Get out of here. Write it all tonight. Write it all tonight. Enjoy writing to your white community, which is not gonna---

“You know, I---

“How the fuck did you get in here?”

I thought that was a strange question, as anyone could show up to the forum, but I ignored it. I had no hostile intent in this conversation, and I wanted to make that clear.

“I actually wrote a very f---“ I was going to say “fair piece about Harold”, but I was interrupted.

“I’m talking to my buddy here. I’m not going to conversate [sic] with you,” he said. I had actually been near the young man he described as “his buddy” before he was, as he was the one that had been arguing with the Cohen supporter, so I didn’t feel the need to walk away simply because Isaac arrived. I had actually wanted to talk to the “buddy” and get his take on the debate. He was obviously one of the few people in the building unashamed to defend Jake after that performance, and I wanted to get his take.

“I’m not trying to fight you,” I said, holding up my hands. I was going to say I simply wanted their perspective, and if they felt they were treated unfairly, I wanted to know about it. I will not deny that I support Cohen in this campaign, but frankly, I’m liberal enough to care if someone feels they were mistreated.

“Fight?” Isaac asked. “You’ll know when I fight you. “I’ll tell you that. I’m not going to fight you here in front of all these witnesses---“

“I wrote a very fair piece---“ I continued, trying to head off this argument.

“--- so I can go to jail,” he continued.

“I wrote a very fair piece about Harold today,” I said. I thought he came off sounding pretty good in the piece I had written for the River City Mud Bugle.

“Harold?” he sneered. “I want to talk about Jake.”

The way he said “Harold” caught me off guard. It was almost as though I had said some kind of dirty word. I admit, I didn’t even know what to say to that.

“What’s the name of your blog? What’s the name of your blog?”

At this point, I knew any chance of a rational conversation was over. I didn’t talk to him to get some kind of a public argument. I simply wanted to find out what, if anything, was unfair about that forum, but he wanted to make the conversation about me.

“Have a nice day,” I said, then turned and walked away.

I didn’t catch everything he said to me as I was walking off. And unfortunately, since I had my back to him, the digital voice recorder that was sitting in the front pocket of my shirt was pointed in the wrong direction. You can listen to it or download it here. If anyone can screen the room noise out of the latter part of the file enough to get what was said, then you’re sharper with audio software than I am, and I have no problem admitting it. I know the f-bomb was dropped a few more times, but I can’t honestly say I remember precisely what was said anymore. Someone else started a conversation with me as Isaac was still ranting, and I quit recording at that point.

Let this be a lesson in politics for the neophyte Ford brothers. A political operative that knows what he’s doing never loses his cool in public like that. They certainly don’t chastise people that they know are writers and say “Write it all tonight”. They don’t curse at people when media is in the room--- If I hadn’t recorded the conversation, someone else very well might have.

And they’re certainly smart enough to know that when they speak in public, they’re on the record.

Jake Ford is clearly not the only younger Ford brother that doesn’t know what he’s doing.

***UPDATE***
It's been pointed out to me that there was a problem with the earlier audio link. It should be repaired now, and can be accessed by clicking the earlier link or clicking right here. Sorry for the inconvenience.

***Update #2***
Fourth time is a charm, I hope. Audio links should be fixed.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/Content?oid=oid:19954

Wintermute said...

And so you got your thanks for writing a "fair piece," caught up in transition from polemicist to journalist.

The transition I want to be caught up in is the one from Ford to Cohen.

Freedonian said...

Anonymous,
I'd actually heard about that one before. Not really sure what to make of it... Gossip columnists, much like book critics, really only shine when they're issuing a scathing report.

Mute,
Yep. Isaac showed his gratitude. I'm just happy the link worked this time.

And yeah, bro--- I'm looking forward to that transition myself.

autoegocrat said...

Well played, sir.

kibitzer said...

Sigh! Im still getting a "cannot display" page from the audio link. You know my email: can you send the file?

Freedonian said...

Thank you, Auto, my friend. And thank you for allowing me to access the server and upload an audio file that will FINALLY work worth a damn.

Kibitzer,
Consider it sent, friend.

polar donkey said...

It is unfair to ask one candidate the same questions as the others. Jez, they're Fords. It's their world, we only live in it.

I bet Herenton is laughing his ass off at tweedle-dumb and tweedle-dumber's venture into politics.

nut-meg said...

Yes, how lovely!

And then Good old Harold went and voted FOR torture today.

What a nice bunch.

Anonymous said...

That article matriculates that blacks must blend in with whites, adapt their mannerisms, their practices, their morals in order to be accepted. That's whats wrong with some blacks now, adapting the attitudes, morals, lack of discipline from ignorant ass white folk.

Freedonian said...

Donkey,

Herenton had to have been THRILLED watching Jake the other night. The most foul stench in Memphis politics isn't him these days. By not only endorsing Cohen but verbally beating Jake up, he improved his standing with the voters.

Meg,
I can't even tell you how ashamed I am of that vote. I can understand that he doesn't want to give Corker room to stand to the right of him, but damn...

Anonymous,
Huh? I saw the same comment on Thad's blog... Was this even meant for here? I don't think anyone here has commented on whether or not blacks should be more like whites or vice versa.

David Holt said...

That strange comment was on my blog and pesky's too. Who knows.

Senacle said...

Nice job, Free. Seriously.

A word to the wise: if you portray yourself as "media" then you'll be held accountable as "media."

To that end, it's quite possible there is some legal gray area here. I'm just saying it's tricky ground when you are recording someone and they don't know it.

It gets even trickier when you post that recording on the Net without even allowing the person a chance to respond.

Be careful.

Respect,
Senacle

Reginald Fentress said...

Good job Freed. I'm proud of you my man.

Anonymous said...

Jake Ford is an embarrassment to both the district and his family.

His election to public office (any public office) would surely bring about scandal & shame to Tennessee.

I attended both forums that Ford participated in recently. Not since the wit & wisdom of Dan Quayle has the electorate been exposed to such butter-knife like wit, offered by the deer-in-the headlights Mr.Ford.

At one point during the previous forum, Mr. Ford proposed to reduce crime by putting less police officers on our streets and implying that 'crime' was a by-product of gentrification. His rambling, inability to focus on the questions put before him and his constant attempts at mudslinging prompted laughter and derision from the audience. At one point, the 'honorable' candidate seemed to lose his patience with his potential constituents. One wonders if Mr.Ford is unable to govern his own outbursts at public forum, how does hope to offer governance to our district?

I could care less if he did drugs in the past, (I just wish that he wouldn't do them immediately before attending a public forum) or that he may have assaulted his father, girlfriend, or brother. The way a man conducts himself in private is his business after all.

But when a man runs for public office then, we must allow ourselves to try and look into not the 'color of his skin, but the content of his character'. We are at that moment is history, foretold by a man of great character that served the people to the deepest level.

My family has been involved in Democratic party politics since my Grandfather & Father supported Harold Ford Sr. & Jr.

Jake Ford IS NO Harold Ford (Sr. or Jr.)

This district (like our nation) is in serious need of good political leadership, from men of good character, whose proven commitment to the people is on record.

The only record(s) that we may have of Jake Ford is arrests, GED test scores and 'some' college transcripts.

Mr. Ford is a dangerous mix of divisive racial politics and ambition. Not that this district is any stranger to such antics, but it would refreshing to have politicians that were truly (truthfully) unifying in their message & mission.

Be assured, Jake Ford's commitment is to himself, a self that has so far proven to be vain, arrogant and at the very least 'troubled'.

If, Mr.Ford is truly interested in the public good, he should do the public an honorable service: withdraw, sir and allow men of better character to serve our district.

Mr. Ford, you are truly interested in serving your fellow man, may I suggest Habitat for Humanity, MIFA or something better suited to your qualifications like the many of several Taco Bell locations throughout the state. You do a great dis-service to the Democratic Party and the democratic process, by continuing your candidacy.

Freedonian said...

Mr. Ford, you are truly interested in serving your fellow man, may I suggest Habitat for Humanity, MIFA or something better suited to your qualifications like the many of several Taco Bell locations throughout the state.

I think the operative word here is... SNAP!

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Anonymous said...

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