In my entire life I have never seen anything spread as quickly as the rumor that was initiated last week alleging that a male state public official had engaged in same sex misbehavior. To say that the information "spread like a wildfire" is a significant understatement.
And while none of the mainstream media, at least through Sunday, had mentioned the matter, it is everywhere on the blogsphere, including mainstream sites such as al.com, the web site of The Birmingham News, Huntsville Times and Mobile Press Register.
The first whispers to emerge early last week were that the state official planned to resign. That had not happened as of Sunday evening. Former Lt. Gov. Steve Windom and political consultant Chris Brown told the Political Parlor web site that the named official would not resign. State GOP communications director Philip Bryan told the web site that he had not heard any plans that the official in question was going to resign.
It is truly sad that these rumors are generated in the first place and particularly cruel if they are untrue. I know the individual involved and have always thought him to be a moral and upright family man. I will be very disappointed if I find out the opposite. So will a lot of other folks. That is why I will not mention his name until he takes the opportunity to speak for himself. If the rumor is untrue and I was asked to give him advice, it would be to speak out soon and often.
Bob Martin is editor and publisher of The Montgomery Independent. E-mail him at: email@example.com
I want to thank Bob for this effort to move the story from the blogsphere to mainstream press.
I don't think this is anywhere near over for Troy King. Let me fully disclose here, in case anyone had doubts, that I want this rumor to be true.
While both sides have differeing, yet plausable, opinions on why this rumor has been treated with deafening silence, I'm still coming down on the side of "silence implies guilt." And it does....even if that is wrong and even if he is innocent of all accusations. Public perception-wise, silence implies guilt.
Think about it. When a defendant invokes the 5th amendment during a trial what is the first thing we think? GUILTY! When you are watching the cop shows and someone 'lawyers up' during a murder investigation interrogation, what is the first thing we think? GUILTY!
Public perception in politics is half the battle....at least half. Letting this rumor hang around and fester without addressing it has likely cost Troy King his career, whether this is ever proven one way or the other.