Turns out there was a good reason why S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford picked Keven Cohen’s radio show to make his mildly-anticipated return to the state’s airwaves …
Cohen coddled, swaddled and cooed the Palmetto State’s disgraced, scandal-plagued governor throughout the one-hour interview Tuesday, loving up on him much like La Socialista (a.k.a. The State newspaper) loves up on South Carolina’s failed education establishment.
The show was billed as Sanford’s first extended, unfiltered media chat featuring live interaction with voters since his descent into perpetual scandal two-and-a-half months ago. It turned into a “man-date,” with Cohen serving as Sanford’s waiter/ groupie.
With one notable exception, the questions from Cohen’s listeners were all softballs – prompting our founding editor to receive several inquiries as to whether or not the governor’s office “planted” calls on radio shows back when he served in Sanford’s communications office.
“Of course we did,” Sic Willie said. “We planted them like it was friggin’ Arbor day.”
Aside from the barrage of curiously supportive calls (Radio Free Cuba?), there was Cohen’s fawning, servile treatment of Sanford – which at times bordered on the obscene. For example, Cohen declared the drumbeat for Sanford’s resignation and impeachment to be a “witch hunt” prior to handing the microphone over to Sanford for the better part of the hour, letting him wax philosophic, as he is wont to do.
Maybe it is a “witch hunt,” but does that change the fact that Sanford has personally provided each one of his critics with enough hay and matches to burn down the whole town?
“(It was) the most amateurish interview I’ve ever heard,” said one veteran S.C. communications advisor. “He let (Sanford) filibuster. He never had control over the interview. It was an auditory blow job.”
FITS spoke with Michael Smith (a.k.a. the one “hardball” questioner), who asked Sanford about his stated March 2007 belief that strengthening trade ties with Argentina would not be an economic development priority for his administration.
Clearly, “strengthening trade ties” with Argentina got bumped up on the priority list by the summer of 2008, when Sanford visited Buenos Aires for several days of “meetings” that were later exposed as cover for an illicit rendezvous with his Argentine lover, Maria Belen Chapur.
“What changed your mind (about Argentina) – or who changed it?” Smith asked the governor.
How did Sanford respond to this one hardball?
“He evaded the question,” said Smith.