Just when we thought the Eric Massa saga had run its
course, Esquire's Ryan D'Agostino rolls out an 8,000 word story on the former
congressman. D'Agostino was with Massa during the chaotic weeks when his
political career imploded on national
television. The piece is littered with bizarre revelations,
including Massa's contention that Gen. David Petraeus is conspiring with
Dick Cheney to run for president--something Massa calls "an American
coup d'etat." Most bloggers are homing in on Massa's dubious conspiracy
theory while others wonder why Esquire skirted the issue of Massa's
philandering with staffers and Navy servicemen.
- Massa Is Nuts Jonathan Capehart at The Washington Post writes: "Forget about Massa's tickle fights and his living in a group house with staffers more than half his age. The Esquire piece has so many vignettes to choose from I don't know where to begin. There's the excitement Massa has over the suggestion by his lawyers that the Esquire article could be turned into a movie.... He tells D'Agostino that after a night of drinking with some staff, he wound up at the Washington Monument in an Ambien-induced haze. He texted some of the fellas at 4 a.m. to come get him after he couldn't find his way home. But it's Massa's allegation that Gen. David Petraeus is scheming with former vice president Dick Cheney to run for president in 2012 that is the most fascinating -- and the craziest."
- Let's Pretend Petraeus Was Trying to Run, muses Eugene R. Fidell, a Yale Law School expert on military law quoted in Esquire: "Basically this is a no-no. He can't form an organizing committee. He could sit down with a yellow pad and try to make a list of the names of people he thinks might support him, but really going much beyond that is very problematic. If you're a member of the military, you can run for non-partisan office like school board or library board, but classic political involvement, being the leader of a political party, you can't do that. You can vote and you can give money, but being a candidate is a third rail."
- It Wouldn't Be Treason If He Retired First, writes Alex Pareene at Salon: "Many people have speculated, for years now, that Petraeus might run for president in 2012. He has always denied political ambitions, but it would be no big deal if he did run, as long as he retired first."
- The Story Pussyfoots Around the Big Question! charges Chris Rovzar at New York magazine: "D'Agostino doesn't once ask the man accused of getting in tickle fights with his young staffers, sexually harassing male colleagues, and attempting to 'snorkel' fellow Navy servicemen whether he is gay. In fact, the elephant in the room -- these allegations that led to a public inquiry by the House Ethics Committee, the same process that led Massa to resign -- aren't even really discussed, disappointingly. (That Massa's wife, Beverly, makes a mean homemade pizza, though, gets its own paragraph.) And the story is called 'Eric Massa's Secret!'"