Some people never take a fall, no matter how outrageous their behavior. No matter how vile one of these Fortunate Ones is revealed to be in a given episode, the episode gets no further coverage, the memory gets erased, and the exposed creep is entitled to resume a high station, no questions asked. On August 1 the New York Times reported, “E. Gordon Gee, who resigned as president of Ohio State University in June after a series of gaffes attracted media attention, will earn $5.8 million over the next five years under a new contract with the university that calls for him to continue as a tenured member of the law school faculty, conduct research on education policy and serve as president emeritus. Under his previous contract, Mr. Gee would have earned about $6 million over the next four years.”
Egregious Gordon is the (ex) husband who told Constance Gee he’d rather see her wretching than using marijuana. She wrote about his striving in a wonderful memoir, reviewed in O’Shaughnessy’s. E. Gordon stepped down from the presidency of Ohio State a few months ago after making a blatantly anti-Catholic comment and misleading his underlings about the fact that Notre Dame had turned down membership in the Big Ten. What kind of law class is this man going to teach? The state of Ohio could hire 50 full-time real teachers for the community college system with the money being slipped Gee-as-in-Geek for occupying a spacious office with a couple of staffers.
The odious Judge Judy Scheindlin personifies immunity to scandal. There she is on the TV screen, day in and day out, snarling her contempt for the poor and the powerless. Everyone seems to have forgotten that while promoting a book in Australia, Scheindlin described needle exchange as a project of “liberal morons,” and shared her own no-nonsense approach to the AIDS epidemic: “Give ’em dirty needles and let ’em die… I don’t understand why we think it’s important to keep them alive.” Why did Act-Up stand down in this instance?
Some people always land on their feet… Another example: Lawrence Summers, the ex-president of Harvard —the father of a little girl— who said women were at an innate disadvantage when it came to math.
Being “out” as a sexist pig didn’t keep him from becoming Obama’s top economic advisor. And now Summers is being considered to head the federal reserve! He and his cronies —the Rubin-Geithner Gang— devised the “too-big-to-fail” doctrine to justify the bailout of Wall Street. That was Fortunate One-ism writ large.
And let’s not forget Doris Kearns Goodwin, the best-selling historian who was exposed as a plagiarist, blamed it all on some grad student in her employ, and kept turning out esteemed books about U.S. presidents. So fortunate!