Friday, October 1, 2010

The Greatest Story Never Told Part II: If Eddie Long Is David, Who The Hell's Goliath?

Plus  Bonus Feature: 
A hypocrite is always judged by the degree of hypocrisy he or she is guilty of. For example, if we hear someone say that they really dislike liars, then we catch them in an innocent lie, we think it slightly hypocritical, but barely give it a second thought. But when we hear someone pass judgement in a moral sense and perceive that the judge has done worse, that enrages us.
"...and to every man that knows what God is saying to do and you’re still acting like the boys on the corner, God says you deserve death!”
                                                                             - Bishop Eddie Long    
Long's virulent and strident attacks on homosexuality may ratchet up his hypocrisy level beyond the stratosphere. Whatever the outcome, the dichotomy that was created within the last ten days will forever effect his credibility: who can explain away the photos? How could a man who is quoted as saying that God will severely punish a man for sleeping with a man turn around and befriend young men with homoerotic pictures? How can he explain away those relationships as "spiritual" without insulting those who want to believe him?

"I am not the man portrayed on television." He may not be, but he has placed himself in such a high position, such an idolized position, that there is no place for him to go but down. The dichotomy is too great. The hypocrisy will be deemed too huge for any "David" to overcome. 

America loves the "little guy" the "underdog." When you're down and out, capitalizing on your status can be your best bet. Eddie Long is certainly counting on the compassion inherent in America: that's why he chose the story of David and Goliath. It's ironic, of course, that the story of David and Goliath leads right into the story of Jonathan and David.  Eddie might have missed that irony. 

And "Bishop" Eddie Long has not yet defined exactly who he thinks "Goliath" is. If Long is going to put up a fight, the least he could do is tell everyone who his opponent is. Is he aiming for a broad metaphor? Does he want his followers to think that the entire world is sitting in judgment against him? Or is it our own "activist" justice system? Is he going into battle against the devil? He was unfair to have his followers so little to go on. Ahah! Perhaps it was a test to see just how loving, how faithful his flock would truly be. 

Or maybe it was a way to say "make up your own damn Goliath! Whatever you come up with, that's what I'm fighting." But that's unfair as well, making everyone do the work from something he created himself.

People will say that I'm beating a good man when he's down. Not really. It's more like a wrestling match where, when the other guy who's been beating you into a bloody pulp makes a wrong move and suddenly, you're on top of the brute and realize that you have to KEEP him down. Maybe all the people who know that, once it's exposed, they have to keep Eddie Long's hypocrisy in the fore, maybe they're Goliath.

Yes, Eddie Long is staring at Goliath in the form of  Spencer LaGrande, Jamal Parris, Maurice Robinson and Anthony Flagg and their resolve to keep his hypocrisy front and center. With each statement, Bishop Eddie Long's credibility grave has been dug deeper:
"They said bishop has been accused of something, and my heart dropped. And that was my time that God told me to release what I had to say."
Note that both Parris and LaGrande spoke in vague generalities just as Long did. People are hungry for the salacious particulars, but no one is unmuzzled as yet. Vagaries aside, with each statement from the prosecution, Long's support grows weaker (outside of New Birth, of course). Plaintive cries against an established person, however sotto voce they may seem, can grow louder each time, plucking at heartstrings.

Another reason these men might be believed: they didn't go to the media - the media came to them. Scripted? I doubt it. Bernstein isn't the kind of legal counsel to insist on scripting.

And speaking of Bernstein, she's a force to be reckoned with:

B.J. has been recognized in Atlanta Magazine in it's Super Lawyer edition from 2008-2010 as one of the top 100 Lawyers in Georgia. She is the only female criminal defense attorney to make the top 100 list this year and overall one of only 11 women so recognized. Georgia Trend magazine named her to the Legal Elite list for the last 4 years and has individually profiled her as one of six of Georgia's "Power Women" in 2008.

Another force to be reckoned with: Craig Gillen (website):

As a criminal defense attorney, Mr. Gillen has won several courtroom victories as set forth on the Representative Cases page. He has successfully represented corporations, executives, professionals and businessman. Most recently, Mr. Gillen served as co-counsel in the successful defense of Mark Shelnutt who was accused of money laundering and one year prior to that, Mr. Gillen served as lead counsel in the successful defense of Jim Happ US. v. Happ. The charges in the Happ case involved allegations of a $1.9 billion fraud. Mr. Gillen's client was the only charged defendant to be acquitted.

When these two Titans clash, we may see a fight the likes of which we haven't seen since the O.J. Simpson trial: besides being two very forceful attorneys, however, their milieus have been very different in the sense that Gillen's has been mostly government and corporate while Bernstein has handled more individuals ...with emotions. Unfortunately for Eddie Long, these suits are on too personal  a level. Gillen will have to rely on disparaging the person of Anthony Flagg with the attempted robbery angle.

The silence and waiting will now seem interminable. The public wants details, statistics, financial accounts, screaming, tears and emotion., everything the trial of a hug hypocrite should be and everything Eddie Long can deliver. If hypocrisy of this magnitude dies of annui,  Eddie Long may come away with more than he deserves.

Just a thought.