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Chuck Turner’s defenders remain in denial

Chuck Turner’s defenders remain in denial
By Joe Fitzgerald  |   Saturday, December 4, 2010  |  http://www.bostonherald.com  |  Columnists

Photo by File

In the aftermath of Chuck Turner’s overdue expulsion from the ranks of public servants, questions still linger regarding those whose support of him is unyielding and those whose avoidance of him is unseemly.

There’s a temptation to conclude his supporters are sicker than he is, decrying the manner in which his guilt was established, as if the way you catch a crook makes him any less of a crook.

Then again, maybe it’s easier for them to remain in denial than to admit they really didn’t know a man they long admired. It’s worse than feeling betrayed; you can feel a little foolish, too.

Early in the O.J. Simpson case, when initial hints of his possible culpability began to surface, fans were reluctant to accept them.

“I can understand them being shocked,” Harry Sinden, then president of the Bruins

, observed in the summer of 1994. “I’m shocked, too. What happens is, we feel somewhat close to a personality like O.J., as we do to a lot of entertainers. Then when something like this takes place it makes us wonder, ‘How could I have been so wrong?’ We don’t want to believe we might have misjudged.”

Anyone who regarded Chuck Turner as a pillar of the community obviously misjudged the man. Unlike those pornographic pictures he once used to scurrilously allege Iraqi women were being raped by American soldiers, the video that showed him accepting a bribe was unassailably accurate.

But, as the old saw reminds us, there are none so blind as those that will not see, so Chuck’s small band of deceived diehards will go on discrediting themselves and annoying the rest of us, refusing to let the facts alter their obstinate opinions.

Fine. Unlike bribery, buffoonery is not against the law.

The other group whose reaction is puzzling is the black clergy of this city, so quick to call a press conference whenever it perceives its people have been poorly served.

So why is their silence so deafening now?

Surely they understand that by saying nothing, they’re still sending a message, not only to their community, especially impressionable kids, but also to the world abutting its borders, where readers and viewers wonder how a felonious politician can escape chastisement.

Turner’s conduct is the easiest of all to understand. Plain and simple, he’s corrupt, a total fraud.

But the reactions of those who had a right to expect more, and those who have a responsibility to demand more, are much harder to fathom.

This is not a proud moment for any of them.

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1300712

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