Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lanigan & Malone mock PD's corruption blues

The guys on the Lanigan & Malone show were making fun of this Plain Dealer story today. Two shrinks tell a health reporter that the county corruption scandal has plagued Clevelanders with feelings of anxiety, betrayal, disillusion and doom.

The radio guys didn't buy it. Jimmy Malone mocked the idea that anyone would see a psychologist because their county government was crooked.

That gave Chip Kullik an opening for a Dimora-in-Vegas joke.

"I did see someone about this," Kullik quipped, "but she was too chatty."

To be honest, the PD piece does read kind of like the bogus trend stories Jack Shafer of Slate is always ripping into. It's based on only two sources. Neither psychologist actually says the latest Frank Russo or Jimmy Dimora news has sent any of their patients spiraling into depression.

A quick reference to "those more at risk, those who have ties to the scandal" almost hits upon a truer trend. The corruption defendants themselves are frequently depressed. When they plead guilty, they have to tell the judge all the medications they're on. Many mention anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, sleep aids. One or two have even said they're seeing a doctor to cope with the psychological consequences of their crimes.

But the average taxpayer won't have sympathy. Clevelanders' common reaction to the scandal isn't anxiety or despair. It's anger. Fury that so few people tried to blow the whistle on Russo. Rage because Dimora still has a job. But we know how to channel our anger at government constructively. Six candidates for county executive want to help us work through it. A voting booth will be more healing than a shrink's couch. Coincidentally, voting by mail starts today.

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