If you care about justice in Alabama, and beyond, today has been like the Monday after the Super Bowl.
Instead of watching and talking about a football game, justice hounds have been engrossed in last night's 60 Minutes piece on the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.
The story clearly hit a nerve. At last check almost 1,700 comments about the story had been left at the 60 Minutes Web site. And the Web and progressive e-mail lists have been abuzz since the broadcast. We even have the story of a mysterious "blackout" at a television station in Huntsville, Alabama, one whose owners evidently have connections to the Bush family. Hmmm.
As victims of Republican corruption in Alabama state courts, my wife and I took a special interest in the 60 Minutes story. We spent pretty much the whole evening talking about it. Today, someone told me an awards show of some kind was on TV last night.
Which got me to thinking: In the spirit of the Oscars and that little football game that was played a few weeks back, maybe we should present our own awards based on the 60 Minutes story. We'll call them the Schnauzers:
* MVP (Most Valuable Player)--Grant Woods, former attorney general of Arizona. He was authoritative, direct, splendid all the way around. And his comment about what's best for America being more important than what's best for the Republican Party was a classic. Maybe a few statesmen still exist. My God, if this guy ran for office in a place where I cast a ballot, I might actually consider voting Republican!
* MCP (Most Courageous Player)--Jill Simpson, Republican whistleblower. The woman has stuck her personal and professional neck on the line. And her credibility remains rock solid, I suspect, with most rational viewers.
* MVQ (Most Valuable Questioner)--Scott Pelley proved to be a pro's pro. His reporting was solid, fair, and compelling. One thought I had as I watched: Wonder if folks in North Dakota care about this? Thanks to Pelley and his crew, I bet they do.
* BTG (Best Tour Guides)--Producers Joel Bach and David Gelber. They guided the story masterfully. And they packed a ton of information into a 14-minute slot.
* MVSS (Most Valuable Siegelman Supporter)--Attorney Doug Jones. His point about Nick Bailey's story regarding the check--and how it didn't add up--was key. Perhaps that point has been reported before, but Jones drove it home expertly.
* MVB (Most Valuable Behind-the-Scenes-Source)--Harper's Scott Horton. I suspect this story never would have happened without Horton's work at his No Comment blog. When a Columbia University law professor talks about a court case, people listen. If I'm ever held a political prisoner--and given my recent experiences in Shelby County, Alabama, that's not out of the question--I hope someone like Horton takes up my cause.
* MVPh (Most Valuable Photographer)--Whoever got the shot of Don Siegelman emptying mop buckets at a Louisiana prison. Fantastic work. If anyone changed channels after that, I'd be amazed.
* MVPr (Most Valuable Prisoner)--Off-camera interview with Nick Bailey was critical. Showed just how uncertain Bailey's testimony was and highlighted chicanery by prosecution in failing to produce Bailey's writings.
* MAC (Most Amazing Coincidence)--Technical difficulties at Huntsville station just happen to hit as Siegelman piece is going on the air. And station owners are Bush supporters!
* MDP (Most Despicable Prickhead)--Rove attorney who suggested his client deserved an apology from CBS. Hey Bub, your client had every opportunity to appear and be interviewed on the program. He chose not to. He's had every opportunity to testify under oath in Congress, as Jill Simpson has done. He's chosen not to. Your client owes American an apology for what he's done to our country.
* MSAG (Most Slimy Alabama GOPer)--Party chair Mike Hubbard. Claims hardly anyone in the party knows who Jill Simpson is? Last time a Republican tried to pull that kind of stunt, Artur Davis made him look like a fool on the floor of the House. I suspect history will do the same to Hubbard.