|Jessica Garrison, with U.S. Judge
Bill Pryor and U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions,
two of her right-wing mentors.
Garrison claims that my reporting about her extramarital affair with Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is a form of bullying--and the point of her Marie Claire piece is to stand up for other helpless women who might become the subjects of evil journalists. This is how Garrison so nobly puts it:
This is about more than just me. It's about the women who are bullied, trolled, and victimized online because someone has an agenda, or a chip on their shoulder, or a self-righteous feeling that they simply can.
Wow, that Jessica is quite a gal, standing up for imperiled women everywhere. But is her concern real? Not even close.
The first clue comes when Garrison tells us about her professional life:
By then, I was a Executive Director at RAGA, the Republican Attorney General's Association, in Washington, D.C. My job was to meet with corporations to promote working with Attorney Generals. One day, I went to a meeting with the Government Affairs director at Apple at a restaurant in Cupertino, California. When I arrived, he said, "I looked you up online so I could recognize you." My heart stopped beating. All I could think throughout the meeting was, 'This man thinks I slept with the Attorney General of Alabama.'
Let's examine that first highlighted sentence for a moment. Garrison says her role is to encourage corporations to work with attorneys general. (Jessica has a little problem with grammar here; the plural is attorneys general, not attorney generals. You'd think a woman with a law degree, who had been appointed to a job in the Alabama AG's office and as executive director of an association of AGs, would know that.) But Jessica says she represents only Republican AGs, so her line about promoting work with all AGs? Well, that's a lie.
Even more troubling is this: The attorney general, in most jurisdictions, is defined as the chief law-enforcement officer and chief legal adviser to the state government. In other words, a big part of the job is to prosecute individuals, including corporate titans, who violate state laws. A state attorney general should be one of the last people corporate heads would want to work with.
|Apple Inc. headquarters in
Now, Jessica wouldn't do that would she? A 2014 New York Times article suggests that's exactly what someone at RAGA does:
The Republican Attorneys General Association, created nearly 15 years ago, has grown in prominence as the number of Republicans holding the job has surged, reaching 25 as of this year. RAGA takes in millions of dollars a year from major corporations — companies that are seeking help to move their agendas or have been targets of investigations.
Why would major corporations need help from attorneys general to "move their agendas"? I can see how they might need experts in advertising or public relations or lobbying. But an attorney general? I can't fathom a legitimate reason for a corporation to want the help of AGs to "move its agenda"--unless, of course, the corporation is up to no good and needs AGs to look the other way. Is Jessica Garrison a glorified "bag man" (or "bag gal") for conservative law-enforcement types?
Here's a better question: Does anyone seriously think Jessica Garrison is a champion, of any sort, for women? She has publicly stated that her professional mentor is U.S. Circuit Judge Bill Pryor, a former Alabama Attorney General. Pryor might be one of the most virulent anti-woman political figures in modern American history. When President George W. Bush nominated Pryor to the federal bench in 2003, civil-rights and women's groups were so outraged that Bush was forced to make a recess appointment.
(By the way, who started RAGA, the outfit that now employs Jessica Garrison? It was Bill Pryor. Does Jessica Garrison pretty much owe her career to the anti-woman Bill Pryor? A strong argument could be made that the answer is yes.)
Did Garrison help the cause of women with the shrill, high-anxiety tone of her Marie Claire piece? Given that women have had to fight the stereotype that they are prone to be nervous, hysterical, overwrought, and high strung . . . well, I would submit that the answer is no, she did not help the cause of women. In fact, she probably caused them to take several small steps backward.
Garrison's piece is filled with so much overtly emotional language that it can set one's nerves on edge just to read it. As a public service, I counted the number of times Garrison used certain emotionally charged terms. Here is my count:
* Shocked -- 1
* Tears or "in tears" -- 2
* Heart stopped beating -- 1
* Paranoid -- 1
* Mortifying or mortified -- 2
* Shouting or elated -- 2
* Anxiety, stress, or sadness-- 1 each
That's 12 high-intensity words or phrases in a relatively brief, 18-paragraph story. I think I need to take a Xanax after finishing it.
Consider Garrison's tone, compared to the calm, professional demeanor of Hillary Rodham Clinton when she recently faced intense grilling about Benghazi before a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. Who is the better role model for women?
Heck, consider Garrison's self-centered tripe to the reporting I've done on real women--Sherry Carroll Rollins, Linda Upton, Angela Drees, Bonnie Cahalane--who have been abused by the Alabama justice system, Has Jessica Garrison ever taken a stand for such women? Has she ever taken a stand for any woman, other than herself--or maybe a sorority sister who is as self-absorbed as she is?
In short, who is more the champion for women--Jessica Garrison or Legal Schnauzer? Under any reasonably objective examination, my record would trump hers eight days a week.
Oh, and we mustn't forget this: Garrison's marieclaire.com article reveals her to be a hypocrite of Bunyanesque proportions. We've already noted this quality in Garrison on the subject of Big Tobacco. But now, her gross hypocrisy is on display regarding another major issue of the day.
More on that coming soon.