Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bad Guys, Prayer and the Power of PR

Yes, bad guys are out there. Before I’m accused of being a sexist or a male-basher, let me say women can be bad too. However, in general, they don’t seem to have the propensity for violence that men do. How many husband-beaters do you hear of?

The killer of Montgomery Police Officer Houts who was slain by a bullet to his head last week was male. The killer of the Amish children was a revenge-seeking man armed to the teeth. The Wisconsin teen who attacked and killed a principal. Male. On the same day that Montgomery Police were looking for the shooter of Officer Houts, Lakeland, Florida Deputy Sheriff Vernon Williams was slain by eight bullets after making a traffic stop, his police dog killed and another deputy wounded. The SWAT officers tracked down the suspect and shot him 68 times.

This kind of bad guy is easy to see. The kind who wraps himself in the cloak of goodness or progress is likewise dangerous on a different level. Lives are wrecked. Psyches are warped. Financially secure retirements lost. The most recent member of this class, former Representative Foley, has holed himself up in a treatment center to deal with alcoholism apparently. Foley might want to check in with Richard Scrushy to get some pointers from Scrushy’s playbook on redemption. Scrushy, former chairman and CEO of Alabama’s HealthSouth, is on a crusade to repair his reputation with his chief defense partner being no less than God.

Michael Kinsley wrote in the Washington Post story, The Lord and Richard Scrushy, “God works in mysterious ways, but his or her decision to acquit Richard Scrushy, former CEO of HealthSouth Corp., on all charges of financial fraud is especially inscrutable. Five consecutive HealthSouth chief financial officers admitted to cooking the books and copped a plea. They all fingered Scrushy. But jurors chose to believe that the man on top knew nothing about what was going on directly below him.”

“Not long after he was indicted in November, 2003, Scrushy and his wife launched an evangelical Christian talk show on a local cable station,” according to BusinessWeek. I happened upon this show the other morning on WCOV’s (FOX 20) Montgomery station, but it had been on the air here longer according to the Birmingham News. Seems the show “Viewpoint” began airing shortly before the Montgomery bribery trial of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman and Richard Scrushy. The jury in this more recent trial ended up convicting both defendants, and just recently Siegelman and Scrushy filed a joint motion asking for a new trial based on their Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial before an impartial jury. The legal team has apparently been busy filing other motions too, one of which the federal judge who presided over the trial refused on Monday, ruling that there was substantial evidence to support the convictions.

Whether it's Enron, HealthSouth or other corporate shenanigans, bad guys don’t always look like bad guys.


Tim said...

"However, in general, they don’t seem to have the propensity for violence that men do. How many husband-beaters do you hear of?"

You might be surprised, Sheila. There are many more spouse abusers that are women than the public eyes see or hear. I suppose the men that do not report it do not do so due to pride or embarrassment.

Not that this had much to do with your post. :)

Sheila said...

Tim, I'll bet you are right. Domestic abuse is something that is so secret to begin with. Kind of a tip of the iceberg situation. So the abused husbands out there will be no less likely to come forth and as you say even more likely not to air the problem.