|December 17, 2004|
And Then Along Came Bernie
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
I wonder if you remember the movie "Serpico." I do. I thought about it the other day while talking about Bernard Kerik, President Bush’s withdrawn nominee for America’s top cop. Al Pacino starred in the 1973 movie of Peter Maas’ book of the same name. Maas explained in New York Magazine’s 25th anniversary issue why Frank Serpico mattered: "The first police officer not only in the history of the New York Police Department, but in the history of any police department in the whole United States, to step forward to report and subsequently testify openly about widespread, systematic cop corruption-payoffs amounting to millions of dollars."
And then came Kerik, pushed to the forefront of America’s politics by former New York Mayor Rudy Guliani.
I first photographed Kerik at the Republican National Convention held in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. He appeared uncomfortable with world media focused on him. I had no idea who he was so I didn’t struggle to get "an even better shot" as photographers typically do. I clicked off a few then went back to speaking with NYC detectives and the volunteer usher whose brother died in the Twin Towers collapse. Kerik walked in to the limelight of his own volition. There was no gun to his head forcing him to pursue the nomination. If anyone knew the vetting process, he did. As we know now with each tidbit media dogs fetch, Kerik knew better than to have let the political ball start rolling.
Notes to my editor were prophetic. Doors to the inner sanctum of American politics were being closed. And opened. The rumor mill said Bloomberg was uninvited from the President’s box. In light of Kerik’s nomination, that may have been strategic. NY’s finest do not support Bloomberg. And, it wasn’t the current Mayor center stage, but the former Mayor and NY’s top cop.
My editing of shots of Giuliani in the Presidential box were prophetic, too. Giuliani standing over the presidential seal. White House bid, 2008. Political careers are built on relationships slipped into place long before announcements are made. Some call it networking. Until Pechanga happened. Pechenga is a kids’ game. Pieces are stacked. Participants pull out pegs. When everything crashes, players yell, Pechanga.
In a country where traditional values are credited for Dubya’s second term, Pechanga could have been predicted. With all credit to NY’s former Mayor for his strength through 911, his personal life remains in conflict. Thrice married, he conducted an extramarital affair with his current during the second. Knowing of Kerik’s conducting not one but two simultaneous affairs might not have phased Giuliani, not in a position to critique on morality. The extravagance of Kerik’s house, filmed by newsmen, made me wonder how he could afford it on an officer’s salary. Even, if he is top cop. Hearing that stock options from a taser provider to enforcement, made me sit back. I worked in a PD, police department. I know who will suffer wrongly, in the world of public opinion, for Kerik’s misrepresentations. It will be the officers in the streets, men and women in blue. Already overly scrutinized, criticized and in contempt from citizens and media, they stand to suffer more because the rags to White House story of Bernard B. Kerik, Giuliani’s political run, turned out to be a twisted fairytale.
As for the missing nanny, one does not need to be a detective turned political wunder-kindt to guess, there is probably more to that story. I want to know how did Kerik do it, with only twenty-four hours in a day, satisfy three women at the same time, possibly a missing fourth if she can be found, yet manage to head what is undeniably, the world’s most famous police department, without giving the "game" away.
I know. As the expression goes, "clothes make the man," so does a dedicated Department makes their leader look good.
No matter how much Giuliani tries to distance himself, with his media apology, from initiating Bernard Kerik’s nomination collapsed as America’s top cop, there is one individual he may not convince to change her mind. Laura Bush.
The photo of the President and First Lady walking on the tarmac with former New York Mayor Giuliani and his third wife, the "other woman" in his second marriage’s break-up, speaks buckets. Mrs. Bush’s head is faced down, her right hand, guiding, as often captured in photos, holding the President’s upper arm near his heart. Interpreted? The Giuliani-Bush honeymoon appears over.
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
Carrie Devorah is an award winning investigative photojournalist cross credentialed as a Crime Information Analyst, profiler, security and mediator. She covered international horseracing and boxing before moving to America, writing on issues related to Faith, Homeland Security and International Terrorism.
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