The Post Tries to Make Paterson Sex Scandal Happen

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Gabrielle Turner, right.
Gabrielle Turner, right. Photo: FilmMagic/Getty Images

When Governor Paterson announced a hard hiring freeze last year, it was safe to assume that meant he would not be hiring anyone. It's simple "if p then q" logic. Maybe it should come as no surprise that logic doesn't exactly apply in Albany; thousands of people have been added to the state payroll since then. But one new hire in particular is garnering a lot of attention this morning — Paterson has appointed Gabrielle Turner, a "longtime friend," for an $88,000-a-year gig in Washington coordinating with the state's congressional delegation and "Washington-based interest groups."

Who knows whether filling this position was as necessary as Paterson's spokesperson is claiming, but the fact that Paterson is again breaking his freeze — after recently warning of a dire $2.1 billion budget deficit — with a seemingly nepotistic hiring seems newsworthy enough without trying to insinuate that something more salacious is going on, as the Post does this morning. In an article with more winking than a vice-presidential debate, the paper calls Turner "the other woman" photographed with Paterson at a recent night out, relays a spokeswoman's assertion that Turner never dated Paterson, and goes out of its way to mention that Turner was unmarried when she first met Paterson in 1986. We know the guy has had affairs in the past, but that doesn't mean he's slept with every woman he knows. As hard as it is to believe, Paterson could just be helping out a friend without the motivation of sex. Every once in a while, men do that.

GOV'S PARTY PAL [NYP]