early and often

Paterson Says That Sometimes Doing Good Can End Up Being Bad. Or Something.

David and Michelle Paterson

Paterson and his wife, Michelle, wearing the coat in question, at his swearing-in.Photo: AP

Governor David Paterson swears that he’s “generous” despite recent revelations that he and his wife gave only $150 to charity last year. The Patersons amassed a combined income of $269,815 in 2007, but their tax returns show that their only charitable deduction was some clothes donated to the Salvation Army. According to the Times, Paterson claims he’s been giving on the down low to protect the needy from unwanted media attention.

I felt to go further into an explanation opened the door to a feeding frenzy that I thought I was the victim of in the last month,” he said during an interview on the AM radio station Talk 1300 in Albany.

A “feeding frenzy” like last month’s? What, is he having extramarital dalliances with the charities? It’s unlikely that nonprofit giving would stir up the kind of hubbub that Paterson’s been raising in the press, unless of course said nonprofit is addicted to methamphetamines (we’re looking at you, UNICEF). Isn’t media attention GOOD for a charity?

In an attempt to explain himself on Monday during the radio interview, he offered a hypothetical situation. “Suppose someone is very ill and it cost a lot of money to help that person, but the person has not made it aware that they are ill, so do I now either lie to the press and try to cover it up, or do I say, you know, somebody’s ill and then we start looking for who that person is?” he said. He stressed that he was only speaking hypothetically.

Say whaaaa? Sounds a little sketch, no? This year, we suggest a large un-anonymous donation to PETA to offset that fur coat his wife wore at his swearing-in. We also suggest she not wear that thing anymore. At first glance we thought she was a cast member from The Real Housewives of New York City. —Noelle Hancock

Despite a Slim Deduction for Charity, Paterson Calls Himself Generous [NYT]

Paterson Says That Sometimes Doing Good Can End Up Being Bad. Or Something.