Jewish World Review May 8, 2014 / 8 Iyar, 5774
A Sterling cast of characters
By Ron Hart
JewishWorldReview.com | The story of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has all the elements of a titillating tale: Sex, lies and audiotapes – plus politics and our Constitution.
What we should worry about here is why a rich 80-year-old man can’t have an honest and private conversation with his 31-year-old mistress in the privacy of his and his wife’s home. What has become of America?
The mistress, V. Stiviano, is a wretched woman, arguably worse than Sterling. She seems deceitful and duplicitous. She shortened her name to “V. Stiviano” because she gets sued so many times that Sterling et al v. Stiviano just saves court reporters’ time.
She’s running around with Magic Johnson – another solid decision. My theory is that Magic helped leak the offensive tapes, either for revenge or so Sterling would have to sell the Clippers to him at a distressed price.
Both Democrats and Republicans try to say Sterling is not one of theirs. He seems to have no deep political ties. He gives money mostly to Democrats, but you have to do that in California to protect yourself from persecution. Under Obama, Democrats have used the power of government to go after enemies as never before. They cannot win arguments with facts and reason, so they seek to destroy those who dare oppose them.
Sterling, an ex-plaintiff’s attorney, has all the traits of a liberal Democratic opportunist. He twice contributed to Democratic California Gov. Gray Davis, Vermont U.S. Sen. Pat Leahy, and former New Jersey U.S. senator and ex-NBA player Bill Bradley. He gave so much to the NAACP that the Los Angeles chapter gave him a lifetime achievement award in 2009 and canceled plans to present him a second such award when the tapes went public last month. Knowing Sterling’s long history of alleged racist acts, the NAACP still took his money and honored him. Its moral high ground, like skyboxes at Clippers games, is apparently for sale.
Liberal elites will forgive Sterling because he will continue to give to liberal causes. Like church indulgences in the days of not-so-yore, Sterling can buy his way out of sin.
But so maligned is he now that liberals will soon feel sorry for him, and he will be rewarded with the highest honor Democrats can bestow upon themselves: victim.
And, of course, President Obama, who never misses an opportunity to call America racist, chimed in about America’s “legacy of race, slavery and segregation.” He’s always so helpful in healing racial issues.
Should Sterling be forced to sell his team and thus trigger a big payment to the IRS, Obama will ultimately have to determine if Sterling is a Democrat or Republican, in order to decide how much tax he’ll pay. If he gets audited, Sterling is a Republican.
This man is unmistakably an accomplished racist, hypocrite and cad. Under the NBA’s owner laws and strict code of ethics, Sterling’s offenses are punishable by getting high-fives from all 29 other NBA owners for having a hot, 31-year-old mistress sitting next to him at Clippers games.
The NBA proved that it would not stand idly by and tolerate clear, demonstrable racism by an owner for more than a couple of decades – until its hand was forced by TMZ’s journalistic work, not the mainstream media’s.
But let’s keep perspective here. Before he was reeled in by the NBA commissioner, loquacious Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban hit on it when he said taking a team is “a very slippery slope.” We have basic property rights in America. When Anthony Weiner showed his to women, did we seek to make him sell his property? Are private conversations we have in our homes, like the one in which Sterling was taped, no longer protected? It is illegal to tape a conversation in California without the consent of both parties. Will there be a U.S. Justice Department v. V. Stiviano? DOJ went after Linda Tripp for taping Monica Lewinsky when she outed Bill Clinton.
Economics always wins over fake moral outrage. Sterling will have to sell his team. Many Clippers sponsors are in PR damage-control mode, announcing that they have suspended their sponsorships. These companies – loan sharks, used car salesmen and purveyors of booze and stimulant drinks aimed at kids – don’t want this jerk to tarnish their good names.
No matter what happens, at least Donald Sterling has his wife, mistress and selectively enforced parts of our Constitution on his side. And he so loves the NAACP; isn’t taking the 2014 NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award away from him punishment enough? Those things cost something like 25,000 deductible dollars.
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© 2013 Ron Hart