No dice

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt June 21, 2013
Steve Nodine, convicted felon, aspiring congressman. Normally, it's the other way around.

Steve Nodine, convicted felon, aspiring congressman. Normally, it’s the other way around.

Editor’s note: I live in Georgia, but I’m from Alabama. I married a beautiful Alabama gal, and graduated from the University of Alabama in 2005. I have roots there and care about its future.

I frankly can’t decide what’s more embarrassing for Mobile, Ala.: A convicted felon, Stephen Nodine, considering a run for Rep. Jo Bonner’s seat or that Alabama’s media considers Nodine a viable candidate.

There’s no need to develop consensus on Mr. Nodine. His behavior was creepy well before this business with his mistress. I frankly wonder as a reader how in the hell the reporters are reaching him for quotes. Can the reporters call him for comment or do they have to drive to the prison?

I have to imagine the glee that erupted in the newsrooms upon receiving Mr. Nodine’s announcement. I can only assume the announcement was tucked inside a letter asking if there are any single ladies who would be interested in having dinner with Mr. Nodine after he is released.

Now I can’t blame the media for covering this story. It’s like catnip for a reporter. But I wish the media in Mobile would put as much effort into covering the troubling situation regarding the congressional seat that Mr. Nodine has no chance in hell of winning.

It has been nearly a month since Rep. Bonner announced he is leaving congress for a cake job at the University of Alabama System, where his sister Judy serves as the University of Alabama president. There has been scant coverage concerning the circumstances of his early departure. The media were ready to move on as soon as Rep. Bonner started making his goodbyes.

The media are ignoring this. If you don’t believe me, let me put it another way: If Rep. Bonner was a Democrat and pulling this sort of thing, would the news media in Alabama look the other way? No. And do you know why? It’s not for the reasons you may be thinking, media bias and all that. It’s because the Republican party controls Alabama.

I’m not trying to malign the entire party here. I am friends with all kinds of people, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, paranoid Hippies, you name it. I’m just saying if this happened 50 years ago when Democrats ran Alabama and there was a Democratic congressman involved, the media response would be the same.

This is political back scratching done for reasons that have nothing to do with Rep. Bonner’s love of his alma mater. The reasons haven’t become apparent, and they probably won’t be if the media chooses to ignore it. Frankly, they have little incentive to be curious about it. It’s not worth it.

Reporters are underpaid, overworked and pressed for time. Pissing off one of the state’s largest universities will not improve their situation.

It’s sad. Distractions created by people like Mr. Nodine don’t help.

That’s all this is, a big, ridiculous distraction and a welcome diversion from pursuing the truth. Not that there was a whole lot of pursuing going on.

Mr. Nodine’s announcement was pretty ballsy.

But I think what Rep. Bonner and the University of Alabama System did is pretty ballsy, too.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

  • William S. Allen

    Actually, there has been a lot of coverage about Bonner’s move in The Decatur Daily (Decatur, Alabama), including an editorial about the apparent nepotism involved.

    • William, thanks for the comment. I scoured the Daily’s website for this information and couldn’t find it. Could you link to it, please? I would love to post about it.

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