Pol & reporters do a little "Rangel"-ing
Jul 27, 2010 | 3420 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Could all of the stress of the ethics probe and pending charges against New York City Congressman Charlie Rangel finally be getting to him?

Rangel has been scolding and snapping at reporters like a testy schoolmaster recently when they dare to ask him a tough question about the allegations that he doesn't particularly care for.

Rangel was one of the most powerful members of the House of Representatives thanks to a high-profile post at chair of the Ways and Means Committee, which he has since resigned. The 40-year Harlem political veteran will likely face a trial after the House Committee on Standards and Official Conduct found that Rangel had committed violations.

While the exact nature of the charges haven't been revealed just yet (that will happen Thursday after this paper goes to press), they include allegations that he failed to report rental income on a villa in the Dominican Republic, sought tax breaks for his campaign donors, and that he misused four rent-controlled apartments in his district. If found guilty, Rangel could be forced from an office that he has held for decades.

The feisty Rangel has made it known that he is looking forward to the fight to clear his name, and he's getting his practice in on some of the reporters that have been covering him since news of the scandal broke.

Getting the brunt of his wrath was Luke Russert of MSNBC, who last week asked Rangel if he was worried that he would lose his job over the alleged ethics violations, an line of inquiry Rangel didn't particularly care for, but by all accounts a fair question considering he could be voted out of Congress by his colleagues.

“What are you talking about? You just trying to make copy?" Rangel testily asked. "How do you think I got my job? I was elected. How do you think I lose it?”

When Russert explained just how he might lose his job, Rangel accused Russert of trying to make a name for himself at a fledgling network that had lost its prestige.

And then this week Rangel turned his attention to local television reporter Marcia Kramer from CBS. She deigned to ask Rangel about a comment he made stating that he could face more alleged violations when the findings of the ethics probe were released, to which Rangel replied, "“Marci, you are such a professional, I don’t want to see you do this publicly to yourself.”

That's really good advice. In fact, replace "Marci" with "Charlie" and the advice could work just as well for Rangel.

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