Fred Thompson is running for president, but the Los Angeles Times and reporter Joe Mathews do their best to shrink Thompson down to size or smaller with a front page story “bio” that runs more like an opinion piece than anything else.
“Thompson wed his ambition”
The lead, the premise, and the condescending “Freddie”
LAWRENCEBURG, TENN. — — In the summer of 1959, everyone could see that Sarah Elizabeth Lindsey was going places. Beautiful and brainy, she had edited the yearbook, joined the science club and graduated near the top of her class. In the fall, she’d be off to college.
Her boyfriend, Freddie Thompson, was another story.
The nut-graph is nuts!
Today, with a kickoff tour through early-voting Iowa, Thompson formally offers himself as a candidate for president, the highest ambition in American politics. But the onetime Senate from Tennessee did not grow up with such ambition. He married into it.
The negative person-on-the-street quotes
First, about his father’s political career:
“He was considered more of a jokester,” recalls Bobby Alford, a local historian and former columnist for the Democrat-Union newspaper. “People thought, ‘He’s a good old boy, but would he make a sheriff?’ He was too nice to be sheriff.”
Then, on “Freddie’s” high school years (oh, so painful!):
He also began dating Sarah Lindsey. That he was able to win over the brunet, former classmates say, seemed improbable. He was a clown, known for tossing ice in the cafeteria, making paper airplanes and throwing pennies at the blackboard when the teacher wasn’t looking.
“I think a lot of guys would have liked to be dating Sarah,” remembers Malon Calvert, who counted himself among her pursuers. “We’d say to her, ‘What in the world do you see in Freddie Thompson?’ “
With nothing really exciting or tantalizing about his past, the reporter paints a stumbling Thompson who made it in the political arena only because of his ex-wife and her family.
Nice try LA Times, we’ll be stayting tuned for more of this “dirty filth” on Thompson in the days and weeks to come!