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Without honor

For the past four (4) years Ms. Jo-Ann Armao, District editorial writer for The Washington Post and Mr. Ronald C. Machen, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia have had District Mayor Vincent C. Gray in their sights.

Mr. Machen was investigating whether Mayor Gray had committed a criminal violation during his 2010 mayoral campaign. Ms. Armao used the op-ed pages of The Washington Post to implicate and to convict Mayor Gray in the public arena.

Since the start of this investigation Mayor Gray has repeatedly and strenuously denied any knowledge of or participation in any wrongdoing. For almost (4) years, they relentlessly targeted Mayor Gray for public rebuke, ridicule, mischaracterization, and humiliation in order to force his ouster from public office.

Without the benefit or convenience of an indictment, trial and conviction, Ms. Armao and Mr. Machen engaged in a coordinated effort to slander Mayor Gray’s good name for their singular political purpose – his removal from office or his non-re-election.

They were not alone. Ms. Armao and Mr. Machen had allies throughout the news media and in certain sectors of the public which felt Mayor Gray’s rights of due process and Constitutional protections are trumped by their partisan political agenda.

In a clear and open appeal to race politics, it was here the race cards were shuffled, dealt and played – by The Washington Post.

Moreover, The Washington Post and other District news outlets hustled critics of Mayor Gray before open microphones, cameras and in print to help carry their verbal pollution. District residents who stood with Mayor Gray and valued the principles of due process and fairness were purposely ignored.

For the past four (4) years and almost daily Ms. Armao wrote scathing editorials and Mr. Machen issued leaks and gave interviews to portray Mayor Gray in the most negative manner in the public for alleged criminal acts he has denied.

However, the United States Supreme Court’s April 2, 2014 ruling on individual's campaign contributions and spending rejected the essential allegations made by Ms. Armao, Mr. Machen and other critics of Mayor Gray.

In the aftermath of the Court’s ruling, Ms. Armao, Mr. Machen and other critics of Mayor Gray have refused to be contrite and to apologize to Mayor Gray for their egregious conduct. Like words from a song, “haters will broadcast your failures, but whisper your success”.

Despite these vicious news media attacks, Mayor Gray remained focused on working for all the people of the District and for what is in their best interests and the future of the District. It is Mayor Gray who has been honorable and not The Washington Post, Ms. Armao or Mr. Machen.

There are few members of the news media whose professional integrity has not been stained and whose ethics have not been exposed as sewage in this episode in the coverage of District politics.

From the words of Shakespeare's St. Crispin's Day Speech, "from this day to the ending of the world" in the history of the District, Mayor Gray shall "strip his sleeve and show his scars" and be remembered for his great works while future residents of the District will hold the "manhoods" of Ms. Armao and Mr. Machen cheap.

What become clear throughout this episode is the efforts of Ms. Armao, Mr. Machen, and others was the willingness and eagerness to engage in intellectual hypocrisy to support their political views.

To Mayor Gray’s critics, like Ms. Armao and Mr. Machen, the United States Constitution was not an affirmative protective shield to be accorded to him, despite reporters’ protestations for freedom of the press and critics of Mayor Gray cries for freedom of speech.

It is clear, the scandal in District politics was not committed by Mayor Vincent C, Gray, but rather by Ms. Katharine Weymouth, Mr. Fred Hiatt, Mr. Jackson Diehl, Ms. Jo-Ann Armao, Mr. Jonathan Capehart, Mr. Lee Hockstadler, Mr. Charles Lane, Mr. Stephen Stromberg, Mr. Scott Vance, Mr. Kevin Merida, Mr. Martin Barone, Mr. Robert McCartney, Mr. Colbert I. King, and Mr. Ronald C. Machen.

Where was their honor?

What will they do to give Mayor Gray his reputation back?

E-mail contact information: rbrannum@robertbrannum.com

Twitter: @robert158