Badly spoken or unfairly covered

So there was an investigation in 1996 into child molestation accusations against current mayoral contender Kevin Johnson.  That sucks. No candidate can like that sort of thing. But reading this Bee article about Johnson’s appearance at a press conference this morning where he fielded questions about the incident, the report, and other accusations from his past, I’m struck with his overwhelmingly ineloquent diction:

 “My goal is to make sure first and foremost that I represent this city in a way that is very positive and favorable,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately, accusations have been made that have been dropped and no charges have been ever assessed toward me. And it’s unfortunate that the timing of these things are being brought forward on a regular basis.”

Asked if he had paid a settlement to the 16-year-old who made the allegation against him, as an alternative paper in Phoenix suggested was being considered at the time, Johnson cited privacy concerns. He did not specify whose privacy.

“I think the important thing, and I’ve always said this all along, is you have to protect the rights of individuals,” Johnson said. “And privacy rights are at first and foremost of what I have to do on a regular basis in this community.” 

Okay. Huh? What? Seriously. He had to know he’d get questions about this – he’s had ample time to prepare his soundbites accordingly.  I know we’re a relatively small city – but still.  So is it that Johnson can’t elegantly speak himself out of a paper bag, or is the Bee just being a bit unfair in selecting quotations that make him look confused?

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