Full disclaimer: this post contains not an ounce of original thought on my part. And I have no particular personal claim to the story: another member of my small group pointed it out to the rest of us. But I really like coincidences, and so far as I know, nobody else in my small group has a blog with which to have posted this particular coincidence online (though I’d be happy to be proven wrong), so here we go.
Philip Roth once said, “You can’t write good satirical fiction in America because reality will quickly outdo anything you might invent.” As this post will demonstrate, he was basically right: you may outrun reality for a while, but it will catch up soon enough.
You may have heard the Valentine’s Day reports that Tennessee Representative Steve Cohen was flirting with a 24 year-old model over Twitter. Gawker, take it away:
Those tweets, which were quickly deleted and included messages like “nice to know you were watchin SOTU. Happy Valentines beautiful girl. Ilu,” seemed like your standard social media mishap by a middle-aged horndog politician. Some digging from the Daily Intelligencer led to a comment from Cohen’s communication director, Michael Pagan, who said Brink is the “daughter of a longtime friend and they’re pretty much like family.” Pagan also told Daily Intelligencer that Cohen had known Brink for “pretty much” her whole life and that Cohen had a longterm girlfriend in Memphis. So, a denial that didn’t do much to dissuade people that something odd and probably inappropriate was going on. End of story, right?
Nope. As Luke Russert reports, Brink is actually Cohen’s secret daughter, and not his secret lover or “family friend.”
So basically, Politician suspected of having an affair with a woman who turns out to be his daughter: Crazy story, right?
Gets crazier. The remainder of this post consists of an extended excerpt from my small group’s brief assignment from last semester [most-relevant portions highlighted in bold]:
Peter Florrick is a candidate for governor of Connecticut. In June, his campaign manager, Eli Gold, was approached by Nancy Crosier, an employee of the Derrick Bond Ad Agency, with a pitch to create a one-minute ad for the campaign. Crosier said that the Bond Agency had discovered shocking news about Florrick’s opponent, Mike Kristeva, and that if the film were released it would “rock the Kristeva campaign to its core.”…
Crosier laid out the following facts: a few weeks prior, Kristeva traveled to Canada alone and unannounced and returned with an attractive young woman in her early twenties. Since then, this woman has been spotted repeatedly entering and leaving Kristeva’s New Haven home, both with and without Kristeva, and Bond Agency employees had documented Kristeva buying the woman expensive gifts…
“Kristeva has been having a flagrant affair with a much younger woman while portraying himself as a dedicated family man. The voters deserve to know which candidate really shares their values,” Crosier added with a flourish…
On October 18, Kristeva called a surprise press conference. He announced, “I had hoped to spare my family this intrusion, but calls from tabloid reporters have forced me to speak out. Twenty years ago, before I met my wife Kristy, the love of my life, I was involved with a Canadian woman I had met in college and cared for very much. As part of that relationship, we had a daughter, Wendy. Though Wendy’s mother and I parted ways, we remained good friends and I have always been involved in my daughter’s life, both emotionally and financially, even after she and her mother moved to Toronto to be closer to family. In May, Wendy’s mother passed away after a long battle with cancer. In that trying time, Wendy decided to transfer to Yale to complete her studies and to live with me, her remaining parent. While I have sought public office and accepted the scrutiny that comes with it, Wendy has not. At her request, I have not spoken of her publicly until now in hopes that she might be able to lead a private life as a normal student. I ask that you respect her privacy now.” As he spoke, Kristeva identified the young woman on stage with him as his daughter Wendy. She was unmistakably the woman in the photographs.