Why Jack Abramoff Hung Up on a Radio Interview Rather Than Face Me
On Monday, I was the featured guest on progressive talk show host Peter B. Collins' show. Because Peter was planning on having disgraced super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff on the show as well, I was looking forward to confronting Jack & finally holding him to account - if not face to face, then at least voice to voice.
Sadly, I didn't have a chance - because once Jack Abramoff found out he'd have to face me, he hung up the phone. Let me say that again: Abramoff hung up the phone. It's telling that Abramoff didn't have the moral courage to offer up a truth-telling apology for the crimes he committed. It's telling that the best Abramoff can do is offer up a weak, amorphous repentance which basically consists of rewriting history to paint himself in as good a light as possible.
In the interview with Peter Collins, which you can listen to here - including the moment when he hung up on me - Abramoff spins up a version of history so bizarrely fanciful it makes the listener imagine that he's fallen through the looking glass.
To hear Jack Abramoff tell it, instead of offering aid & comfort to South Africa's apartheid regime in the 1980s through the International Freedom Foundation, he was working to free Nelson Mandela. Instead of being one of the central figures of the disgraced Tom DeLay's "K Street Project" through his partnership with DeLay's former staffers, he was a marginal figure.
Essentially, in Abramoff's world, he was just an innocent ingenue, compelled by events to do as he did. That simply won't cut it.
Had I had the chance to go voice to voice with Abramoff, I would've asked him to truly repent for pillaging the inheritance of my people time and again in an effort to line his own pockets. I would've confronted him with the stark evidence of his crimes - crimes that he continues to deny and to minimize whenever given a stage to parade his lies.
I still want that chance. Abramoff can hang up on me time and time again, but he cannot hang up on the truth. Hey, Jack - that ringing you hear? It's the bell, and it's tolling for thee.