COLUMBUS (TDB) -- And it would have made quite a headline: Ohio's attorney general reportedly said he would spread rumors of sex scandals involving newsroom chiefs, sex scandals that would be false but damaging to reputations. The threat supposedly came after a Marc Dann staffer was reportedly seen at his condos in her "PJs," an outfit we now know was less than Friday casual. And it turned out Dann was boinking a female staffer, an accusation that he admitted is true. As for the editors, Marrison reports that Ohio's embattled attorney general "went so far as to threaten to fabricate allegations that newspaper editors who would report the story were also having illicit affairs." Marrison offers no other details. And I was unable to reach him when I phoned this afternoon to follow up on his eye-popping report. If Marrison really has the goods -- that Dann would actually consider smearing reputations to save his own skin and shut down journalists -- it sounds like the state's top lawyer and law enforcement official was treading close to blackmail, or extortion. It might be a path that state lawmakers might consider exploring as they weigh whether or not to impeach the attorney general.
Buckeye State Blog spotted the claim by the editor of Ohio's state capital newspaper. Marrison did not emphasize his tale about Dann -- he put it in the 17th paragraph of a 20-paragraph Sunday column. It was mainly about Dann's "fiery disposition" and the likelihood of retaliation and defiance by the attorney general, who was excommunicated Saturday by the Ohio Democratic Party.
As for Ohio editors having affairs: Who knows? Certainly, newsroom dalliances are not unknown. And was Marrison the specific target of Dann's threat to "fabricate allegations" that newspaper editors were shagging staffers? He doesn't say.