Remember Gary Condit?

Chandra Levy made news again.  If you believe mainstream news organizations (which I rarely do) there’s about to be an arrest in the young Washington intern’s murder.

DC police feel sure it’s some con who’s last name contains all consonants.   He’s done time in the past for assaulting women in the same park where Levy’s remains were found about a year after her strange disappearance.

In case you don’t remember the Condit/Levy case, here’s a primer.

Seven years ago this past August , a curious American public gathered around their Sony Triniton equivalents of the old fireplace to watch a very special taped interview.    It was one of the biggest one-on-ones that veteran TV journalist Connie Chung would ever conduct.

It was with Gary Condit.

Old Gary.

My, how he first garnered, then held our attention captive beginning around May 1st of 2001.   If you remember, Condit represented California’s 15th congressional district, the northern San Joaquin Valley. 

He was a nice looking guy;  neat, well dressed;  no doubt owned a few stylish sear-sucker suits.  His hair was always perfectly coiffed; his teeth were flawless and white—like Chiclets.  I hate the term, but I supposed one could label him a “metro-sexual”.

Condit made national headlines because of the murder of  Chandra Levy, who was originally from Condit’s district in California, but at the time, was working as an intern for the Bureau of Prisons in Washington, DC.

It was alleged  not long after Levy went missing that there was something amiss as far as her relationship with Condit was concerned.   Police questioned him twice about an affair.  He denied everything, but that went south once Levy’s aunt went public with conversations she’d had with her missing niece about an adulterous affair with the lawmaker. When DC police found out,  they questioned him a third time and Condit finally confessed to the relationship.

At the time of the affair, the Democrat was 53; Levy was 23.

Condit was never named as an official suspect in the disappearance, but the Levy family (and subsequently the national media along with untold Americans) suspected that Condit was withholding something; at the very least, people felt he knew more than he was letting on about the intern’s disappearance.

We demanded more.  A scandal starved public clamored to know more.  It had been years since OJ’s murder trial and Lewinsky-Gate was becoming a distant memory.  We were hungry for “amber journalism” and the media fed us ample portions.

CNN, the networks and Fox News ran it the story ragged, beating a dead horse, but still, interest was extremely high.  Needless to say Condit’s situation was a PR nightmare–he was  a politician at the time.  It simply wasn’t kosher for the “Distinguished  Gentleman From California” to have had an adulterous tryst and to top it off, it was with a woman two years younger than his own daughter.

And not only that,  Condit mishandled things.  Aside from the fact that police claimed he’d impeded the investigation by not being completely forthright with information, there were other reports about other illicit affairs.   And in July, two months after Levy’s disappearance made news, he was caught trying to stash a gift box in a dumpster in a Virginia suburb.   He claims it was innocent enough; that he was merely throwing away an old watch box given to him by a former staffer years earlier.  He chose to get rid of the box miles from his office to escape the prying eyes of the media.

Still, it didn’t look good.

Well, as fate would have it, Levy’s remain were found scattered in a secluded area of a Washington DC park in May 2002.   Her death was ruled a homicide and the case remains unsolved.

Condit’s life went on.  He ran again for his congressional seat in early 2002, but lost.  His first loss ever.

It’s safe to say that Condit’s life was greatly affected by this incident.  Monumentally so.

He and his family moved away from California a few years later.  They went to Arizona where they opened several ice cream franchises.  That was in 2005, I have no idea what he’s doing now or where he’s doing it.

Personally, I’d like to believe he’s been doing a lot of thinking.   I’m not saying Condit is guilty of anything OTHER than having an adulterous affair, but in my world, that’s enough.

I have a hard time with infidelity. I’ve seen its evil first hand.  I was angry at this man for this and while hated what happened,  I was one of those Americans who helped Fox and CNN beat the Condit horse to death.  I was glued to this on going saga and on the evening of September 10th 2001, I went to bed feeling sure I’d wake up a few hours later to the latest dirt in the Gary Condit scandal.

But that wasn’t the case.

I woke up  the the next day; the morning of Tuesday, September 11th just as 19-crazed Islamic radicals induced a most formidiable paradigm shift.  

After that, like most of America, I forgot all about the Condit/Chandra affair.

Nineteen religious zealots who’d hijacked four airplanes made damn sure of that.

.

7 comments

  1. Interestingly enough, while the press was hounding Condit out of office (even though the DC cops repeatedly showed that he wasn’t a suspect at all — in fact, Levy had many other boyfriends at the time, and the DC neighborhood where she jogged had a high rape/murder rate), they all but ignored the events surrounding the strange death of Lori Klausutis, which occurred that same summer.

    Lori Klausutis was found dead in her office with two major head injuries, one of which manifested as a fist-sized hematoma in her brain. The coroner — who had lost his license to practice in Missouri for malfeasance — claimed she had a heart attack and hit her head on the desk as she fell. (Which is odd, as Lori was a healthy 28-year-old woman who not only had no prior history of heart trouble, but was also an avid runner who had recently competed in an 8k race.)

    So why should we care?

    Because Lori Klausutis worked for soon-to-be-former Florida congressman Joe Scarborough. Yes, the same guy who MSNBC hired to replace Phil Donahue, even though Donahue’s show was getting the best ratings of anything on the fledgling network at the time.

    http://www.americanpolitics.com/20010808Klausutis.html

  2. Nothing much happened in the world that summer to take Gary Condit off the front pages. So the Press needed the filler to keep things going. Even the Washington Post admitted they were negligent in handling the story. The best thing to happen to this country would be to reverse Sullivan vs. NY Times and rid the requirement of proving malice when they cover a public official.

    The Press has unrestricted and total power which they abuse too frequently. We also have a right “not to know” but journalistic restraint is rarely if ever seen. We see the press as self centered and prideful and too often printing innuendoes and falsehoods to an individual’s detriment.

  3. I cannot help but think about how hard he tried to cover up his affair with Levy. He obviously never wished that it be found out- hmmm… a motive for murder then, I personally think so. The furvor that the children work with to defend their dad shows the genetic signs that they feel entitled to their power. The pay off the children recieved by their dad’s office, the high paying jobs they recieved from Condits associate, again shows entitlment and using power to get what they want through using connections. I’m sure Condit felt entitled to have sex with a 19 year old as much as he felt entitled to then have her snuffed out when she appeared to become a liability! Sociopaths have no remorse and are power hungry, also they are masters at coniving and can often be found manipulating power to their advantage- they areoften cops or politicians.

  4. If Condit had just kept it in his pants, he would probably still have his career today. And as usual the wife stayed and I’m sure he hurt the kids too. Guys like Condit are disgusting.

  5. Men and woman are not the same in feelings looks and actions. I think God made it that way for a purpose. Likewise I think God gave us both the same power when it comes to mental decisions and courage to make them. I know some woman who are mentally more powerful then any man. That saying, why is it one hundred percent the mans fault when having sex. Not saying the Condit did the right thing. But is in not her right to say no and do whatever it took to keep him off her. I am sure she had wits enough to do this. She seems very smart to get where she had gotten. I think both of them had fault and I wish woman took some blame on such issues where she is able to keep it honest. Just putting out there for thought not judging anyone.

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