Attack of the Notebooks

I honestly don't care whether Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) retains her Senate seat next year, but the NY Times sure does. It has put together a lengthy attack piece about Gillibrand's work as an attorney for Philip Morris - or, "Big Tobacco" as the sophisticates at the Times like to say - when she was a junior associate. As a Young Lawyer, Gillibrand Defended Big Tobacco

So, who cares, right? Junior associates have about as much control over their choice of assignments as buck privates. Don't be fooled sez the Times:

Now in the Senate seat formerly held by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ms. Gillibrand plays down her work as a lawyer representing Philip Morris, saying she was a junior associate with little control over the cases she was handed and limited involvement in defending the tobacco maker.

But a review of thousands of documents and interviews with dozens of lawyers and industry experts indicate that Ms. Gillibrand was involved in some of the most sensitive matters related to the defense of the tobacco giant as it confronted pivotal legal battles beginning in the mid-1990s

They reviewed "thousands of documents" for this?! Come on! It's not like she was walking around in a Joe Camel T-shirt!

Then, there's this:
During her most recent congressional race, Ms. Gillibrand, who is a former smoker, accepted $18,200 in campaign donations from tobacco companies and their executives — putting her among the top dozen House Democrats for such contributions. Many Congressional Democrats do not accept tobacco money.
A "former smoker?" Unclean! Unclean! 

To add to the obloquy, the Times illustrates the story with a picture from the famous 1994 hearing where Big Tobacco executives were "put under oath" and said that there was no provable link between smoking and cancer. Gillibrand, of course, had nothing to do with this "dramatic "event, but all's fair in love and war, right?

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