Thomas Ravenel’s do-over

07/15/2014 2:08 PM

07/15/2014 2:09 PM

When then-Rep. Hunter Limbaugh gave up his House seat in 1997 to become then-Gov. David Beasley’s chief counsel, I used that as an occasion to write an article about the toll serving in the Legislature took on young professionals. And since any significant news article required a display photo, I arranged for a photographer to take a picture of Hunter packing up his legislative office.

Only one problem: While the photographer was talking with the subject, the subject let it slip that he had arranged his schedule to accommodate the photographer, and the photographer would have none of that. Why, that was an arranged picture, he protested; all he would produce for me was a portrait. Never mind, apparently, that Hunter had to pack up his office sometime; the photographer would be ethically compromised if that action was taken in consultation with anyone from the newspaper.

I was reminded of that incident on Monday when I read about Thomas Ravenel’s latest do-and-pony show, this one involving his turning in signatures for his effort to further embarrass South Carolina by running for the U.S. Senate.

According to The Associated Press’ Jeffery Collins, Mr. Ravenel “ entered the Election Commission office twice at the request of television news crews trying to get the best shot of him carrying his paperwork.”

To me, that was testimony to the changing values of photographers. Either that or the different values of TV and newspaper professionals. Or maybe both.

To Mr. Collins, apparently, the play-acting episode had another meaning. Here’s the next sentence in his article about the state treasurer turned felon turned B-grade reality-TV star: “But he insists his candidacy is serious.”

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