“ex-wives make great sources….”

 

Mr. William Morean is a very private man.  You will find very little about him on the internet.  A Google search will yield only the barest scraps of information.  And this, clearly, is exactly the way Mr. Morean would like things to be, nor have we any quarrel with this.  He has done nothing to excite our interest, or deserve our scrutiny, or warrant this unwelcome intrusion into his privacy.

But it is precisely his privacy that we would wish to protect, and that is what impels us to submit to him this nugget of information, which may give him pause, if not cause his intestines to contract in terror.  For, you see, Mr, Morean is also a very successful man, and has, through honest industry and the sweat of his brow, become a very wealthy one. His business is the manufacture of circuit boards, which is not an industry much given to chicanery or deceit; hence our assumption that his wealth is not the result of double-dealing, influence peddling, federal subsidy or any of the other unfair advantages that many assume the wealthy must have inevitably accessed in order to prosper.

Enter Kelly Cramer.  Ms. Cramer is the author of two stories printed in the Village Voice Media’s south Florida tabloid alleging that Bruce McMahan — another very successful, very wealthy and very private person — had married his own daughter in Westminster Abbey.  (We are not making this up.)

The Daily Cannibal has had a glorious time dissecting Ms. Cramer’s stories, which display wonderfully how the Voice had been duped into being a willing or unwitting accomplice in McMahan’s ex-wife’s extortion plot.  Mrs. McMahan has since recanted under oath her allegations, but the Voice sticks with its story, having little or no choice in the matter.

Ms. Cramer’s articles naturally drew a response from Mr. McMahan, and the resulting spate of lawsuits motivated Tony Ortega, Ms. Cramer’s former editor in Florida, and by then (and now) editor of the Village Voice in New York City, to write an article in the Voice addressed “Memo to Bruce McMcMahan, Daughter-Seducer.”

Here we note that Mr. Ortega’s gift for coining clever sobriquets was not confined to “daughter-seducer” — a barb of admirable quality — but stretched into even more stratospheric heights in his text with mot justs like “Braveheart boy” (a masterful play on McMahan’s reported fondness for the Mel Gibson movie) and “scumbag.”  Normally you don’t find a publication with the bravery to call someone a scumbag in print, but Ortega’s fearlessness overcame the timidity of his lawyers, and “scumbag” it was.

And when a paragon of virtue like Mr. Ortega — whose rise to the editorship of the Voice was driven by his penchant for editorial fraud and complete contempt for journalistic ethics — calls you a scumbag, that ought to hurt.  You see, when Mssrs. Larkin and Lacy, the actual proprietors of Village Voice Media, decided to acquire the Voice to front for their child prostitution empire, Backpage.com, they must have said to themselves:

“Who have we got who will work for next to nothing nothing, agree to fire these expensive award-winning journalists we’ve got, and defend our very profitable kiddie-hooker ad business?”

Ortega, whose career thus far had been marked by blazing mediocrity, understandable obscurity and outright hoaxes, fit the bill in every regard.  Not long after his arrival, Jules Fieffer (Pultizer Prize winner), deemed “too expensive” (at $75,000 a year!), was canned.  The rest of the Voice’s names soon followed, either resigning or getting the pink slip.  No more crusades for the Voice.  The American icon of alternative journalism was swiftly reduced to a giveaway ad sheet with Ortega at the helm.  And while Backpage.com is attracting a larger and larger national outcry, including the attornies general of almost every state in the union, Ortega has been there to defend the gates, even as the stench of this ghastly enterprise nauseates even the most generous of first admendment advocates.

Which brings us back to Mr. Morean. What has all this to do with him?

Well, when Ms. Cramer obtained her fifteen minutes of fame serving as Elena McMahan’s dupe, she gave a speech to a journalism class wherein she noted that “ex-wives make great sources.”

And when she finally had to appear and testify under oath about her stories — something she dodged for several years — she refused to answer most questions under the claim that she was in the process of writing another story, and that Florida’s shield laws protected her from discussing any project she might currently have underway.  A curious defense.  Because Ms. Cramer is not, and has not for some years, been employed by Village Voice Media, or any one else.  She describes herself as “freelance,” noting in passing that she no longer has to work, as “my husband does very well.”

And what does her husband do?  Pay attention, Mr. Morean:  her husband, Mr. Rodney Galloway, is an engineer on the Sorcha, a 152 foot motor yacht owned by William Morean.  Yachts are interesting places, far from prying eyes and other unpleasant intrusions.  What happens — or someone says happened — on a yacht might make for pretty interesting reading among the “Space Aliens Ate My Daughter” set that Ms. Cramer caters to.  If ex-wives make good sources, Mr. Morean, what about current husbands?