So much for my New Year’s resolution to take the high road. After a week off, I trudged back to the coal mine to find Newhouse school alum Steve Kroft plastered across America’s last great newspaper, the National Enquirer — and I don’t mean as a writer.
Kroft, of course, is the craggy-faced, supercilious 60 Minutes star whose ball-less interview last year of President Barack Obama and outgoing Secretary of Armageddon Hillary Clinton prompted pundit Peggy Noonan to dredge up an old radio insult: “soft as a sneaker full of puppy excrement.”
To be “affair,” Kroft has real cred as a reporter. He has closets full of Peabodys and has been awarded SU’s highest alumni honor, the Golden Fornicator. But his special genius is that folksy-yet-stately on-air persona that assures the Heatland that his ethics are beyond reproach.
As long as you’re not married to him.
According to the Enquirer, the 69-year-old broadcaster — did I mention he’s a Newhouse alum? — has been pursuing a three-year Viagraffair with a comely, Harvard-educated attorney, Lisan Goines, who’s young enough to be his daughter. Their exchanges of text messages (and God knows what else) are so raunchy they made me blush. I just Googled Steve Kroft’s name and the top entry reads:
What’s the deal with Newhouse, anyway? Can’t any of its famous grads have run-of-the mill affairs in the missionary position using standard-issue genitals? Seems it was only yesterday — OK, it was 1997 — that we were hearing about sportscasting legend Marv Albert, geared up in panties and a garter belt, biting women in hotel rooms. Oh, well. At least we now know what Lorraine Branham means in her dean’s message when she writes that Newhouse’s strength is “firmly rooted” in its educational offerings.
But getting back to Kroft. Maybe the real issue behind his infidelity isn’t his Newhouse background, but the fact that he left Syracuse in the first place.
Naturally, people here have affairs too — what else is there to do until mud season? — but it stands to reason that they’re less sensational than the grotesque escapades of Gotham and D.C. Consider what Kroft’s affair might look like if he were still with WSYR, where he worked for three years in the ’70s. There’d be no mashing in a Midtown taxi with a sultry New York City attorney. Caught in a car with a William Mattar paralegal is more like it. The beverage delivery system would be toned down, as well: Blue Light slurped from SU party cups versus a libation that screams for a Dr. Seuss parody:
Do you like champagne in ass?
No I don’t, it gives me gas.
I do not like champagne in ass.
More helpfully still, any sexting would be less salacious.
(Remember when “pudding” was just a dessert associated with the image of America’s dad, Bill Cosby?)
Anyway, using sophisticated software, I’ve created a series of likely sext messages between Kroft and Goines if they were carrying on in the ‘Cuse:
Kroft: Luv your salt potatoes. So firm and round! What r u wearing?
Lisan: Orange fleece, ski pants.
Lisan: My motor is so hot.
Kroft: Mine 2.
Lisan: No, I mean Kia. Check engine light is on.
Kroft: I’m not wearing any underwear.
Lisan: I’m not under warranty. Calling AAA.
Lisan: Do I make your cider hard, Wayne? 🙂
Lisan: Oops. Misfired.
Kroft: Sumthin goin on w/u & Wayne Mahar?
Lisan: No. Of course not.
This is all very innocent and of no interest to the national or even local media. Had he stayed in Syracuse, Kroft might not be worth a reported $16 million, but he’d have his dignity, which raises a question:
Is dignity overrated?