Scandal Trifecta

February 06, 2020 - 3:38 pm

It was late in the day on Friday February 1st when a blogger began spreading word about a racist photo on the Medical School Yearbook page of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, and as word spread, reaction and outrage grew.  WRVA went into round-the-clock programming late into the night as the controversy spread and calls for Northam's resignation grew.  It was never clear why the photo was just coming to light, although there were those who believed it was the outgrowth of anger over the pediatric neurosurgeon's statements in support of late term abortions in certain instances.

Less than 72 hours later while Northam fought against those calls to resign, Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax who was next in line to assume the post, was confronted with his own controversy.  A professor in California renewed allegations that Fairfax had sexually assaulted her during the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Detroit, an encounter Fairfax characterized as consensual.  The allegation gained traction a week later when a second woman accused Fairfax of raping her when the two were students at Duke University in 2000.

Standing behind Fairfax, in line for the top job, was Attorney General Mark Herring.  Herring's ascendency was thrown into disarray 6 days into February when he confessed to the Legislative Black Caucus that as a student at UVA in the 1980s, he dressed in brown makeup to attend a costume party as rapper Kurtis Blow.

WRVA followed each new development throughout the year.