Did Cory Booker Fake a Friendship with a Drug Dealer Named T-Bone?
There aren't many scandals that have the horsepower to derail Cory Booker's ascendant political career. But the Mayor of Newark is, after all, a man, and men are prone to ... pretend to be friends with drug dealers. Will the news that Booker might have faked being friends with a drug dealer named T-Bone for the majority of his political career make a difference in his bid for U.S. Senator? Probably not, though right-wing media will try to get in a few licks.
The National Review reported yesterday the Booker
If the report is true, it would mean Booker concocted entire dialogues between him and the putative T-Bone, like one featured in the Review story:
"I still remember my first month on the street,' he told Stanford's alumni magazine in 2001 about moving into a crime-ridden area of Newark in 1995. "I walked up to this charismatic black guy my age called T-Bone, who was one of the drug lords," Booker recounted. "I just said, 'Yo, man, wha's up.' And he leaped in front of me, looked me right in the eye and said, 'Who the blank do you think you are? If you ever so much as look at me again, I'm going to put a cap in your ass.'"
It's tough to tell if the report is B.S., since it presents no hard evidence of T-Bone's non-existence, or a friendship with said T-Bone. Mainly it relies on the opinion of Rutgers University history professor Clement Price, whose main sticking point is that T-Bone is too Southern a name for a drug dealer in Newark.
Price tell the National Review, "you would expect to run into something or somebody named T-Bone in Memphis, not Newark."
Booker has been caught in a few lies in the past, perhaps strengthening the argument, but none so big as inventing an entire person and relationship.
In any case, Runnin' Scared will be by your side as this story balloons into comic proportions, because New York-area elections need more intrigue.
Send your story tips to the author, Raillan Brooks.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.