“OH, BABY!” is right! Staten Island Rep. Vito Fossella admitted yesterday that he fathered retired Col. Laura Fay’s 3-year-old daughter. Naturally both tabloids run with the admission. It’s the only story on both front pages, and each paper touts its own “exclusive” photo. For the Post, it’s a photo of Fay and her baby Natalie. The Daily News runs the first photo of Fossella and Fay together. (Does anyone else notice the resemblance between Fay and Fossella’s wife, Mary Pat?)
The News wins in the volume of coverage, even if one part of it is a rehash of “How we covered it.” They put 14 reporters on the beat, and the Post had nine. The News includes a service piece on “What to tell kids when daddy has 2 families.” (Quick version: “It doesn’t mean Daddy loves you any less.”) The Post goes the more sensational route, with a piece on Laura Fay’s marriages, both of which ended in adultery and divorce. The Post‘s classy headline for this piece? “His mistress has history as Fay lay.”
In the “what’s up with Vito’s career?” department, we get more of the same: the hypocritical politician who espoused family values yet didn’t follow the rules, he’s done if wife Mary Pat doesn’t stand by him, it’s too early to make any sort of decisions, etc. One voice that’s brought in today is the voice of the people of Staten Island. Andrea Peyser putters around the borough “[c]ut off from the bulk of the city by geography, morality and the $12 blow dry” to find out what these “house-proud residents” think of the scandal. Most were disgusted, but some were weary of all politicians. The News asked around the borough as well and found one woman who said she would still vote for Fossella should he seek re-election. Her reasoning, “People make mistakes,” Jennifer Gennaro tells the News. “I voted for him and I’ll vote for him again.” Everybody loves a great comeback.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 9, 2008