The big story in Sunday's edition of The Plain Dealer was what could charitably be called a journalistic reach-around on Michael White, though to be more accurate, Robert Smith's schmaltzy words got all the way to at least third base with the former mayor of Cleveland.
White, if you missed the deep, delving, inquisitive piece, now runs a winery and alpaca farm, and he does so "ankle deep in alpaca feed and horse manure," looking "fit and agile in blue jeans and a ball cap, though his grizzled beard is more white than black," carrying out a "clandestine love affair with the good earth," still able to "make the drive [to Cleveland] in 90 minutes," and hoping that his children can "find in the land what he does."
All 2005 words go on that way —
A blessed rain had just drenched Yellow Butterfly Winery and its hay fields parched by drought. White, his work shoes caked with mud, walked among his rows of traminette and vidal vines and tried to explain why he so likes his new life.
— sackless, gutless, and probably written as White softly blew into Smith's ear. Barely a mention of White's corruption ties, nary a harsh word, zero hard questions besides something vaguely resembling, "Hey, why are people so harsh on you, man?"