Last Thursday, Jan. 16, The Post and Courier (our tabloid-of-record) ran a breathless headline at the top of page one, "Airport attorney's pay in spotlight," with the editorializing sub-head, "Board to debate $30K raise, contract for veteran on disability who makes $235K."
Buried in the hatchet job that followed was a reference to the fact that the subject, Arnold Goodstein, was a Vietnam War veteran of the U.S. Army who had been awarded two Bronze Stars and - though it apparently wasn't considered worthy of mention - at least one Purple Heart (I infer this latter from the reference in the article to his having been "wounded during the Tet Offensive.")
The reporter also saw fit to note that Mr. Goodstein, whom he gratuitously described as a "politically connected Summerville lawyer," suffered from the effects of Agent Orange, has "arthritic knees and heart problems" and has had a hip replaced. All of which was presented in support of the thesis that, though disabled, Mr. Goodstein was still well enough to work at a highly profitable profession, and that was somehow reprehensible.
And then, in juxtaposition, there was an article with a huge color photo of the subject, which consumed about 90 percent of the front page of Friday's sports section, headlined "Gamecock for life?"
It appears that Steve Spurrier is going to be around for a long time, sports fans, since after his projected 2018 retirement he may stay on as an "advisor" to University of South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner and university president Dr. Harris Pastides.
No details on job description or salary for that post-retirement plum were given in the story, but there was a reference to "many donors in the country," and the clear implication - wink, wink - that Spurrier would not, one might charitably say, go without remuneration at that time.
None of which would seem to have anything to do with Mr. Goodstein's situation except for the fact that The Post and Courier apparently had a serious case of the vapors over the disabled war veteran's salary of $235,000 while seeming to ratify Spurrier's yearly paycheck, which is more than 17 times greater, at $4 million annually.
Interestingly enough, that is more than five times what Dr. Pastides earns for running the whole university. Oh, and wait ... I almost forgot to mention that the "receiving/passing coordinator" on Spurrier's staff is paid, according to your story, $400,000 per annum, or exactly as much as the president of the United States.
Did I forget to mention his name?
Why, golly, it's Steve Spurrier Jr.
Who knew? Vapors, anyone?
All of which is to say that if you people are going to get up on your high horse over what you apparently consider to be an excessive salary for a disabled veteran, then perhaps you ought to display at least similar dudgeon over the astronomical pay of a sports figure, who is also a state employee.
I am not carrying water for Mr. Goodstein, let me add, but fair is fair, don't you agree?
And if I were to be a water-carrier for anyone, it would be for Mr. Spurrier, who would surely pay me at least a cool quarter-million of the taxpayers' dollars each year for my skillful bucket handling.
Of course, after the first year I'd expect a really big raise.