- The Washington Times - Monday, January 29, 2001

The Rev. Jesse Jackson billed inaugural week a "week of moral outrage." It turned out that Mr. Jackson helped generate some outrage of his own after the New York tabloids told the world that he cheated on his wife and fathered a child during the affair.

Mr. Jackson said he is "truly sorry" and accepts his responsibility. "This is no time for evasions, denials or alibis. No doubt, many close friends and supporters will be disappointed in me. I ask for their forgiveness, understanding and prayers."

The child is a girl, 20 months old, and lives with her mother outside Los Angeles. The child's mother, California native Karin L. Stanford, is 39 and Mr. Jackson is 59. Miss Stanford and Mr. Jackson were photographed alongside President Clinton during a White House visit in 1998, a year after she wrote the book, "Beyond the Boundaries," about Mr. Jackson's forays into foreign policy. She worked for Mr. Jackson in the Washington bureau of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, the nonprofit agency Mr. Jackson founded in Chicago to further his social causes. Mr. Jackson and his wife of nearly 40 years, Jackie, have five children and have a home in the historic Shaw area of Northwest Washington.

There was swift reaction to Mr. Jackson's admissions, and understandably so. Mr. Jackson was with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. when assassinated in April 1968, is a well-respected leader on civil and human rights, twice sought the nomination of the Democratic Party for the White House, has led boycotts and demonstrations, spoken with world leaders about human rights and injustices, and lobbied on behalf of the District for statehood. He also has a weekly show on CNN. Mr. Jackson also stood in steadfast support of President Clinton, whose dallyings with Monica Lewinsky were giving the president grief about the same time Mr. Jackson toyed with Miss Stanford.

More recently, Mr. Jackson had been quite vocal about alleged voting rights abuses in the 2000 presidential election and a critic of George W. Bush's ascension to the White House. To be sure, Mr. Jackson's is a familiar voice.

Mr. Jackson originally said he would back away from the public spotlight, which was understandable. Not only did he have to reckon with his sordid affair but his and Rainbow/PUSH's financial standing.

But after the briefest of absences, Mr. Jackson returned to the public stage with all the support of his friends and colleagues in the civil rights movement. Obviously, it didn't take him long to "revive" his spirit and "reconnect" with his family. Some kinds of moral outrage, it appears, are more outrageous than others.


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