Claudia Rosett’s Last Shot Misses the Mark

I’ve often wondered how Claudia Rosett, the “Journalist in Residence” of the Foundation for Defense of Democracy, will cope with Kofi Annan’s departure. After all, she has earned her name tarring and feathering a man who is about to abandon his pulpit. Once Annan leaves office, those who actually follow her attempts to stir controversy are sure to lose interest.Nevertheless, as a parting gift to the person she built a career slandering, Rosett recently produced a lengthy – if confusing – New York Sun article purporting to “prove” that Kofi Annan’s nephew now lives in the same rent-controlled apartment where Annan lived prior to becoming Secretary General. Of course, Rosett admits that there is nothing illegal about this arrangement-which, incidentally, Jules Crittenden of the Boston Herald calls “the usual Third-World immigrant pile-into-the-cheap-apartment thing.” Still, that does not stop Rosett from fuming about the appearance of impropriety, which she feels stems from the fact that “Annan, whose wife comes from one of Sweden’s wealthier families, has spent years lecturing Americans on how the well-heeled have obligations to those less fortunate.”

In case you are wondering where to find the outrage, dear reader, let me summarize: Kofi Annan’s nephew lives in a rent-controlled apartment that is leased to Kofi Annan’s brother, who is Ghana’s ambassador to Morocco. But at one time-as long ago as 1978-this apartment served as Annan’s residence. And now, this all worthy of a lengthy expose in the New York Sun because the person who currently resides in this rent controlled apartment has a rich aunt.

If this is the kind of “dirt” that Rosett is now throwing Annan’s direction, I think we can safely assume that Rosett is panicking. To be sure, Rosett can still hype her manufactured controversies after Annan leaves office in January, but fewer and fewer people will care.