Let's compare the Orange County article (anti-Hightower's behavior) and Abrahamson's article (pro-Hightower's behavior).
Before we do that, let's have the right frame of mind- There is absolutely reason to question Hightower given what happened with the IAAF nomination process, even if she has a neutral history.
jjjjjj seems to be against criticizing Hightower. On the OC criticism: "I read that article. There is no damning indictment. It refers vaguely to disasters in her tenure... "
Abrahamson, like jjjjjj, wants people to ease off Hightower. While jjjjjj says Doug Logan is the person we should all be mad at, Abrahamson suggests that Hightower's sex and age are reasons to appreciate her ability to pick herself for IAAF representative (just like Sarah Palin's sex would be a valid reason for her to vote herself as president).
Getting back to jjjjj... Let's first take a look at tricky language. jjjjjj accuses the OC article of being vague and without indictment. I hadn't read the article, and from jjjjjj's description I feared it was a fluff piece from a bleeding heart. "Vague? No indictment?", I thought to myself, "Maybe the writer just has a problem with ambitious politicians!" However, I found out that jjjjjj was, ummm, precise in his vague inaccuracy. The Orange County article refers specifically to a documented track record of self-serving leadership by Hightower. It gives specific numbers, dates, positions held, and infractions reported by a variety of sources. Contrary to what jjjjjj writes ("There is no damning indictment"), I disagree. Given what has just happened at USATF, her well-documented track-record indicates leadership behavior that is consistently harmful to the groups she serves, while consistently enhancing her own life. This, to me, is damning! The USATF might make money, US athletes may do great things, but Hightower can still have a soiled track record.
On the other hand, Abrahamson's article gives no specifics, and mocks the expressed anger of people whose votes and opinions were blatantly marginalized. Using a reference to a mockumentary movie (a genre eerily close to that of Abrahamson's article) the distinguished author asks people upset with Hightower to 'take the volume from an 11 to an 8'. Though 11 and 8 are numbers (are these the specific reasons we should support Hightower?), this is actually a tactic that scared or guilty people use to keep people who they've harmed from making a fuss. "Honey, I know I just beat you and embarrassed you in front of your friends, but could you take it down from an 11 to an 8? Daddy has to get some sleep so he can go to work in the morning." Abrahamson asks people like Lauren Fleshman - before they get angry at a person who used her friends on the board to overrule an 85% vote which derails decades of work by a well-respected leader - to consider that Hightower is a female, which means she's good for diversity. And, he reminds us, there are groups out there who support diversity (can you put 2 and 2 together?). Again, saying that she's a female is a specific piece of evidence, so we have to give Abrahamson some credit for that. But what if - gasp - Bob Hersh was Lisa Hersh? What if there were two females? Would that make Hightower's actions more palatable? This type of logic (i.e. rudimentary) is not necessary for someone as well-respected as Abrahamson.
Showing the tenacity that has made him a very respected voice to the editors of LetsRun.com (according to their homepage), Abrahamson cites even MORE evidence in favor of Hightower. (!!) According to his in-depth reporting, while Hersh is 71 (and will, believe it or not, turn 72 in the next year), Hightower is in her 50's! But Abrahamson doesn't just resort to numerology, deriving vacuous meaning from numbers. No. He nails us with facts. Abe points out that 71 is closer to the age of older people at IAAF, while 50-something is closer to the age of the 50-something generation at IAAF. He also points out that in just a few decades, it's more likely that the 50-somethings will have more responsibility at IAAF than the current 70-somethings will. I know it's abundantly clear, but Abrahamson mercilessly twists home the knife-blade, nonetheless: no matter if they are destructive, deceptive, manipulative, and self-serving, it's better to have a 50-something leading the USATF at the IAAF level. And if you have a problem with his defense-of-power arguments, Alan suggests message board posters should just keep their opinions to themselves. With this type of attitude towards the people who read his s***, no wonder he defends Hightower's behavior.
Which article do you prefer? The article that cites a whole bunch of chair-squirming evidence against Hightower? Or the respectable article from a respectable voice that asks you to be polite, because after all, she's a she, and she's in her 50's? We know where jjjjjj stands. I guess his is the type of message board opinion Abrahamson gives two opposable thumbs up.