Kathleen Kane takes to the stage

3 x 2 kane press conference
Embattled Attorney General Kathleen Kane speaks at the National Constitution Center.

THE WOMAN IN WHITE stood alone on a stage in the National Constitution Center.

Quite a contrast to what just appeared on a large screen above the stage: samples of racist and pornographic emails, including a naked, heavyset woman with a pig snout and a curly pigtail protruding from, well, you know where.

The Woman in White is also the title of an 1859 British novel involving a woman escaped from an asylum.

But that's another story.

This story, although it often seems like fiction, is about a woman seeking escape from bad men out to get her.

So Kathleen Kane, the state attorney general who says she's been targeted - politically, criminally, constitutionally - for uncovering a network of porn-trading prosecutors, lawyers and judges now is targeting all of the above for possible crimes or ethical violations.

She took no questions yesterday after announcing the appointment of special prosecutors to review as many as 100,000 emails, 4,000 of which already were selectively released to the public beginning last year.

I suppose one question might have been: Why use a rented facility - the center's 200-seat, mostly empty F.M. Kirby Auditorium - costing taxpayers $500, when the attorney general has an office in Philly?

(I mean, other than to relive glory days of 2013 when Kane used the center to announce that she wouldn't defend the state's then-ban on same-sex marriage.)

Another might be: Since thousands of emails were already released, haven't we seen the worst of what's there?

And if the sole interest here is the sanctity of a justice system compromised by emails denoting prejudice, intolerance and inappropriate chumminess between prosecutors and judges, why no thorough review when the emails were discovered in early 2014?

So, with the white there's a little gray.

But I suspect such questions would get the same sort of response Kane offered to anyone challenging her authority given she has no law license.

She called it "nonsense" to suggest she can't appoint, and said she'd ask three questions of those debating that: "Are you a white male? Are you or one of your buddies in this email network? Are you trying to get my job?"

(Sounds like a jury voir dire.)

So now a team is in place to dig deeper into Porngate.

And that's good. Better if it already happened. Better if someone other than Kane brought in special prosecutors. Better if it didn't play into her narrative: They're only after me because I'm after them.

But Kane's right: When the very people charged with the administration of fair and equal justice trade messages, photos and videos offensive and demeaning to women, people of color and the LGBT community, faith in justice suffers.

And any evidence of crimes or ethical breaches, especially involving judges, should be brought to light and pursued.

Kane picked former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler to head the search, along with four members of his Washington law firm, Buckley Sandler, at a cost Gansler put at "less than $2 million." Who doesn't like a bargain?

Gansler and Kane have a few things in common.

Neither has a Pennsylvania law license. Both were targeted for impeachment - he for a 2010 opinion that states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, she for, well, a bunch of stuff.

And both were rising political stars. Kane you know about. Gansler ran for governor last year, losing a primary in a campaign that had its share of problems.

He was taped suggesting that his opponent, then-Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, was running only to become Maryland's first African-American governor.

He made national news after he was photographed at a teenage beach party attended by one of his sons at which there was underage drinking that he made no effort to stop.

And the Washington Post reported that he routinely ordered state troopers driving him to turn on the siren and speed (I knew that Rendell couldn't be the only one!).

How does all this play out? Can't say.

The only thing certain, as in all controversies involving government and politics, is litigation and paydays for lawyers.

Email: baerj@phillynews.com

Blog: ph.ly/BaerGrowls

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