Just a hunch: If you were Winona Ryder, and you were facing a trial on shoplifting charges, wouldn't you time any plea bargain so it became public the week before Labor Day, when nobody's paying attention? To be more specific, you'd announce the plea deal late this coming Friday afternoon. Then the news will come too late to be included in most Sunday thumbsuckers (typically written on Friday), and instead appear mainly in the traditionally little-read Saturday papers. ...12:39 P.M.
Monday, August 26, 2002
Am I warped, or has Media Whores Online been much more ... responsible lately? Its commentary on the McKinney/Majette contest was a model of progressive probity:
There is no question Republicans helped defeat McKinney. But Majette's candidacy was principled. She played by the rules, and was not installed through some arbitrary process like, say, a Supreme Court intervention. There is no reason to believe that she and the many Democrats who voted for her do not strongly believe that she will be a more effective representative than McKinney. McKinney's gaffes and associations made her a hopeless liability.
Well-said! ..You know, a few of us get together at the club once a week -- very low key, nothing on the record, mind you -- and we were wondering if you, and maybe Mrs. Whores Online, would care to ..... 10:30 P.M.
Times v. Times, Part II (b): Several alert kf readers have pointed out that Bill Keller's Saturday NYT op-ed on Iraq contains what seems to be a second indirect swipe at the NYT's news coverage under Howell Raines, who was picked over Keller for the NYT editor's job. Keller writes:
The last time America dispatched soldiers in the cause of "regime change," less than a year ago in Afghanistan, the opposition was mostly limited to the people who are reflexively against the American use of power. There were pundits who whispered "quagmire" and allies whose applause for the effort was one-handed, but the outright opposition came from isolationists ...
Gee, what "pundits" jumped to use the word "quagmire" after a few days of initial setbacks in Afghan? Could Keller have been referring to Timesman R.W. Apple's now-embarrassing "news analysis," which led the special "Nation Challenged" section on October 31, 2001? Apple's first sentence:
Like an unwelcome specter from an unhappy past, the ominous word "quagmire" has begun to haunt conversations among government officials and students of foreign policy, both here and abroad.
P.S. Apple's piece will still be embarrassing even if Afghanistan does turn into a quagmire. That's because it consisted of Washington-dinner-party huffings about immediate American military prospects -- misgivings that were quickly proven wrong. Here's a sampling:
Despite the insistence of President Bush and members of his cabinet that all is well, the war in Afghanistan has gone less smoothly than many had hoped. Not that anyone expected a lightning campaign without setbacks ...But signs of progress are sparse. A week ago, the Pentagon said the military capacity of Taliban leaders in Afghanistan had been "eviscerated" by allied bombing raids; now ranking officials describe those leaders as "tough characters" who remain full of fight. The sole known commando sortie into enemy territory produced minimal results and ample evidence that American intelligence about the Taliban is thin.
The Northern Alliance, whose generals bragged for weeks that it was about to capture the pivotal city of Mazar-i-Sharif, has failed to do so.