The Kerry Mystery Challenge.

A mostly political Weblog.
Dec. 2 2002 1:25 AM

Kerry Mystery Contest

Plus: Raines Remains Silent, Day 6!

(Continued from Page 3)

And here I thought it was just an article about Britney Spears:

"Our readers are interested in reading a sophisticated exegesis of a sociological phenomenon like that."    -- New York Times Executive Editor Howell Raines describing his paper's recent coverage of pop singer Britney Spears' "makeover" efforts.

3:46 A.M. Central

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

The great Bob Woodward-Roger Ailes dispute  seems like one of those win-win situations. Woodward's report-- that Fox news chief Ailes gave President Bush confidential advice on public opinion about 9/11 -- isn't much, scandal-wise. But it's a story that benefits everyone. Ailes' outraged reactionmakes it look as if Woodward had a genuine scoop. Woodward gets publicity for his book. Ailes gets to have Woodward broadcast that Ailes is a Bush White House insider. Ailes also gets points with the right wing -- for being an insider, but also for being a hawk and an enemy of Woodward. Reporters get something to write about and readers get something to read about. ...Alas, Ailes and Woodward may have given the game away by getting all chummy and making uptoo quickly. ... P.S.: The real story is the substance of Ailes advice -- that Bush should take the "harshest measures possible," in Woodward's words. Depending on what that means, it could have been very bad advice. In the NYT, Ailes disputesWoodward's characterization of his advice, unconvincingly -- but then the NYT seems so intent on skewering Ailes (with Alessandra Stanley piling onin a second piece) that it's hard to trust the paper to present his version clearly.  ... P.P.S.: If Ailes keeps sending Bush confidential memos, that's as likely to drive a wedge between the two men as to form a bond between them. One day, after all, Bush will reject Ailes's counsel -- he may have already, by not taking the "harshest measures." Whenever this rejection occurs, Ailes ego, to the extent that it's wounded, would push him to turn against Bush, no? But for the ego-build-up provided by being attacked by Woodward, that might already have happened, to some extent. ... 1:58 A.M. Central

Monday, November 18, 2002

Instapundit actually thought about buying  a new Nissan 350Z, so how bad could the blogging/law professing/music producing biz be? … I tend to think the new "Z" is forced and overly architectonic, lacking the grace and fluidity of, say, the 1991 300ZX, which happens to be the used "Z" I could afford, and which is also the car I'm currently driving across the country. (Why? To get to the other side!)  … One thing I've noticed on this trip so far is that heavy (and welcome) police presence on the highways that was evident after 9/11 hasn't dissipated. In Arizona, for example, all the traffic on Interstate 10 was diverted by construction onto a single lane exit ramp – with a squad car at the bottom looking over the queue and another cop at the top eyeballing every single driver. In El Paso, there was a flashing-cruiser roughly every 100 yards. …But you can't help but wonder: Where did all these cops come from?  Are they new recruits? The states haven't had time to train that many. So what were they doing before? Were they all lounging around at desk jobs?  Are they all working overtime and racking up huge paychecks? Are non-terrorist crimes going unsolved and undeterred? All of the above, probably …. 4:50 A.M Central

Friday, November 15, 2002

Ann Coulter has  five suggestions  for reviving the Democrats in a sarcastic swipe that is clarifyingly vicious (e.g. "[T]here is still plenty of room to curry more favor with the teachers' unions"). The Democrats may actually take her up on point  #4. ... While I can almost never agree completely with a Coulter column -- she's not really trying to convince anyone -- there is also some truth in the following:

Of the three Democrats arguably responsible for the election fiasco – Terry McAuliffe, Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt – surely the least culpable was Gephardt, the original phony "NASCAR Democrat." But picking up on the Clinton strategy of blame the innocent and promote the guilty, only Gephardt resigned.

Necessary disclaimer: I don't think she should have made that joke about Timothy McVeigh and the New York Times. [Still, canny of you to wait until Media Whores Online had closed down before posting this item-ed] 10:57 P.M.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Faster Football! ... 10:09 P.M.

In an earlier post, I noted Eric Black's point that Minnesota GOP candidate Norm Coleman was able to communicate publicly what it might have been illegal (under campaign finance laws) for him to communicate privately -- namely that he really didn't want the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee to run negative TV ads against Mondale... But, as alert kf reader B.B. points out, this public/private distinction is a little more subtle now than it used to be, no? What if Coleman had just had a blog, where he routinely hinted at the kinds of new ads, media buys and other free speech activities he hoped other concerned citizens might undertake against Mondale? ... And what if the URL for this "public" blog wasn't all that widely known? ... Maybe most candidates would decide that the safer course is to be as public as possible, as Coleman in fact was. But the blog route might allow pols to "publicly" communicate more detailed instructions to those "independent" campaigners they aren't allowed to "coordinate" with. ...(e.g.:"Our campaign is doing really well in the St. Paul area. Duluth is coming around and we certainly hope and expect to be where we want to be in that area by election day. They are really worried about high taxes up there, aren't they?")  1:32 P.M.

TODAY IN SLATE

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