Mickey's Tour d' Droit: Tim Blair's stupid Rove-as-Evil-Genius fantasy is actually ... funny! ... Meanwhile, David Ignatius and Jim Geraghty do the White House's work for it, coming up with a Walid Jumblatt quote that Rove wouldn't dare to ghostwrite because it's too perfect. ... Someone check if Jeff Gannon has been in Lebanon recently. ... P.S.: Ignatius' WaPo column is actually even more powerful than Geraghty makes it out to be. Ignatius a) is normally a worldly realist, not a wild idealist and b) covered Lebanon as Middle East correspondent of the WSJ (and wrote a novel from the experience). ... 12:40 P.M.
Autoblog scoop: New Mazda Miata. Cribbed from German site Auto Bild.* Too bad about those wheel arches. They're not even trying to be ironic. They're trying to be iconic! ... I hate it when the world's best carmakers try to carve out an original, uniquely Japanese aesthetic. ... Instant CW: Excessive Ibukitude. ...[Thanks to reader J.H.] ...*Favorite headline: "Saab, ich drück Dich!" You can say that again. ... 1:31 A.M.
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
"Dear John--We're Just Not That Into You" Watch: Loyal Dem Josh Marshall is selling "Support Kerry '08" wrist bracelets on his site--a cunning attempt to enfeeble the non-stopping Kerry campaign by inducing "armband fatigue." [Thanks to reader S.K.] 12:55 P.M.
"Gannon attended White House Christmas parties -- but who invited him?" It's come to this on the left. ... P.S.: Don't hundreds of people get invited to White House Christmas parties? ... I mean, Wonkette was there! Who invited her? ... P.P.S.: The MinuteMan calmly and methodically adduces the reasons why Gannongate doesn't have the "the makings of an old-fashioned, months-long, television-friendly Washington scandal," as Rick Hertzberg would have it. ... Meanwhile, David Corn has answered the best point raised by Hertzberg--the claim that Gannon helped press secretary Scott McClellan avoid answering tough questions:
At the White House daily briefings, most of the journalists present tend to be called upon by McClellan. This is different from what happens at press conferences with Bush. During the briefings, reporters are able to ask multiple questions and return to issues after McClellan has not answered their queries and moved on to other journalists. It's not a one-shot deal. So Gannon/Guckert was not much help to the McClellan at these briefings. If he asked McClellan an easy question, that would not change the course of the entire briefing and save McClellan from other reporters. [Emph. added]
If Gannon hadn't been there, what do the Gannonballers imagine would have happened? That McClellan would have broken down under the uninterrupted barrage of gotcha questions like the final witness on Perry Mason? ("I can't take it any more! You're right. We lied about the weapons of mass destruction! OK? We lied about the Medicare costs! We just did it to please Halliburton and the drug companies! It's all their fault! Their fault! [Falls to his knees, shoulders convulsed with sobs.] It seemed like such a good plan.") Does anything like that, even on a small scale, ever happen? ... Aside from that slim possibility, why would the Bushies need Gannon when they've got Fox? ... [But you've got to admit, it's a good story--ed. Sure. Ann Coulter and Ron Silver is a good story too! But I wouldn't expect Congressional hearings.] ... Bonus trivia point: Corn wrote a thriller in which the President gets shot at a briefing by a ringer with a press pass. He's presumably sensitive to the dangers of loose credentialing. ... 11:59 A.M.
Monday, February 21, 2005
Beyond Pajamas: NYT's Bill Keller comes down with the Columbia anti-blogging disease:
"A blog is still a view of the world through a pinhole," he said, noting that it can sometimes fall as low as being a "one man circle jerk."