kf's Big Plamegate Scoop
Pay attention this time, dammit!
(Weeks ago, he rebuffed a request for an interview, insisting he'd talk to The Times only for a front-page story. He made no such demands Wednesday.) [Emph. added]
How clueless was that? Did he think the LAT was Vanity Fair (and that he was Heath Ledger)? ... P.S.: The Times piece actually isn't all that friendly to Beatty, punctuating the inevitable, tedious recounting of his political non-starts with this quote:
"I don't think he has the stomach for it," said Michael Levine, an L.A.-based public relations veteran. "I think he likes the pedestal of Beverly Hills, where he can mouth off and not get his fingernails dirty."
A more damaging jibe is Peggy Noonan's:
You really don't want it? Then get out of the way! Get off the stage, let someone else stand there. The Democrats of California need a leader, not a handsome fly buzzing 'round their heads. [Emph. added]
P.P.S.: The LAT piece's lead author, Carla Hall, was part of the Times team that (justifiably, and apparently accurately) reported on the Schwarzenegger groping incidents before California's 2003 recall election. Aren't they duty-bound to look into Beatty's personal history if he runs for office? I think they are! I'm not saying they'll find anything remotely comparable--it's hard to believe they would. Schwarzenegger has dramatically raised the bar in that area. But Beatty may not relish the scrutiny. ... 1:29 P.M.
Schwarzendebacle: Bill Bradley, the go-to guy for Schwarzenegger-insider reporting, blames strategist Mike Murphy for Tuesday's power-sapping defeat, but reports:
Schwarzenegger, according to sources in his own camp, has no real plan to correct his increasingly disastrous course. ...Multiple Arnold sources confirm that, just as there was never a specific plan for the misbegotten "Year of Reform," there is now no real plan for an Arnold move back to the bipartisan center, just a set of unformed intentions for "big thinking." [Emph. added]
[From L.A. Weekly] ... Forward lean: Maria to the rescue! ... 2:31 A.M.
Are you impressed that TimesSelect has attracted "approximately" 135,000 paying*** customers?** At $45 a head (halfway between the introductory price and the regular price) that's $6.1 million. Bigger than Arianna! But if someone--say, Richard Mellon Scaife--had come along a year ago and offered the NYT $6.1 million to radically limit the reach of its (largely) liberal columnists, would the paper have taken the deal? ... P.S.: And is the future subscriber trajectory really up, up, up, as the Times' columnists fade as personalities on the Web and get replaced by other, freer popular writers? ...
Photograph of Judith Miller on the Slate home page by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.