The hole in the "oil spot" strategy for Iraq.

A mostly political Weblog.
Nov. 14 2005 3:46 AM

The Hole in the "Oil Spot" Strategy

Plus--You Can't Shut Anyone Up Anymore.

(Continued from Page 10)

**--Kristof may have hit on the marketing breakthrough that will save TimesSelect. Call it TruthSelect. Here's the plan: Have the op-ed columns in the print edition contain flagrant inaccuracies. Figure out what the factual version of events is, but print the corrected, accurate version only on the restricted, premium portion of the Web site, where people have to pay $49.95 to get at it. The B.S. is free. The truth you have to pay for! It's so simple and intuitive it's genius. 1:36 A.M. link

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We Want No Pardon and We Want It ... Now! Now that the Senate Dems have finished with their stunt  designed to provoke an investigation of the Bush administration's handling of prewar intelligence, shouldn't their next stunt be something designed to get Bush to promise not to pardon I. Lewis Libby if he's convicted (or before he's tried, for that matter)?Anonymous Liberal makes the case. Maybe Democrats could hold up some criminal justice outlay in order to dramatize the point. ... Bush defenders may say the President would never pardon a convicted criminal. But his father's pardon of Caspar Weinberger is a troubling, take-care-of-your-own precedent. If Bush really isn't going to pardon Libby, that's information Libby should have now! It's not enough for Libby not to be pardoned, in other words. He needs to know he's not going to be pardoned, before he enters into difficult implicit negotiations that may involve deciding whether to implicate others. ...  7:14 P.M.

Everyone Wants to Work for Jon Klein! Why not? The CNN chief had the vision to grab cheap headlines by humiliating his own Crossfire team! It was all about the storytelling, you see--but then there was a hurricane and it was all about emo! But don't worry. Should circumstances change again--maybe there will be a big snowfall, you never know--Klein is guaranteed to say nice things about you ("we mutually looked at the lay of the land and came to this conclusion" ... "We cannot thank Aaron enough for the skills and professionalism he brought to CNN." ... "There are only so many hours in the course of a day."). New two-hour anchor Anderson Cooper knows that whatever happens, he has Jon Klein on his side, patiently backing him up through thick and thin. ... More Kudos for Klein: Rachel at FishbowlNY; TVNewser ... P.S.: Klein on Aaron Brown's replacement, Anderson Cooper: "He has broken through the clutter with his candor, his humanity and his emotional connection to the most pressing stories of our time. ... He's got a refreshing way of being the anti-anchor. He's not quote-unquote reporting at you. He's just being himself. He's asking the questions you would like answered. He's getting involved the way you might. ... Clearly, America is embracing Anderson Cooper." He has 27 percent higher ratings than a rerun of Lou Dobbs! ... Despite CNN's troubles, Klein hasn't forgotten how to dole out the praise in such a way as to make you hate him and the person he's praising at the same time! ... How does he do it? I think it's the condescension! ... Unused Obvious Hed Available for Free: "'Ice' Fired." ... [Emph. added] 2:26 A.M.

Die Pinchedammerung II: Go Class A Stock! Private Capital Management, the largest shareholder in the Knight-Ridder media chain, is pressing its board of directors to sell the company, citing a disparity between its lagging share price and the "fair value" of its assets. ... Boy, Pinch Sulzberger is lucky Private Capital Management isn't the largest Class A shareholder in the New York Times Company, whose share price has also plunged. ... Oh, wait! ... One scenario I just made up: Knight-Ridder gets sold to the NYT. A crowning triumph for Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.! But who gets to run the restructured, merged company? Not Pinch, who unexpectedly shifts over to become visionary head of the new Sulzberger Institute for the Future of Journalism, while the NYT's Class B shareholders pick as CEO someone who hasn't consistently degraded the brand throughout his tenure! ... 9:39 A.M. link

The Warriors of Rockingham: There was a large gang fight on Halloween in the lush heart of L.A.'s affluent suburban West Side, I'm told. Dozens of teenagers, some wielding bats and chains, from rival black and Hispanic outfits battled each other around 26th Street and San Vicente, on the border between Santa Monica and Brentwood, the latter probably the most expensive neighborhood in Los Angeles. Police were called to the scene in force.** ...Did you learn about this incident in the Los Angeles Times? Of course not. Too interesting! Readers would just want to know more. What's the point? ... P.S.: On the other hand, the Times' latest online effort, The Envelope, has great potential for sneaking lively gossip into the paper through the back door. This short-but-to-the-point Gore Vidal interview certainly gets at one truth about the man. (He's ready to launch GoreSelect!) ... The twittish deadweight Timesenklatura would be well-advised to mobilize and suffocate this alarming Web innovation before it gets too far along. For example, why are there no representatives of the paper's Thomas era on the Envelope team? Are blacks, women, Latinos and Koreans all adequately represented on the staff? How can the paper fail to meet the needs of the community in its traditional fashion if the groups that make up the community aren't part of the effort? ...

** Update/Correction 11/4: The L.A. Times tells Kevin Roderick's LAObserved  that the police say the Halloween incident described above "didn't happen." I've now reinterviewed my source--an eyewitness who fled the scene for safety reasons--and while I don't have a complete picture I believe there was a gang rumble of some sort, involving dozens of people. The part in the above item that is wrong is the asumption that police were "called to the scene in force." Police were already heavy in the area, as you'd expect on Halloween. But there was apparently no mobilization of additional police or riot cops, no lights flashing, etc. ... I don't know what the police saw and what they didn't see. (My call to Santa Monica police press office hasn't been returned yet). It's hard to believe they'd miss gangbangers walking around with baseball bats. They might have missed fighting in the alleys. But just because the police don't respond doesn't mean nothing happened.  And gangbangers terrorizing trick-or-treaters by fighting each other on Halloween in the heart of Brentwood is a story most Westside parents would want to know about, I should think--even if it's not a story you can get by just calling police headquarters. 2:09 A.M. link

Rove Magic Back? My Slate colleague John Dickerson writes, that "[b]ased on what can be gleaned from the indictment and elsewhere," Bush aides Karl Rove and Ari Fleischer

treated news of Plame's employment as if it were radioactive before it ever became a public issue. Their caution suggests that at the upper levels of the administration not only was Wilson's wife's identity known, but that it was also known that it was not for public distribution.

Karl Rove talked to only two reporters back in July 2003. [Emph. added]

I'm confused. Rove talked to only two reporters about Plame,but both of them actually published her name and CIA status, and one of them was the first to do so. Based on the indictment, Libby talked to two reporters about Plame, only one of whom published her name or CIA status (and that reporter got a weak confirmation from Libby after first hearing it from Rove). So how did Rove, in supposed contrast to Libby, treat news of Plame's employment "as if it were radioactive" and "not for public distribution"? ... Update: Dickerson says he wasn't contrasting Rove and Libby's behavior. The point is that they all treated the information as too hot to handle. Hence it wasn't something Libby would just forget.  OK. I'm still not sure taking Matt Cooper's call and immediately spilling the beans on Wilson's wife  (as Rove apparently did) is treating the info with utmost caution, however (though it was on "double super secret background). ... 1:35 A.M. link