Columnist Thomas Friedman on the genius of TimesSelect:"I hate it. ... I feel totally cut off from my audience." But at least the NYT's stock is up. ... Just kidding! ... [Thanks to NewsAlert] 9:04 P.M.
kf Calibrates Its Outrage: I rag on Markos Moulitsas for his 2004 "screw them" comment about the four American security contractors killed in Fallujah. That comment was more offensive than anything Ann Coulter's book is currently being criticized for. But I have to say that just as Coulter's comments become much less shocking when read in context (Chapter 4 of Godless, criticizing the press canonization of four highly political, pro-Kerry 9/11 widows), Moulitsas' comment also becomes more understandable when you read it on its original page, which is here [search for "screw"]. As his subsequent childhood-blaming non-apology apology makes clear, he thinks he's making a distinction between Americans who are "trying to help the people make Iraq a better place" and mercenaries who voluntarily accept risk in exchange for cash. True, that distinction breaks down under inspection (the people trying to make Iraq a better place rely on the mercenaries, who are also human beings). And only someone who doesn't want the U.S. to succeed in Iraq would say what Moulitsas said. Still, it's less odious than I'd thought. ... P.S.: But it's still worse than Coulter! Yet Tim Russert and the rest of the MSM are falling over themselves giving respect to Kos. Is this due to a) liberal bias or b) Kos' seemingly determined Graydon-Carteresque attempt to make himself presentable** and join the club [$] he's been attacking? I suspect (b). Coulter would be on Meet the Press too if she decided to tone herself down. [But she wouldn't have gotten famous in the first place if she'd toned herself down--ed. Right. It's all in the timing!] ...
**--Dickerson says Kos is maintaining his "snotty arrogance." (Sample: "I reach more people than most of these publications that are interviewing me—I don't need them.") But on Meet he was sweet. Don't tell me he was faking it! ...
Update: The Crank disagrees. ... P.S.: He argues it's not about Kos "the person," but rather "the community"! I'd feel better about this community if every member who wrote me didn't robotically parrot this same argument, whether apposite or inapposite. I remember a science fiction phenomenon like that. The Kos! Will Mark Warner be assimilated? ... Anyway, I was writing about Kos, "the person."... 5:25 P.M. link
Fitzbust: kf's go-to site on Plamegate, Tom Maguire's JustOneMinute, rises to the occasion this morning with informed speculation on a) why Fitzgerald gave up on indicting Karl Rove and b) why Fitzgerald also hasn't indicted another prominent Bush administration figure who's less controversial (because he's no partisan gunslinger):
Look, the fellow who leaked to Woodward and Novak is (IMHO) Richard Armitage, former Deputy Secretary of State, and an indictment seems to be unlikely. I am not sure why that is, but I think that, in FitzgeraldWorld, Libby was part of a vicious White House conspiracy to make Joe Wilson cry; Armitage was just flapping his gums about a CIA operative. That's a big difference.
But Maguire doesn't think Armitage is completely out of the woods. .. Contrarian Spin O' the Day: Since Rove is presumably a key figure helping to drive the Bush adminstration into domestic policy oblivion--by pursuing his ancient dream of buying off the Hispanic vote for generations with a mass-legalization of illegals--Fitzgerald's failure to indict Rove was a victory for the Democrats! They need to keep Rove on the job. [Do you actually believe this?-ed No. I can't quite believe Rove won't advocate compromising on a "security-only" immigration bill when the crunch comes. Until then, the Bush administration's futile pro-legalization push might be intended simply to minimize the long-term damage to the party among Hispanics.].. . Better Contrarian Spin: It's a plus for Dems because now they can focus on issues voters actually care about instead of issues YearlyKos panels care about. ... Plus Rove's magic is going. ... 12:46 P.M. link
Coulter and Kinsley's Dictum #4: I suspect Bob Wright thinks he kept his cool in this exchange more than he actually did (especially if you play it, as recommended, at 1.2X speed) ... 1:33 A.M.
Now they're taking the good jobs: Chalkboard automates the NYT's labor coverage. 4:36 P.M.
"Illegal Immigration a Problem for Democrats, Too": You think? ... Froma Harrop nails it! Excerpt: