Monthly Archives: July 2004

Convention Notes, Day 3

– I liked the Edwards speech a lot; this is why I wanted him to be the VP. My favorite parts of all were when he put the lie to that canard about how the Democrats dont think were really at war- like, for instance, when he said we are at war. And later, we will destroy you. That, weaved in with all the optimism stuff, is what Kerry/Edwards needs to win. That said, I’ve never been a big fan of the “Two Americas” bit, and hope tonight will mark its retirement.
– On the other hand, it was enough of an embarrassment that Al Sharpton was even allowed in the building, much less on the podium. Sharptons entire reason for running for president was so that he could give a prime-time convention address, and of course the party (fearing the sort of sabotage thats been the reverends forte in New York politics for 20 years) summarily rolled over. Sharpton responded with an overlong, self-serving rant that not only jumped off the partys message, but continued for about 15 minutes after he first said I conclude with
Howard Dean had an exponentially greater impact on the presidential race this year than Sharpton, yet the reverend spoke for about three times longer at the convention than Dean did. And I never understood why everyone says Sharptons such a great speaker/debater- he speaks almost exclusively in clichs, and makes jokes and one-liners instead of arguments.
Matthews and Co. had it exactly right- the media gave him way too much attention during the primaries, because they were mistakenly treating the debates as entertainment.
– I had to log onto the DNC website for work reasons today, but it appeared to be down for most of the morning. Was it off for maintenance? Due to too much traffic? Or was it hacked? Hmm.
– Speaking of unlikely Democratic convention speakers, Ron Reagan addressed the DNC last night, leading to a sticky situation, as he drifted from journalist to participant and back to journalist all in one night, at least according to the blogger formerly known as CableNewser. The ‘newser has jumped to MediaBistro, which used to be a site to look forward to not reading whenever I wasnt looking for a job, but now thatll change.
Meanwhile, the former presidents other son, Michael, was invited onto Hannity & Colmes in order to throw his own brother under the bus, which he dutifully did. The first question was have you gotten to speak to Ron about his decision to speak at the DNC, and Michael gave a mealy-mouthed version of the correct answer (no, because we dont speak), before leveling the charge that theres no way Ron wouldve been invited to speak if his last name wasnt Reagan. Yes, and Im sure the Michael Reagan radio show, and Michaels FNC appearance that night, have nothing whatsoever to do with his last name.
Besides, isnt this a particularly inopportune time in American political history for Republicans to start complaining about nepotism?
– Speaking of which, Hannity was bumped from Nightline tonight due to breaking news; however, both Jon Stewart and Ana Marie Cox appeared with Ted Koppel as scheduled.

Return of the Piss Man

Its been about three days since Ricky Williams surprise retirement from the NFL, and a most unlikely subplot has emerged: supposedly Williams had flunked a drug test, and has since admitted that pot use- as well as use of drug-test masking agents- is rampant throughout the league.
At issue is a product called, Im not kidding, Urine Luck, which is marketed by a BALCO-wannabe firm called Spectrum labs and sold over the counter- to athletes looking to beat drug tests. About this, I have two questions- one, how in the world could this possibly be legal, and two, if this has been going on for years why am I, just today, hearing of Urine Luck for the first time?
At any rate, the newest NFL player, Brock Lesnar, might want to give Urine Luck a try.

‘Roll Call XVII

Blog:, or Piquant Rants and Sassy Impudence
Blogger: Rachel Lucas
Location: Texas
Have I Met Her?: No
Why Shes On the Roll: Rachel, who returned recently from several months MIA, blogs solidly from the conservative side, but occasionally shell lob a bomb in the other direction.
Best. Post. Ever.: An amazing post (no longer online) about the lackluster media coverage of the second anniversary of 9/11.
Blog: Ramblings Journal
Blogger: Michael H. King
Location: Atlanta
Have I Met Him: No
Why Hes On the Roll: Michael, a black conservative whose background is in radio, also runs a Leadership Network called Project 21. I may make fun of Hannity & Colmes, but King has actually appeared on it.
Best. Post. Ever.: A joke about that Kerry-space suit thing, making a Willy Wonka joke, as opposed to the more obvious Woody Allen reference.
Blog: Ramen & Red Bull
Blogger: Dave Wagz
Location: Boston
Have I Met Him?: No
Why Hes On the Roll: Dave talks about sports and politics, and tends to be partial towards the Democrats and Red Sox, respectively.
Best. Post. Ever.: Some stuff about Netflix.
Blog: Red Letter Day
Blogger: Mike Silverman
Location: Lawrence, KS
Have I Met Him?: No
Why Hes On the Roll: One of the original Kosher Scoop Jacksons, Mike is gay (but is sort of conservative) and lives near Kansas City (but roots for the Cubs!) Also, his civil union was performed by a rabbi who was on the faculty at my camp when I was 12.
Best. Post. Ever.: A satirical look at that Roy Moore nonsense in Alabama.
Blog: Roger L. Simon
Blogger: Roger L. Simon
Location: Los Angeles
Have I Met Him?: No
Why Shes On the Roll: An Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, Roger wrote the film Enemies: A Love Story, which starred this blogs patron saint Ron Silver. Now hes one of the Blogospheres leading voices, complete with an always-vibrant comments section.
Best. Post. Ever.: Last years Gregg Easterbrook flap, of which he was at the center.
Blog: Romenesko
Blogger: Jim Romenesko
Location: Chicago
Have I Met Him?: No
Why Hes On the Roll: The favorite blog of the elite media, Romenesko (formerly Media News) covers the business and ethics of media, and played a leading role in the ouster of New York Times editor Howell Raines.
Best. Post. Ever.: The time he tackled last falls racial scandal at Brandeis.

Conventional Wisdom

No, Im not there, but I wish I was- maybe next time. Instead, I watched the first two nights of the Democratic convention from my couch, from which I gleaned the following observations:
– A tour-de-force by Clinton Monday night, but I was less impressed with Al Gore- didn’t he seem to be speaking too fast, like he was in a hurry or something?
– MSNBC has been my network for choice thus far, mostly because of Chris Matthews and his infectious enthusiasm- you can tell he just loves the process, probably more than anyone else there. Its enough that I can forgive the Freudian slip where NBCs Andrea Mitchell referred to President Clintons hometown of Chappaqua as Chappaquiddick. Also, have you noticed that Joe Scarborough, like Tucker Carlson, suddenly moves about 45 degrees to the center whenever hes on a panel?
– I havent yet seen Wonkette on MTV- what, do they have ten minutes of political coverage per day? But I was disappointed to learn that I missed Ana Marie Cox being interviewed by Campbell Brown on NBC. Oh damn
Howard Kurtz reports (you decide) that Fox News cut away from both Gore and Carters speeches Monday night in favor of OReilly/Hannity content; my personal favorite moment was when, while CNN and MSNBC were broadcasting BeBe Winans Star-Spangled Banner live, the patriotic FNC was instead treating us to OReillys opening monologue, about how Kerry seems to have distanced himself from Whoopi Goldberg, after which Dick Morris of course filled us in on the Hillary implications.
– Then later, Mr. Factor interviewed Ralph Nader, who had been banned from the Democratic convention. Ralph wasnt banned from the FleetCenter any more than I was; after 2000, why the hell would the Democrats even think of letting him in?
– The first nights other Fox News atrocity? Hannity (and Colmes) had on Jerry Springer as a Democratic spokesman, and Sean actually debated policy with him. Unfortunately, no chairs were thrown, but if they had been you just know Colmes wouldve acted as Hannitys human shield.
– Just as FNC, early in the evening, ran a live picture of Mrs. Kerry as a canned interview by Matthews of THK was airing a few channels over, a late-night interview of Jon Stewart by Tom Brokaw reminded me to click over to The Daily Show, where I caught the tail end of Lewis Blacks rant. In it, Black wondered why they go ahead and have conventions when we already know who the candidates are, and his theory was that the balloon industry has both parties by the balls- and they know how to twist!
– I missed Howard Dean and Ted Kennedy, but Barack Obama- wow. What a speech- not bad for a mere state senator. Youre going to hear more much from this guy, and not just because Ditka decided not to oppose him.
– I was less impressed with Teresa’s speech, however- just a generic speech from beginning to end. The FNC pundits could barely contain their revulsion. But regardless, I cant understand why this nonsense story about her telling a reporter to shove off was even in a single newspaper.
– And finally, heres the lede of the offending Ann Coulter column that got her fired from her USA Today convention gig:

Here at the Spawn of Satan convention in Boston, conservatives are deploying a series of covert signals to identify one another, much like gay men do. My allies are the ones wearing crosses or American flags. The people sporting shirts emblazoned with the ‘F-word’ are my opponents. Also, as always, the pretty girls and cops are on my side, most of them barely able to conceal their eye-rolling.

How do you say self-parody with a Boston accent?

Film Critic Quote of the Day

Michael Moore has won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and may win an Oscar for the kind of work that got Stephen Glass, Jayson Blair, and Jack Kelley fired.
Trying to track the unproven innuendoes and conspiracies in a Michael Moore film or book is as futile as trying to count the flatulence jokes in one by Adam Sandler.

Scott Simon an NPR hand- in the Wall Street Journal.

‘Roll Call XVI

Blog: Patio Pundit
Blogger: Martin Devon
Location: Los Angeles
Have I Met Him?: No
Why Hes on the Roll: One of the first blogs I read, PatioPundit is the blog of a very funny Jewish Californian who follows politics with a keen, right-of-center eye.
Best. Post. Ever.: A look at why many natural supporters of Joe Lieberman (myself included) didnt support him.
Blogger: Paul Frankenstein
Location: New York
Have I Met Him?: Yes
Why Hes on the Roll: A fixture in the New York blog scene, Paul is also an accomplished web designer. He also recently returned from several weeks in Hong Kong.
Best. Post. Ever.: The time he caught the New York Post plagiarizing from the IMDB, landing him a mention in a Daily News gossip column a few days later.
Blog: Paul A View From Manhattans Upper West Side
Blogger: Paul Katcher
Location: New York
Have I Met Him?: No
Why Hes on the Roll: My soon-to-be neighbor runs a blog covering sports, bars, strip clubs, and other things of interest to males the world over, including lots of stripper and bartender interviews. Like Maxim, only a lot funnier and smarter- and now Paul is about to become a columnist for ESPNs Page 3.
Best. Post. Ever.: A review of the rap album by Macho Man Randy Savage.
Blog: A Picture of Me
Blogger: C
Location: New York
Have I Met Her?: Yes
Why Shes on the Roll: I met C at the Blogger Bash a few weeks ago, and Ive since gotten into her blog- and shes even cool enough to link to Napoleon Dynamites IMDB page.
Best. Post. Ever.: Shoes, and more shoes.
Blog: The Politboro Diktat
Blogger: The Commissar
Location: The Kremlin
Have I Met Him?: No
Why Hes on the Roll: This guy parodies the left from the right, complete with funny Communist imagery.
Best. Post. Ever.: His map of the Blogosphere, which is legendary.
Blog: Pork is Not a Verb
Blogger: MayorKL and Misthop
Location: ?
Have I Met Him?: One of them, maybe
Why Theyre on the Roll: This funny blog bases its name on a Simpsons reference, and one of its authors is allegedly a guy I went to college with.
Best. Post. Ever.: Something I never noticed before when looking at the stars.
Blog: Practical Penumbra
Blogger: Susie
Location: ?
Have I Met Her?: No
Why Shes on the Roll: An associate of both the Bloviating Inanities crowd and Bloggers With Boobies, Susies blog has a cat with a sword at the top, which is really all you need to know.
Best. Post. Ever.: The best-ever Kurt Russell movies.
Blog: Press Think
Blogger: Jay Rosen
Location: New York
Have I Met Him?: Yes
Why Hes on the Roll: This NYU journalism professor is one of the Blogospheres foremost theorists; hes currently up in Boston blogging the convention.
Best. Post. Ever.: The idea of journalism as a religion.
Blog: Professor Quotes
Blogger: ?
Location: ?
Have I Met Him?: ?
Why Its on the Roll: A compendium of quotes by university professors that are submitted by readers, ProfQuotes continues a feature from the old Brandeis humor magazine Gravity.
Best. Post. Ever.: Why socialism doesnt work.
Blog: Protocols
Blogger: Luke Ford, et. al
Location: Various locations
Have I Met Him?: No
Why Hes on the Roll: This Jewish-themed group blog passed from Steven I. Weiss leadership to Luke Fords a few months ago, and still provides trenchant and funny analysis of Jewish issues.
Best. Post. Ever.: A photo I never thought Id see.