BITS

A letter to Media Whores Online regarding Ralph Nader’s thick-headed refusal to see how much damage he’s done to, really, all that he values:

I once rode on a small elevator with 7 others in San Francisco with a sign that said “no more that 8 persons allowed.” Just as the door closed, two more crammed into the elevator which moved, then stopped between floors. The anxiety was palpable. The last guy on, in his own defense, said, “Don’t blame me, I wasn’t the ninth person!”

To me, that’s Nader’s logic. Uh oh.

Steven Brown
Palm Springs, CA

“The Vent” in the Atlanta Urinal-Constipation is an anonymous vehicle for the great unwashed to throw their cheap shots at whatever’s bugging them. Occasionally, there’s actually a spot of cleverness to be found in it, and today is blessed with two:

And people are asking why Bush’s National Guard records are just now appearing? Duh! They had to wait till the ink dried!

and

I am scared of anyone who says they were once an ape. But then, I am also afraid of werewolves.

The latest attack on Kerry comes through the graces of Matt Drudge, who’s trying to get a meme going that Kerry has a looming “intern problem.” So far, it doesn’t seem to be gaining much traction:

Late Thursday morning — with George W. Bush’s credibility damaged on several fronts as reporters demanded answers to questions about his National Guard service that should have been asked years ago — the Drudge Report defamed his leading Democratic challenger with a “world exclusive” smudge of personal dirt.

Vague and unsourced but hyped to the maximum by Drudge, the brief item sounded disturbingly familiar. The Internet gossip accused John Kerry of “recent alleged infidelity” with “a woman who recently fled the country,” adding that a “close friend of the woman recently approached a reporter with fantastic stories.” The same item ran an “off the record” comment attributed to retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who was quoted as saying, “Kerry will implode over an intern issue.” Major news organizations from ABC News to the Associated Press, warned Drudge, were all over the story.

By evening, however, no major news organization had run with it, though many were chasing it. Perhaps frustrated, Drudge put up an additional item eight hours later, with a few more details about the alleged relationship. “Unlike the Monica Lewinsky drama, which first played out publicly in this space, with audio tapes, cigar and a dress, the Kerry situation has posed a challenge to reporters investigating the claims,” his later item explained. Drudge also quoted a “top source” as saying: “There is no lawsuit testimony this time [like Clinton with Paula Jones]. It is hard to prove.”

But the kind of proof usually required by national news organizations isn’t what Drudge needs in order to put innuendo into circulation.

Somewhat conveniently, Drudge had earlier posted an item that blamed the sudden smudging on a disgruntled Democratic consultant named Chris Lehane, who had been fired by Kerry before going to work as a communications aide to Clark. That second item was later taken down without explanation. By then, of course, this Drudge-drama was already “rocking” Democrats — and delighting Republicans — across the nation, at least according to Drudge.

The template was pure Monica: Intern has affair with married politician, is betrayed by a “close friend,” and finally exposed by the pliant Drudge.

So far, however, the mainstream media has yet to touch the Drudge item, despite heavy promotion by Rush Limbaugh and the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal Web site. Whoever lit this match must have been disappointed when the story that smoldered in newsrooms during the afternoon failed to blaze into a firestorm by early evening. The only exception, so far, is a daily newspaper in Scotland. (Joe Conason, Salon)

The best thing about Drudge’s site is you can visit every day and easily see who’s the current biggest threat to the GOP power structure: it’s the person Drudge is attacking the most.

He’s a journalist.

Heh.

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