Posts from August 2003

Told ya

Told ya
: I told you it would happen: Somebody would dig up fresh dirt on Arnold’s past lifestyle — and it wouldn’t make a difference in the campaign, freeing up future politicians to become human again and not priests supposed saints.

LA Observed has the backstory on the digging up of Arnold’s Oui interview by Mickey Kaus and its subsequent publication at The Smoking Gun.

The left shall rise again

The left shall rise again
: John Podhoretz in the NY Post does the left the favor of listening to them, recognizing their growing movement, and advising them how to succeed:

THE rise of an ardent, passionate, angry and engaged left is the most important political story of 2003.

The hottest book of the new publishing season is Al Franken’s “Lies (and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them).” Joe Conason of the New York Observer has a fast-selling tome called “Big Lies.” At the end of September comes “The Lies of George Bush” by David Corn of the Nation magazine, which will likely hit the bestseller list as well.

The triumphant success of Howard Dean’s once-quixotic presidential campaign in marshaling genuine grass-roots support and money over the Internet demonstrates that there is a large and hungry audience in the land for a leftist political-cultural message.

Yow. It sounds as if he’s ready to convert. Not. He still sees the devil in the left:

The Dean campaign is a more mainstream outgrowth of the popular demonstrations against the Iraq war organized last winter by the Stalinist anti-Semites of International ANSWER.

Yow, again. But then he hits his stride making two important points about the political reaction to FoxNews and about the left’s agenda. First, Fox:

Part of what fuels this alliance is a feeling of powerlessness

Too many last words

Too many last words
: Yesterday, I heard a shrink on TV say that people would react differently to the release of the Port Authority 9/11 transcripts that filled the papers today: Some people need to know more; some would stay away. I wasn’t sure which I would be.

Well, I read them all. It was painful, again, bringing memories back to the surface, reopening wounds. But I read them.

There are tragic mistakes: telling people to stay put. Who could have known?

There are stories of heroism, pieced together now. Jim Dwyer in the Times tells how two PA employees saved at least 50 people trapped on the 88th and 89th floors of the north tower. I look at the picture of one of them, Frank De Martini, with his beautiful children and I start counting the broken hearts again.

There are stories of helplessness; all the papers quote the assistant manager of Windows on the World dutifully calling, asking when help will arrive, telling the police that air is running out fast, even asking permission to break a window.

There are stories of wisdom, such as PATH dispatchers getting all their passengers and employees safely out of harm’s way. I was one of them.

Yes, I had to read it all. I’m not sure why. I think it is a matter of keeping witness, of making sure we remember the horror and the heroism of the day.

As the second anniversary fast approaches, I had feared that we were trying to forget too quickly; TV is paying scant attention to the day and that is wrong, for we must remember.

: See the stories and transcripts here. Star-Ledger: 1, 2, 3. New York Times: 1, 2. Newsday: 1, 2, 3.

: The Port Authority, which was sued to release the transcripts, said:

Because of the sheer volume of these materials, it is impossible to summarize their details. In general, they show people performing their duties very heroically and very professionally on a day of unimaginable horror.

Representatives of media organizations have assured us that they are interested in this material solely to evaluate emergency response on September 11, and to recount heroism. We take them at their word, and fully expect them to refrain from publishing gruesome, gratuitous or personal details that do nothing to further this discussion. We also hope and expect that the media will show appropriate respect for the families of the heroes of September 11, particularly as the second anniversary of that painful day approaches.

Our man in Kabul

Our man in Kabul
: Ben Hammersley goes shopping:

One store we visited tried to sell me a bullwhip. Ah, cool, I thought. Indiana Jones. No, says the shopkeeper, from the Taliban time. For women, he says, and looks away.

Wi-Fi and the political conventions

Wi-Fi and the political conventions
: Will the Democratic and Republican conventions be wi-fi’ed?

They should be.

The press should demand it: instant communication.

The delegates should demand it: instant politicking.

We should demand it: Instant blogging, a new perspective on what has become a dull, predictable, stage-managed, unimportant event.

: Update: In the comments comes this fascinating insight into technology and TV news from someone at ABC News:


I read your post about Wi-Fi at the political conventions with great interest. I am a project manager for the operations division of ABC News and we are actively working with both parties to encourage them to make Wi-Fi available not only at the conventions but also during the primaries.

We are planning to use Wi-Fi for our own production oriented activites including email and, to a lesser degree, for sending video files to our news room. ABC News has trained a number of its correspondents to shoot video in the field and transmit it using a laptop and DV camera.

: When I complained about having problems with my high-speed access at Doubletree (did I remember to tell you: Doubletree sucks?), a quick-thinking of marketing at Wayport popped right in to offer his help.

Let’s see who’s quickest on this: Who will volunteer to wi-fi the conventions and primaries for media, participants — and bloggers, getting great publicity and goodwill in the process: Wayport, T-Mobile, Boingo….

Geek love

Geek love
: Cory Bergman finds a frightening bit of sociology in his TiVo newsletter:

Talk about a geek loser. A Brooklyn man says he used TiVo’s digital photo feature to propose to his girlfriend. Ted Linhart streamed a picture of himself holding a sign that read “Will You Marry Me?” to his living room DVR so that his gal Rachel would see the on-screen proposal as she walked through the door. Unbelievably, she said yes.


: I was dying to go to In ‘n’ Out Burger… until I saw this. Layne, Welch, what do you have to say to this?


Voices of September 11th

Voices of September 11th
: Michele was aghast that media plan to pay little attention to the second anniversary of September 11, so she started Voices, a project to gather memories and reflections on the day.