A frisson

theweek0703.jpgA frisson
: The best moment at The Week’s latest opinionfest at Grand Central:

Sidney Blumenthal, former Clinton aide, is on the stage and Dick Morris, turncoat Clinton aide, is on the phone.

Morris: “Hello, Sidney! We haven’t spoken in years!”

Blumenthal (growling contempt as he rolls his eyes 360): “Hello, Dick.”

Moderator Harry Evans: “This was a frisson!”

Morris couldn’t let a good punchline win the day. He kept nattering on the phone. Evans gave one of The Week minions an unsubtle “cut” sign across his throat.

Bye, Dick.

: As I walked into Grand Central and Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse for the event, I saw a confused but familiar face moving back and forth between two doors (which is defensible; it’s a confusing entrance). “You want to go there,” I told Gary Hart, who looked slightly startled, as if I were some Gawker stawker. “Oh,” he said, “you’re going to the same place.” Yes, I said. You’re on the stage. We walk in and Hart is greeted by a greeter doing her job. The next greeter points me in the same direction: “The green room is there,” she says. Oh, I say, I’m not with him. I’m not one of his people. Sadly, he has no people.

: The event asked (but, of course, did not answer): Is Bush unbeatable? Blumenthal was joined by Gary Hart, GOP pollster and strategist Ed Rollins, and FoxNews gabber Monica Crowley. The room was filled with many wrinkles from the ilk of Ed Koch and David Dinkins.

: Rollins acknowledged “blowing smoke up Gary Hart’s tail” as he said that Hart was the only candidate who scared him when he ran. The day damned near turned into a Hart lovefest.

When asked by Tina Brown whether Hillary Clinton could win against Bush, Rollins said that if Bush is beatable in six months, Clinton could win the nomination against all other Democrats in the field now.

There was suprisingly little nattering about Bush and WMD, indicating this will be a short-lived issue.

There was much nattering about whether Bush has yet taken homeland security seriously — and then, in turn, about whether the Democrats will be barking up at the wrong cat if they try making that their issue.

There is the beginning of much nattering about the Bush deficit, and a good thing.

In a discussion about the success and influence of conservative talk radio and TV Blumenthal said it’s noteworthy that in the last year, Americans have exploded traffic to The Guardian and the BBC because of a left-media vacuum here.

That’s the end of my notes.

: I enjoyed watching Nick Denton engineer the meeting of heat queens Tina Brown and Elizabeth Spiers. Yes, Tina does read Gawker.

  • Chris Josephson

    Perhaps the increased hits at the BBC and the Guardian can be explained by ‘starving US lefties’. Since I haven’t examined the data and taken a poll, can’t say. (Wonder if they did?)
    I wonder how much of that increased traffic is due to some blogs referring, in an uncomplimentary way, to a story on one of those sites?
    I have accessed the Guardian’s site more this year than ever before. It *wasn’t* because I was starved for leftist hate-US, hate-Israel stories. It was because there was a link from a blog I was reading to a story. I always would read the story at the site before viewing, mostly negative, comments about it.

  • linden

    I read the Guardian often because I like many of Aaronovitch’s columns and they cover movies, bands and art I like. The rest I take with a grain of salt and a gigantic eye roll.
    I’ve been long wondering if someone could answer something I’ve noticed. What the hell is wrong with Blumenthal’s hairline? Does he shave the hair on the sides? Is that an ill-fitting wig? What is it?

  • T. Hartin

    The Dems are insane if they think that they can beat Bush on foreign policy grounds. First, elections are very rarely decided on foreign policy, except in wartime. If the country still thinks it is at war next year, Bush wins. If the country thinks it is not at war, foreign policy is not a winning issue. If the Bushies ever get their thumbs out of their asses and start ignoring the carping to talk about the fundamental positive changes they have wrought in the mideast, foreign policy becomes a big plus for them.
    No, the Achilles heel for Bush is homeland security. There is much hay to be made there. If the economy turns around (as it is doing), then even that won’t be enough, but it is the Dems only chance.
    No Dem will ever win an election bitching about a deficit, because their only solution will be to raise taxes. Cutting taxes may not win elections, but raising taxes surely loses them.

  • The BBC/Guaridan thing is reflective of nothing other than the fact that the left in this country is so out of step with the rest of us that they have to go to foreign media to find something that supports their viewpoint. When are Robert Altman/Alec Baldwin et al actually going to leave like they’ve been promising us for so long?

  • Jeremy

    Well, the thing is, I think that the media in the US isn’t so much left leaning, so much as it’s favors the Democratic party.
    The Guardian/BBC is more or less hard left, at least in US terms. And both are staunchly anti-American. The latter has a broad appeal to hard lefties, because they love to look down on the average person in the US. They’re all like that guy the Guardian sent to the US to harass people in Olive Gardens…

  • M. Simon

    Chris Josephson,
    You made my point. Thanks.