Posts from December 8, 2003

Jenni off the air

jenni.bmpJenni off the air
: Terry Teachout reports that JenniCam is going off the air at the end of the year. Her’s was the protowebcam: The world stared into her apartment just because they could (and she might take a shower). Says Terry:

JenniCam was, of course, nothing more than a hula-hoop-type fad, but seven years ago the Web itself was still something of a giant-sized hula hoop, in much the same way as was television circa 1948. Back then, pretty much anything could draw a crowd

Draft Hillary

Draft Hillary
: It’s a bit crazy, I confess, but I’m beginning to sniff some political nostalgia from 1968 wafting into the air.

Back then, antiwar candidate Gene McCarthy stunned Lyndon Johnson, coming in a close second in New Hampshire. Suddenly, Johnson looked vulnerable — but so did McCarthy, if he actually became the party’s nominee. So, four days later, Bobby Kennedy entered the race, stopping McCarthy in his tracks and earning the eternal animosity of McCarthy and the temporary animosity (up until his assassination) of McCarthy’s populist, peacenik army of supporters (does that description start to sound familiar?). I was one of them.

Back then, the man to beat for Democrats was the incumbent Democrat.

Now, the man to beat for Democrats is the incumbent Republican. So there’s more at stake for them.

Tuesday, Al Gore is endorsing Howard Dean. This worries other Democrats. Hear, for example, Fred Wilson just now: “I just fear this is going to backfire badly in the general election.” With good reason.

Now if Bush keeps gaining (or regaining) strength, then the party will let Dean march into defeat. The worst thing that happens, they say now, is that he will be to the Democrats what Goldwater was to the Republicans — the over-the-top leader who forces the party to rethink its mission. Worse things could happen.

But if Bush looks at all vulnerable (cue Iraqi fireworks; assume temporary economic gains), then the Democrats aren’t going to want to follow Dean (and they’re not going to be inspired by the advice of Gore, who blew hiw own lead in the last race). So what do they do?

They need a Bobby Kennedy for the new age: the spoiler/savior.

That’s Hillary.

She won’t endear herself to the anti-war wing of the party (and don’t assume that’s a unanimous Democratic sentiment) but they’ll have to vote for her. (Besides, she is going after Bush on what matters: rebuilding Iraq.)

As Bobby tried to reclaim the Kennedy aura, so does Hillary help reclaim the closest thing to Camelot this generation of Democrats will ever know: the Clinton era.

She would be the first serious woman candidate for President.

She is hated by the Republicans — and that only helps capture the rebel spirit of the Deanites. The more the talk-show hosts scream about her, the more Democrats will be inspired to come out to support her.

She cares about health care, which remains a bigger issue than any candidate admits.

She’s the only alternative to Dean. If the stars align — if Dean gets too close for the comfort of the most powerful and pragmatic Democrats, if Bush stumbles or fate frowns upon him — then all she has to do is shove aside her placeholder, Clark. If the stars don’t align, she just keeps waiting.

But Hillary has been acting very much like a candidate lately, going to Afghanistan and Iraq and making the Sunday circuit last weekend.

Crazier things have happened. They happened, for example, in 1968.

Keep the U.N. out of .com

Keep the U.N. out of .com
: What I feared about U.N. involvement in the Internet is already coming to pass:

Paul Twomey, the president of the Internet’s semi-official governing body, Icann, learned Friday night what it feels like to be an outsider.

Mr. Twomey, who had flown 20 hours from Vietnam to Geneva to observe a preparatory meeting for this week’s United Nations’ conference on Internet issues, ended up being escorted from the meeting room by guards. The officials running the meeting had suddenly decided to exclude outside observers.

Mr. Twomey’s ejection may underscore the resentment of many members of the international community over the way the Internet is run and over United States ownership of many important Internet resources.

Well, tough noogies!

: Instead of worrying about America and the Internet — since we made it happen, after all — maybe the U.N. should worry instead about Iran censoring the Internet. No, instead, while they were ejecting a representative of an American company, the U.N. invited in a huge delegation of officials from Iran — the same officials who are censoring the Internet.

Yes, the U.N. would be a fine organization to run the technology future of the world.

No f’ing way! They should pry the Internet out of our dead American hands.

The Paris Hilton speaks

The Paris Hilton speaks
: I watched the beginning of SNL Saturday night — to see a very impressive Al Sharpton James Brown shtick — but missed seeing Paris Hilton on Weekend Update:

Hilton, who cancelled all interviews to promote her new reality show “The Simple Life” after a video of her having sex emerged, made her first public appearance on “SNL” and gave an “exclusive interview” on the show’s “Weekend Update” segment.

Hilton’s double entendre-filled “interview” with “Weekend Update’s” Jimmy Fallon follows:

FALLON: As we agreed we won’t be discussing the scandal that’s been in the papers these last couple of weeks.

HILTON: Thank you Jimmy, I appreciate that.

FALLON: We just want to find out about you, Paris Hilton. So, your family, the Hiltons, own hotels all over the world.

HILTON: Yes, they’re in New York, London, Paris…

FALLON: So there’s actually a Paris Hilton?

HILTON: Yes, there is.

FALLON: Is it hard to get into the Paris Hilton?

HILTON: Actually, it’s a very exclusive hotel…no matter what you’ve heard.

FALLON: I hear the Paris Hilton is very beautiful.

HILTON: I’m glad you heard that.

FALLON: Do they allow double occupancy at the Paris Hilton?


FALLON: Is it roomy?

HILTON: It might be for you, but most people find it very comfortable.

FALLON: I’m a V.I.P.. I may need to go in the back entrance.

HILTON: It doesn’t matter who you are, it’s not gonna happen.

FALLON: Fair enough. Now, I throw a lot of events, do they have a ballroom there?

HILTON: We do.

FALLON: Great. I’d love to have my balls held by the Paris Hilton. I’d like to check into the Paris Hilton.

HILTON: I don’t think you can.

FALLON: Really? Because I’ll only be able to stay there like a minute and a half. Two minutes tops.

HILTON: Good luck.

[via Lost Remote]

Pulling an elephant out of the hat

Pulling an elephant out of the hat
: In a column that otherwise doesn’t say much, Michael Wolff has a golden nugget about politics and media: