It’s such a powerful revelation, The New York Post had to bury it in its gossip page where it pushed aside the latest on Pharell and Mick Jagger’s daughter. While the blurb itself is larded with legalistic caveats, the headline says it all: CONSPIRACY THEORY: KERRY ‘TIE’ TO OSWALD.

Conspiracy theorists are buzzing about John Kerry’s connection to Lee Harvey Oswald and the JFK assassina tion. While no one in the lunatic fringe has gone so far as to suggest Kerry helped kill Kennedy – yet – they make much of the fact that a cousin of Kerry’s, Michael Paine, was a close friend of Oswald who frequently had the assassin as a house guest.

Whoa. Do you really want to play this game, Page Six? Crumple up that tin-foil hat before someone reminds you that “conspiracy theorists” have been “buzzing” for years that John Hinckley’s brother, Scott, was allegedly scheduled to have dinner with Bush’s brother, Neil, the night John shot Reagan in 1981!
If we are to believe these shoddily-designed websites from people with even shoddier worldviews, the Bushes and the Hinckleys were supposedly best friends forever! (Imagine the barbecues at the Bushes: Hinckleys, Saudis, the Oak Ridge Boys: “Pass me another Coors Light, Poppy. More Ribs? You know it!”)
Some dude even went so far as to tie Hinckley’s attempt on Reagan with Kennedy’s assassination by claiming that Reagan was “shot from the Bushy knoll“!
Wow. See how fucking stupid I sound saying this stuff? Elevating these wackadoos to even the most carefully vetted legitimacy, lowers a writer to, well, a fucking idiot.
Let’s all learn from the recent obituaries for Kennedy Press Secretary Pierre Salinger, whose otherwise impeccable career in public service was marred by his late life promotion of a conspiracy theory he’d learned on the internet—that TWA Flight 800 was shot down by a missile.
If the foolish promotion of an unfounded conspiracy can cling like the smell of shit to a smart man with integrity, what do you think it could do to the writers of a gossip column for a ridiculous, unprofitable newspaper?
Nothin’. You’re probably right.


Funny, That’s What Those Thai Hookers Said, Too

“This matter has caused enormous pain… This brutal ordeal is now officially over, and I will never speak of it again.”
Bill O’Reilly


Denver Waffle

What follows are excerpts from the Denver Post editorial page, endorsing George W. for president. Kind of.

…Since 2001, Colorado has lost more jobs than we’ve gained, and the ones we’ve gained pay less than the ones we’ve lost. We pay less in taxes, but our household and medical expenses have skyrocketed. Ninety thousand of us have lost our health coverage. Washington is ringing up record deficits and sticking the next generation with the bill. In Iraq, Colorado-based military units and reserves are deployed in a hostile environment for questionable purpose and uncertain result…
…So the president has our endorsement for a second term, even as we call on him to steer a more moderate course that is in keeping with his campaign appearances, but not his first-term performance.
It’s no secret that we part company with the president over many issues. Two glaring sore spots are his obsession to cut taxes even while piling up record deficits, and his mishandling of all things Iraq. He squandered global good will by taking a “my way or the highway” approach to matters of global warming, international law, Iraq weapons inspections and ultimately the Iraq invasion. He bows to corporate preference in matters of energy and environment, and his education funding levels leave far too many children behind.
Kerry has infused the 2004 campaign with energy and gumption, offering fresh ideas on health care and sensible plans for our tax structure. His are the superior proposals on environmental protection, on stem-cell research and judicial nominations. Sure, we’ve seen Kerry bend to the political winds over his long career, but we wouldn’t mind one bit if more Washington politicians would reconsider their past judgments and ideological certainties. Kerry’s growth on the campaign trail gives a glimpse of his potential.
Our support for Bush is tempered by unease over the poor choices and results of his first term. To succeed in his second-term, Bush must begin by taking responsibility for U.S. failures in Iraq, admit his mistakes and adjust U.S. strategy. Big time, as his running mate might say.
…But respect for his leadership was sharply diminished by U.S. missteps in Iraq and evidence that the president had ignored frequent warnings of Osama bin Laden’s murderous ambition. Even so, there is opportunity for Bush to make adjustments that will validate the sacrifices of coalition forces and Iraqis themselves.
We believe George W. Bush is up to the challenge.

Well of course, that couldn’t make any more sense, now could it? Oh wait, it could – the Denver Post’s parent company, MediaNews Group, is owned by William Dean Singleton, a major donor to the Bush-Cheney campaign.
[via, yes, fine, I admit it, The Al Franken Show]


Positive campaigning on the international front

Hey, fellas: What’ve you been listening to lately? Brian Wilson’s newly-revised and -released SMiLE? We thought so.
Frankly, it’s rather impressive that Arafat was able to get ahold of a copy of this album after being holed up in his compound by Israeli tanks for two long years. You see, there is a practical application for those smuggling tunnels everyone’s always going on about.


Crooked Letters Flock Together

“W” at a Saginaw, Michigan campaign rally… The good people who drained your 401(k)
Earlier: We’ve Been Hammering Away at His War Record, But Let’s Not Forget Enron, Okay?


The Who… Well, You Know

I know that pointing out the “irony” of The Who releasing an album called The Who Sell Out in 1967 and then selling out their every song to Madison Avenue and Hollywood is about as clever as suggesting that Alanis Morissette misunderstood the meaning of the word “Ironic.” But The Who-ification of commercials, TV, movies, and trailers is starting to get out of control and it’s time to put a stop to it.
Is there a single commercial in production that’s not considering using a Who song? Will we see these song/product synergies in the near future?

  • Fiddle About” to promote Pampers?
  • Behind Blue Eyes” to promote Fresh Look color contacts? (Or does “Eyesight to the Blind” work better?)
  • You Better You Bet” to promote Atlantic City tourism?
  • Tommy Can You Hear Me?” to promote hearing aids?
  • Squeeze Box” to promote laser vaginal rejuvenation surgery?
  • Really, Pete and Roger: We’ve all just “Had Enough.”


    “Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even,” Muhammad Ali

    Rumble, Young Man, Rumble: Muhammad Ali defeats the dreaded Sonny Liston
    Just five more days ’till we shake up the world…


    Jim Rutenberg is Dumb

    There has been a recent rash of pieces by journalists bemoaning the nasty tone of the letters they’ve been receiving from their readers. Personally, I think the real issue here is not that the tone of discourse of people who have traditionally written to journalists has taken a turn for the worse, but rather the convergence of two issues:

    • The Internet makes it very easy to send feedback to journalists.
    • The issues of the day have made many more people than usual take an interest in public affairs.

    Now, I’ll be the first to admit that telling Adam Nagourney that you hope his son gets killed in a Republican war is a pretty nasty thing to say, although I would counter that Adam is a semi-public figure who gets to go on the Charlie Rose Show, and the unfortunate downside of being a semi-public figure is that people might write you really nasty e-mails. But I really have to take issue with today’s piece in the New York Times on the same topic:

    “Most of us now realize that this is a constant conversation, and I think that largely that part of it is good,” said Howard Fineman, chief political correspondent for Newsweek. “Some of the stuff includes very personal and nasty things about people – they go after people’s physical characteristics, they’ll say somebody’s ugly – and you just have to ignore that.”
    Still, he said, “I would be lying if I didn’t say it could be hurtful.”
    Bob Somerby, a comedian who runs a Web site called The Daily Howler that often accuses the news media of being shallow, lazy, bullied by Republicans and unfairly critical of Democrats, said a more genteel approach would not be effective. (He has referred to this reporter on his Web site as “dumb” and in “over his head” for being blind or turning a blind eye to Republican spin.)

    It’s certainly infantile to call people ugly and dumb when you disagree with their reportage, but I think it’s equally (if not more) infantile to use your privileged position in the paper of record to whine about it. How thin-skinned are these people? Do they go to their mamas and cry whenever the mean bloggers call them names?
    ‘Cause we’ve heard a few things about their mamas, too.

    Shallow Versus

    Balloon Man

    Rhys Ifans in Enduring Love and its prequel Danny Deckchair
    Rhys Ifans’ new film, Enduring Love, is a charming sequel to his even charminger Danny Deckchair, in which Mr. Ifans’ relationship with ballooning is further explored. Up next for Mr. Ifans? Maria Full of Grace 2.


    After having already wrapped up your home state, this is how you alienate swing-state voters and lose Missouri’s 11 electoral votes, jackass

    RELATED: MISSOURI POLL: Missouri reflects tight race, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 26, 2004: “A new poll for the Post-Dispatch shows the race in Missouri tightening. President George W. Bush’s earlier lead has slipped among the state’s voters. But the Democratic challenger, Sen. John Kerry, has so far been unable to close the gap, in part because the poll shows a growing number of Missouri voters view him unfavorably.”
    ALSO RELATED: Red-Faced: Boston wraps up sweep, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 26, 2004