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November 28, 2003
A lot of the time Matt Drudge just seems like another right-wing fluffer, teasing smears and rumors into semi-tumescent news stories until outlets like Fox News and The New York Post decide to have a go at them too...
Sometimes, though, his appetite for iconoclastic muckraking manages to trump his partisan instincts. So it was on Wednesday, when Drudge reported on a military ceremony involving the remains of Howard Dean's brother Charlie, a civilian tourist who was imprisoned by "communist Pathet Lao guerrillas" in 1974 and allegedly executed by them on the grounds that he was an American spy. (The U.S. government says this wasn't true.)
Efforts to retrieve Charlie Dean's remains were initiated by a Pentagon unit that Drudge identifies as the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC). Drudge writes:
Then it occured to me: Drudge didn't say who was pressuring JPAC regarding Charlie Dean's remains; he just said someone was.
At first, I figured Drudge was referring to Howard Dean, but then I realized that he was actually onto a much bigger story: the Bush Administration has been pressuring JPAC to give special treatment to Dean's dead brother, in order to make Dean look bad!
Drudge hasn't come right out and said this yet, but what else, really, can he be hinting at? After all, we all know how skilled President Want-More-Gravy-With-That? is at using the military for PR ends. And while Howard Dean probably couldn't even get a cup of coffee at the Pentagon, our Commander-in-Chief pretty much has the run of the place. So which makes more sense: that Dean pressured the Pentagon to do his bidding, or that Bush did?
Meanwhile, the Pentagon itself has denied that JPAC "was pressured" by anyone to recover Dean's remains. In addition, the New York Times reported that "though Charlie Dean and his friend were civilians, they were given military honors, officials said, on the chance that the remains include those of service members missing in the Vietnam War."
But if you ask me, that all sounds like desperate subterfuge. Drudge says this story is developing, and I'm confident he's going to get to the bottom of it soon, exposing the dirty tricks of the Bush Administration in all their craven audacity...
Posted by Greg Beato at 10:50 AM
November 24, 2003
First OxyContin done him wrong. Then U.S. Trust done him wrong. Now perpetual victim Rush Limbaugh is shedding tears over how the media is bungling details about his life while covering his longterm drug addiction and potentially felonious behavior:
But you know what? There's really a pretty easy way Limbaugh can clear up any questions and misperceptions regarding his longterm addiction, his possible felonious behavior, and the occasional real estate question...
Indeed, if Limbaugh is half the man William Bennett thinks he is, then he would simply explain the history of his addiction in a clear, comprehensive, and straightforward manner. Instead, he's acting even more furtive than Michael Jackson. When people ask him questions about his drug addiction, he simply criticizes the National Enquirer:
For example, here is on October 10th, explaining how he became a drug addict:
Now, I think Limbaugh is probably talking about two different surgeries here, for two different problems. But it's all a little vague and confusing. Initially, it seems, his major problem was his lower back. But even though the surgery he apparently had was such a failure he was forced to become a drug addict to escape his pain, his major problem now, it seems, is the herniated disks in his neck region. Or something like that.
Oh well. At least with each new detail you learn, the story get more intriguing. Take Limbaugh's mansion. While looking at Palm Beach tax assessor records, I learned that Limbaugh's wife Marta owns her own million-dollar mansion in Palm Beach too. Is it an investment property, or does it mean they don't live together? If it's the latter, that might help explain how Limbaugh was able to keep his addiction such a secret. On the other hand, even if they do live together, it was probably easy enough for Limbaugh to hide his stash - according to the assessor's records, the couple's main mansion has 16 bathrooms, and thus, presumably, 16 medicine cabinets! In a place that big, it must be easy to hide a few thousand tiny pills...
Posted by Greg Beato at 10:33 AM
November 23, 2003
Dumb and Dumber
Officious, meddlesome, and with a placid gaze untroubled by anything resembling thought, much less sin, Michelle Malkin is completely underutilized by the vast right-wing conspiracy - one of their shadowy lever-pushers really ought to give her her own decency league to run post-haste...
In the meantime, she goes it alone. Tipped off by Nancy Nall (who graciously praises some recent efforts here), I checked out Malkin's latest column on the pleasantly vapid Jessica Simpson. Big surprise here - Malkin sees the evil hand of liberal Hollywood in the success of Simpson:
It's understandable why the ostensibly patriotic Malkin has so little faith in her countrymen - some of them are dirty liberals! But why so little faith in Jessica Simpson's father Joe, who reportedly worked as a Baptist youth minister in Texas for over two decades?
Despite his solid, middle-American bonafides, Malkin excoriates this family-centered Christian do-gooder:
On the one hand, then, you have Jessica Simpson, a famously chaste virgin who married her longtime sweetheart Nick Lachey after years of PG-13 courtship. She's family-minded, straightforward, and charitable. According to Rolling Stone, "Jessica herself, raised in this gospel of giving, says she loved nothing more than performing selfless acts of devotion -- as a child, she kept twenty-odd photos of missing children under her pillow, praying for them each night. When she was sixteen she tried to adopt a Mexican baby found in a Dumpster... Even today, Simpson remains involved in charity as international ambassador for Operation Smile, a reconstructive-surgery nonprofit."
And on the other hand, you have quadragenarian spinsters Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham, who give lip service to subservient motherhood and groups like The Promise Keepers but aren't quite ready to sacrifice million-dollar careers, drunken bar-trolling, or no-strings-attached sex for the ideals they espouse.
And according to Malkin, it's the hypocritical drunken floozies, not the principled, altruistic good girl, who are the best role models for impressionable young females.
Which means the joke's on me, of course, because I completely agree! Imagine how great America would be with, say, ten million more rich, slutty, alcohol-swilling, fortysomething blondes who believe their own careers are far more important than raising families? Unfortunately, there are probably too many women out there like Simpson, who really do believe in marriage and family values, to make this Coultertopia viable. But a man can dream, can't he?
Posted by Greg Beato at 10:55 PM
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