Thursday, August 28, 2003

The Lying Index

Washington Monthly, a legendary little magazine about politics and policy, housed in an infamously shabby office on Washington's Dupont Circle, today debuts a nice little feature. It convened a number of pundits and observers to judge the relative truth-telling abilities of the last four presidents, resulting in what it calls the Mendacity Index. The editors had some fun with it, too, drolly noting that "we believe their validity rests somewhere between the Periodic Table and the U.S. News & World Report college rankings." Anyway, the results may or may not surprise you, depending on your persuasion: The current occupant comes out worst, and his predecessor best, thus no doubt supplying O'Reilly with some grist about which to rant sometime soon.

Okay, to be fair, this is a neo-liberal mag, and any whoppers George W. has told are fresher in people's mind. But what really caught my eye on the former point was a related poll conducted by Beliefnet, the online community that's a testament to the power of spiritual ecumenism. In an unusually pointed fashion for that site, visitors are asked of the last four presidents "are they egregious liars?" As I write this, 66% said yes for George W, whose dad thus far comes out best.

Beliefnet, by the way, is still around in somewhat truncated fashion despite having suffered through a Chapter 11 filing last year. The once highflying site burned through more than $25 million in venture capital, much of it supplied (to their unending embarrassment) by Cleveland's Primus Venture Partners, which took the lead on a $20 million round of capital injection, adding about half themselves. But don't look on the Primus site for any details--all references to their investment in Beliefnet were erased soon after the trouble surfaced.

Get Those Resumes In. I recently came across this interesting job listing by Tri-C, and the position sounds like something potentially right up the alley for someone in our vast network of smart aesthetes. It seems the eastern suburban campus is looking for someone to direct its Center for Arts and Culture. You'll need a bach, natch (that's bachelors degree), and five years of performing arts management experience, plus background in budgeting, fundraising and grantwriting. Knowledge of the local, national and international arts scene wouldn't hurt, either. You can find more info at the school's site. But application review begins Sept. 8th, so get going...


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