Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thursday Stuff

Best Headline and Subhead of the Week...goes to the Weekly Standard, for this little gem of wiseassery (my coinage) at the expense of the magazine's favorite targets, the Clintons. If you don't immediately get the joke, just give it a moment and think about it. Hint: it harkens back to the Lewinsky scandal.

Read It and Weep. Ohio Attorney General Mark Dann, once positioned to be the second coming of the crusading AG in the likeness of Eliot Spitzer, has followed him into disgrace by resigning yesterday. If you're a glutton for punishment, here's the investigative report that prompted the whole thing, although it's been criticized by some as being a partial whitewash. But you decide.

Moore's At It Again. The Iraq war is increasingly slipping out of the news pages and the larger cultural conversation. But director Michael Moore isn't letting up on it. The New York Observer reports (well, it really just reprints a press release about it) that the rotund lefty auteur is now working on a followup to his devastating anti-Iraq war flick Fahrenheit 9/11. Like many, I found the latter film to be a little too emotionally manipulative to be completely effective, or as effective as it might have been (and there was considerable speculation -- which I think was warranted-- that it boomeranged and left some voters sympathetic to Bush, thus helping him squeek into a second term). But it was nevertheless quite interesting, and an important contribution to the debate. I would expect this next one will be as well.

Finally, We Bring You what I would consider to be perhaps the best blog autobio ever written, in this case by a veteran Chicago sportswriter whom I first came across only yesterday. "They tell me I have to write this bio thing to go along with my blog. Not sure you care, but the bosses apparently do, so here you go: I've covered sports for more than 30 years in print, on radio and now in cyberspace. In that time, I've smoked cigars with Michael Jordan, Mike Ditka and Red Auerbach, I've been thrown on a table by NHL all-time bad boy Dave "Tiger'' Williams, I've covered the Super Bowl, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Finals, I've had former Bears lineman Stan Thomas act like he was going to squeeze my head like a zit, I've interviewed Roger Clemens, Hank Aaron and Donald Trump, I've been cursed at by Mike Keenan, I've watched Denis Savard go into the Hockey Hall of Fame, I've been yelled at by Bill Wirtz, I talked sports with Ben Affleck at the World Series of Poker, and I cry almost every time I see Jim Craig skate up the ice looking for his dad in the stands as the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team wrote the greatest sports story ever. Ever. I have a diva going to fashion school in Los Angeles and a power-hitting DH who's a junior in high school. Got enough on me? Good. Now read the other stuff." After that wild & wonderful riff, who could resist reading more? If you've seen anything that can compete with that, dear reader, by all means do let us know.


At 10:15 AM, Anonymous Mike said...

A key item in the 3 items you cite is the person's ability to do the job. (1) Bill Clinton's personal flaw in which the Weakly Standard once again rejoices had nothing to do with his ability to fill the role of his office other than he left himself open to his self-righteous opponents. (2) As far as Mark Dann goes, more stunnning than his personal flaw his admission (which I just heard about on WCPN's reporters' roundtable) that he was the Democrats' sacrificial lamb, didn't expect to win and admitted he was ill-equipped to do the job! 3) The Republicans did the same thing when they put up W. for the presidency, a man who has proven tragically wrong for the job. But his reputation only benefits from the buffoonery of Michael Moore, someone who has become a caricature of himself.

At 10:28 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Interesting perspectives, Mike. Weakly Standard, indeed. It's a sorry excuse for a magazine, actually more of a bulletin board for the Cro-Magnon right wing. But still an important barometer to keep track of. And yes, I wish Moore could be less of a buffoon and just get out of the way and let the story be the star, because the story itself is pretty damning. He even made NRA spokesperson Charlton Heston look sympathetic with his famous ambush interview of the poor old guy in the movie about the Columbine school massacre. But I also see subtle signs that he's getting a little better in that department with each film. I thought his most recent, Sicko, while still having his signature interjections of ego, was probably his most effective film to date. Then again, the underlying story he's telling is so powerfully outrageous that you can't help but be attracted to it. But that same outrageous story is there for every other director and storyteller to capitalize on, and he gets major credit in my book for choosing the subjects that really matter. So I try to cut him a break.

At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Mike said...

I think that's very appropriate.

At 9:09 PM, Anonymous David said...

It's merely name dropping.

At 3:11 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

David, not sure what you're referring to. What's name dropping?


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