Friday, May 2, 2008

The TR: Wright's Rage, Miley's Cleavage and a Madam's Tragic Demise

O's looking weary as he continues the slog. If we could determine what strange fire is fueling Hill's continued pep we could solve the energy crisis and end global warming. The Queen, herself, could use some of whatever that is. Red Bull? Read on for news, views and political rues.

Our Forecast

Hillary looks bright as a shiny penny as the campaign marches into Indiana and North Carolina. If she does well in both states her candidacy steals O's momentum. But would the gains be for naught? Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) says that the superdelegate war has already been secretly fought and won by Obama. Let's seek the counsel of the anonymous blogger/superdelegate "Mr. Super" for some inside dirt.

As the Crooks and Liars blog asks, "Who you gonna believe, Perino or your lying eyes?" Check out Helen Thomas confronting White House Spokesperson Dana Perino on the President's endorsement of torture. We were itching for the venerable Helen to reach across and clout the whipper snapper across the head for bold-faced lying, but these days physical punishment is frowned upon, particularly of other people's children. The clip should continue to sizzle in the blogosphere for another couple days, with occasional sightings in the mainstream media.

While Congress inches towards a vote on the massive farm bill, the debate over ethanol will crescendo, especially as the food crisis throws the corn stalkers for a loop. Let's not forget the ethanol lobby's ace in the hole: the contentious "gasoline tax holiday." Could they market biofuel as an effective alternative? Whether it's a viable solution or not, it's good messaging.

The conservative group Americans for the Military has been circulating an online petition to keep Congress from overturning the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy regarding gays in the military. This debate has been so far under the radar that we needed a microscopic lens just to find it. But conservatives are deadly serious about resolving this piece of unfinished business from the 1990's.

Just as we head into the weekend news slowdown comes word of the D.C. Madam's apparent suicide. Given that her mysterious ledger contains the names of many high-profile political figures, we expect the conspiracy theories to start flaring up in time for your Sunday paper and bagel.

And, flacks among us, don't forget that May is "sweeps" month, which means time for the morning shows to deeply probe the lives of dogs that can walk on their hind legs and the like. Start your pitching earlier than usual if you have serious news. Or better yet, forget May altogether.

The Week That Was

It was rice rice everywhere and not a grain to eat - as we predicted, the food shortage crisis got major play in all venues.

Meanwhile, the good ship Obama was in iceberg territory all week as he found himself at the mercy of Jeremiah Wright's rage. Obama desperately needs to reassert himself as a headline maker. And where are the op/eds and sound bites from O's many powerful political supporters? Kennedys, where are you now?

Is it any wonder that Hillary is being praised for her "testicular fortitude?" In one week, she out-muscles Bill O'Reilly in a one on one interview, collects the endorsement of N.C. Gov. Mike Easley, and joins an Indiana construction worker on his commute to work. However, she should let up a bit on the Crown Royal shots. The last time America wanted a President who had a fair grasp of beer pong we got Dubya.

A Gallup Organization and Healthways collaboration released its first data this week from a massive new health and wellness index. The report tracks the population's well being using the same methodology underlying the Dow Jones index. The figures don't look good: Nearly half of Americans say they're "struggling" in every imaginable way. Activists from all walks need to look at these figures seriously before they start messaging the public on important issues.

Miley Cyrus is trying her damnedest to slide out from under her first cloud of controversy. You've all heard the hype: TV's Hannah Montana was supposedly duped into a PG-13-rated pictorial by noted Vanity Fair photographer Anne Leibovitz. Disney has done some first-class flack work framing Cyrus's bubblegum heartland values against Leibovitz's urban decadence. Believe nothing - we jaded Turner PR pros think it's a big publicity grab by Vanity Fair, Cyrus and Disney. Because, c'mon, the photos are pretty tame. BuzzMachine may shriek, "Graydon Carter, child pornographer," but we say, "Naw!"

In an interesting Cyrus sidebar, since the New York Times reported on the hidden ties between media military analysts and the Pentagon on April 20, ABC, CBS and NBC still have not mentioned it. By contrast, during their April 28 evening news broadcasts, all three networks reported on the Vanity Fair Miley Cyrus spread.

Topical Onion headline: Dying Newspaper Trend Buys Nation's Newspapers Three More Weeks.

Last but not least, here's some fun and games: Congressional Quarterly launched "VP Madness: GOP Edition."

Reader Comments

Some prominent bloggers e-mailed the Queen with praises these last two weeks. We're not sure how they found us, as we are still using manual typewriters and aren't quite sure what the Internet is. We DO try, we do.

Scorecard

Pretty much right on the money, EXCEPT we didn't check our National Press Club calendar so didn't predict Jeremiah Wright's jihad and subsequent chattering-class fallout. Had we known about the appearance, we would have sharpened our elbows and bulldozed our way to the front row seats for real, live snark-fodder.

We wish you sunshine and sweat this weekend. Have a good one.

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