Ladies and gentlemen, the conventions are over. We're quite well-rested, actually, since Johnny Boy's speech put us to sleep faster than Tylanol PM after a hard day's blogging. But we digress; how are you? Did you survive these past couple of weeks without us? We missed you too!
Last night proved that McCain plans to be the Good Cop of the ticket. His race to the middle is a time-honored strategy, and the focus on the economy in his speech was a surprise to everyone. (Although, when your wife pieces together an outfit that costs as much as a Scottsdale split-level, you might want to tread carefully). Expect to see Gentle John for at least the duration of the month. But the GOP is very much the party of Sarah Palin -- and on the whole, it'll be merciless.
The Caribou Barbie media sideshow finally hits the road next week, as she tours the swing states for the first time with McNice. (If you've been missing the blogosphere explosion over Palin, check out our Culture Minister's round-up for the quick scoop.) Hey, McCain campaign, Palin may go over great with the 700 Club, but with practical-minded suburbanites, not so much. Keep her on the "small towns matter" messaging and away from, er, her political beliefs. Politico agrees with us, smart people that they are.
We certainly haven't heard the last of the Bristol Palin/Levi Johnston saga. Watch for an interview with Bristol and/or her terrified baby daddy in the near future. You'd better hurry, Couric; Tyra's already chompin' at the bit.
Tonight ABC, NBC, and CBS will simultaneously air the star-studded fundraising event "Stand Up To Cancer." What's more, Youtube, Myspace, Blogger, Twitter, and even iTunes are being utilized for an online appeal. So we can watch TV, liveblog from our PC, Twitter from our PDA AND cure cancer, all at the same time?! We're sold.
Lest you forget there are actual policies in politics, coming off a five-week recess next week,Congressional Dems will push for a bill that allows limited drilling in Alaska. Of course, effective Republican messaging on the issue moved the Dems from their previous no-drilling stance. The inches they're giving conservatives can now turn into miles, no matter who is elected in November.
And football is now underway! Remote controls all over the nation will be held hostage until February. We'll try to keep the cheese puffs off the furniture.
The Week That Was
Luckily, the Truth Squad finally showed up this campaign season, with the AP's Jim Kuhnhenn providing a thorough screening of the hollow truths of Gov. Palin's prime time screed. But it isn't as if the GOP is actually responsive to reporters these days. According to leaked campaign memos, this is all part of the plan.
McCain's snub of Larry King over CNN's scrutiny of Sarah Palin, combined with Palin's anti-press rhetoric on Thursday, are only the latest shots in the campaign's all-out war on the 4th estate (but the reporters say they're sorry!). We can now add CNN to a blacklist that includes Time Magazine, NBC, MSNBC, The New York Times, US Magazine, internet news and, uh, Van Halen (we're still A-listers, of course). Is it any wonder that Palin's first interview was with People Magazine? If McCain wins, insiders tell us he'll give his first interview to Soap Opera Digest, then leak it to Perez before it's published. Oops, who's that "celebrity candidate" again?
While St. Paul recovered from Hurricane Sarah, a counter-convention organized by, um, Drizzle Ron (Paul) attracted 1,200 people, to the dismay of the RNC. The party that's always fallen into line behind its standard-bearer is losing its base, bit by bit.
Just in time for back to school, the Army has released its first line of civilian clothing through Sears -- it's truly the softer side of war. (What, Wal-Mart passed?) Thanks to this latest recruitment ploy, middle-class high school and college students can now use REAL camo to better evade the school-approved recruiters prowling their cafeterias.
Ah, the cruelties of social network ads. The Post's Rachel Beckman provided a mortifying look at how Facebook has been singling out her flaws through its super-spy-techno-targeted ads. It's likely you've experienced the same thing too, dear reader. Whatever, Facebook, your redesign is confusing and your logo is... fat. Hmph.
A Virginia man convicted of slamming into a police car while DWI is being sentenced to... PR! In addition to his traditional punishment, David J. Stout was ordered by the presiding judge to help publicize the state's Move Over program, meant to curb accidents with patrol cars. PR as punishment? The folks at TR Central Booking are all for it -- this would REALLY free up our schedules. Ex-cons can totally handle Kinkos employees and Starbucks baristas, right?
From Pam Avery at our Western Office, a tribute to Ike Pappas:
History will remember Ike Pappas, who died in Arlington, Va. on Sunday, as the CBS news correspondent whose on-the-spot coverage of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald, JFK's assassin, rocked an already shell-shocked nation. And it was his voice heard 'round the world announcing in awe humankind's first walk on the moon. Ike covered Vietnam, national and international disasters and much more until he was unceremoniously dumped by CBS in the late 1980s for having a "face fit for radio, rather than TV." What many don't know is that fighting Greek that he was, Ike picked himself up and created Ike Pappa Productions, producing and narrating some of the finest documentaries -- including a stellar series on NASA's mission to the moon -- in the country. I met Ike while searching for a host for my nationally syndicated radio program, EarthWire. Ike became more than the host. He became the de facto executive producer, a business partner, and my mentor. His sonorous voice commanded attention and respect. No EarthWire script passed his lips until it had been polished into a verbal gemstone by Ike. He was a master of the fine phrase; but more, he was a stickler for the truth, which was reflected in his news coverage, his documentaries, and in every episode of EarthWire.
Thanks, Ike, for being a great mentor and friend.
Coming off the focus on Gustav and with Ike and Hanna on the way, storm coverage this season has been as attentive as we predicted. The TR Weather Center is imploring the media to at long last link all of this to climate change. Don't make us design a PowerPoint about it, people.
Have a great weekend!