Dispatches > The Buzz

Blogwatch

Buzz from online journals, including www.worldmagblog.com

Issue: "Iraq: The WMD debate," Feb. 21, 2004

Buzz from online journals, including www.worldmagblog.com

Gifts that keep giving

The political campaign is chugging along, so it was fun to see Hugh Hewitt (hughhewitt.com) nail Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe: "McAuliffe is to politics what MTV is to Super Bowl halftime shows: low, tacky, and a failure. He is also increasingly unstable to the point that Democratic party pros have to worry about what he'll say next.... The Dems are stuck with McAuliffe through the convention, for which the GOP should be thankful. Having a buffoon in charge of the opposition is the sort of gift that keeps giving, as anyone who can recall McAuliffe's '02 prediction about the Florida governor's race or his '03 prediction about the California recall will attest."

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The campaigns are orchestrated with media in mind, but Ryan Lizza's Campaign Journal (tnr.com/blog/campaignjournal) reported that some actions-if only for long-shot campaigns that would quickly fold up-are spontaneous: "Asked about the most absurd moment of the campaign, [Wesley Clark] mentions the famous incident in New Hampshire when he donned his brother-in-law's argyle sweater and was accused of trying to soften his militaristic image for female voters. 'The sweater,' he says shaking his head. 'Oh sure. [It] shows the strategic calculus of the campaign and its utter ruthlessness that I would ask my brother-in-law to take his sweater off his back because I was cold and wear it to a rally in Keene, New Hampshire. How outrageous. It was nobody's idea but mine.... I had to borrow a sweater. I was freezing.'"

Prayer and politics

Turning to more important matters, Gregg Easterbrook (tnr.com/ easterbrook.mhtml) wrote about the National Prayer Breakfast-oops, that's largely politics too-and complained that "the Washington Hilton ballroom is today's equivalent of the 'street corners' on which hypocrites used to pray 'so that they may be seen by others.' ... Jesus, surely, would run from the National Prayer Breakfast in disgust, perhaps overturning a few tables on the way." That's not true for all who attend, and Mr. Easterbrook overstated his case by claiming that all public prayer is wrong, but the talented writer made up for exaggeration by being willing to describe on his blog his own Christian faith: "I believe God actually exists, loves us, and watches us. I believe that Jesus died to redeem the world from sin, and that three days after His death, when Mary Magdalene and two friends went to the tomb to anoint the body, they were greeted by angels who said, 'Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.'"

And will media wonders never cease? The Note is ABC News' daily must-read for journalists and politicos alike (you can link to it from worldmagblog.com). That's why The Note caused such a stir when it pulled the veil off the very Washington press establishment that it services: "Like every other institution, the Washington and political press corps operate with a good number of biases and predilections. They include, but are not limited to, a near-universal shared sense that liberal political positions on social issues like gun control, homosexuality, abortion, and religion are the default, while more conservative positions are 'conservative positions.' ... The worldview of the dominant media can be seen in every frame of video and every print word choice that is currently being produced about the presidential race. That means the president's communications advisers have a choice: Try to change the storyline and the press's attitude, or try to win this election without changing them."

Hopeful sacrifice

With all the brouhaha about Mel Gibson's upcoming film The Passion of the Christ, JB Doubtless of Fraters Libertas (fraterslibertas.com) reminded readers that it doesn't matter who killed Jesus: "I just saw the cover of Newsweek. It said 'Who Killed Jesus?'... I have to ask 'Who Cares?'... Jesus HAD to be sacrificed to make up for original sin.... Had He not made this sacrifice, we would have no hope of ever getting to heaven. So with that in mind, it doesn't matter who offed Him, be it the Jews, the Romans, the Roman Jews or whomever."

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