Tuesday, February 08, 2005


I’m in something of a funk. Despite the amazing stuff going on these days, such as the Bush administration efforts against Social Security, it’s hard to be interested in reading the news, copy editing it or even researching and writing a posting to this blog — which is saying something, considering how little research some of these entries take.

But instead of going on hiatus with my ill temper, I can at least link to good stuff while I wait for the mood to go away.

And I do have good stuff to link to, today, anyway.

Remember the bulge under the jacket of President Bush when he first debated John Kerry? Remember how stories about the bulge never got traction, suffering from rejection by major mainstream media? Remember how the most likely solution to the mystery — to the extent that it almost didn’t qualify as a mystery — was that Bush was getting answers from someone backstage via an electronic receiver?

Well, you’ll be happy to hear that Dave Lindorff, who wrote about “Bulgegate” for Salon, has returned to the topic at the Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting Web site, looking mainly at the media’s reaction to the story.

But there’s also good reminders of the facts of the story itself:

The Bulgegate story originated when a number of alert viewers of the first presidential debate noticed a peculiar rectangular bulge on the back of Bush’s jacket. That they got to see that portion of his anatomy at all was an accident; the Bush campaign had specifically, and inexplicably, demanded that the Presidential Debate Commission bar pool TV cameras from taking rear shots of the candidates during any debates. Fox TV, the first pool camera for debate one, ignored the rule and put two cameras behind the candidates to provide establishing shots.

... The suspicion that Bush had been getting cues or answers in his ear was bolstered by his strange behavior in that first debate, which included several uncomfortably long pauses before and during his answers. On one occasion, he burst out angrily with "Now let me finish!" at a time when nobody was interrupting him and his warning light was not flashing.

While Lindorff’s piece is a good, compelling read, it’s probably the worst thing I could have stumbled across, given my mood. Reading how the top newspapers in the United States, including The New York Times, blew off what could have been an incredibly important story is hardly a balm for my funk, and really just drives me deeper into it.

Which reminds me, there’s a piece in the Times today about people moving to Canada.

No comments: