Wednesday, February 23rd, 2005

Bascha, don’t look at this.  Just don’t.

Gods, but my eyes are like fountains of blood.  And that’s just from the background image.  Please, please make the hurting stop.

Please. (more…)

So, Salon has another story
up today about Gannon.  Fascinating stuff!  Not only was
Gannon allowed into the briefing room in defiance of all protocols, but
the White House explanation of his “vetting” has changed.  Whee!

White House press secretary Scott McClellan originally told
reporters that Guckert was properly allowed into press briefings
because he worked for an outlet that “published regularly.” But that’s
when the questions were about Talon. More recently McClellan offered up
a new rationale. Asked by Editor and Publisher magazine how the
decision was made to allow a GOPUSA correspondent in, McClellan said,
“The staff assistant went to verify that the news organization existed.” (Emphasis added.)

Nice!  But the story goes on:

To determine whether Guckert would gain entrance to the
press room, normally reserved for professional journalists working for
legitimate, recognized and independent news organizations, the press
office simply logged on to the Internet and confirmed that GOPUSA
“existed,” and then quickly approved Guckert’s access. In a White House
obsessed, at least publicly, with security and where journalists cannot
even move between the White House and the nearby Old Executive Building
without a personal escort
, Guckert’s lenient treatment was likely
unprecedented.  (Emphasis mine – RMcMP)

Ooooooooh – so all you need to do is buy a domain name on the
Internets.  Well, damn – where’s my press pass, bitches?  Oh,
and remember Eberle, the guy who owned GOPUSA and Talon News and is a
part of the Bush-Rove-Bush Houston political machine?  He got a
little piece of that action, too!

Yet, if there’s one other person who did manage to receive
the same type of kid-glove treatment from the White House press office,
it was Guckert’s boss at GOPUSA and later at Talon News, Bobby Eberle.
A Texas-based Republican activist and a delegate to the Republican
National Convention in 2000, Eberle founded Talon News after he became
concerned that the name GOPUSA might appear to have a “built-in bias.”
With no journalism background, he too was able to secure a White House
press pass, in early 2003, on the strength of representing GOPUSA,
dedicated to “spreading the conservative message throughout America.”

Now, every time I discuss this with, say, The Boyf,
and anytime I hear this discussed on, say, Bill Maher, the question
always comes up of who actually gave this the green-light? 
Someone had to.  There are rumors now that McClellan himself may
have been a, uh, friend of Gannon’s, but here’s an interesting tidbit
from the very end of Salon’s coverage:

…last holiday season, in a personal posting on GOPUSA,
Eberle thanked Karl Rove for his “assistance, guidance, and friendship.”

Oh yes, that’s right – we’ve overthought it again.  The obvious
answer, that it was Rove, remains the obvious answer.  He’s like
Emperor Palpatine with a better chef.

I picked up a couple of The Billy Nayer Show CDs while I was ordering The American Astronaut on DVD the other day.  They arrived today, and I’ve been givin’ ’em a listen.

Weird.  Extremely weird.  I once described Julee Cruise’s The Art Of Being A Girl
to a music store cashier as “the lounge music in purgatory,” but I
think The Billy Nayer Show may take the cake.  The CDs I got, to
be specific, were The Villain That Love Built and Goodbye Straplight Sarentino I Will Miss You
Weird, weird, weird.  Like the music in the movie, sometimes it’s
big and loud and shouty and manic and sometimes it’s quiet and
restrained and deeply surreal, like the music that friend of yours used
to sit in his basement and make with nothing but a Casio keyboard and
some teen angst and at the time you were all, “Man, he really gets it,”
and now you wonder when you’ll see his stubbly face on CNN with a text
overlay that reads GRISLY DISCOVERY.  Every song, though,
regardless of what’s going on in terms of surface appearance, suggests
that there’s something more to the story, unrevealed dimensions of the
narrative they’re telling that might somehow explain it all and still
leave you wondering what the fuck

I’m not just trying to be pretentious there, either – every song is a
story.  I haven’t given them some sort of intense examination, I
just listened to it while playing out on these here interwebs, but
anytime I stopped to really listen I would realize I needed to jump
back to the beginning of the story and that there really are stories
here.  With titles like those, there have to be stories here.

Just a tip – if you buy the DVD of The American Astronaut, which is
worth it entirely on its own, it comes with a postcard you can mail
back to them to get a free copy of their new CD, Rabbit.  The two together, for $19.95, is like paying $5 for a great movie.  Or it’s like getting a free CD.  I’m just sayin’.

At any rate, if Compound folks or gaming folks or whoever folks want to watch The American Astronaut, it’s here.  Just let me know when.  Woot! (more…)