Decoding the Note: We Can Stop Anytime We Want Edition
We tried, honestly, on what promises to be our swan song in Wonkette guest-blogging, to lay off the devoted practitioners of the Halperinite Tendency over at ABC. Be gracious in retiring, we told ourselves; spare a kind word, or at least a circumspect silence for the language-mangling media elitists who thrill to each fresh beat of Dan Bartlett's heart. But our better angels did not conquer. As we let our eyes rest on the practiced vacuities slithering out of the many-fingered beast that is Team Note, we could remain silent no longer. Consider, first of all, today's Notely overture:
There is some elaborate seasoned-pol style throat clearing to the effect of "the Clinton White House was leaky; the Bush one not so much." Only, you know, delivered in three hundred so words of preening self-congratulation, for having been so close to so many powerful apparatchiks for so long. Then, the irrelevant, though no less irritating aside:
Out goes the elaborate lede we had written based on yet another leak (the early reviews of Tim Kaine's State of the Union response preps, which we will save for a non-rainy day). Instead here is our insider report on this morning's White House senior staff meeting.
Yes, because the lead (or, if you must, Note, "lede") you have selected instead is so much less fucking elaborate. And correct us if we are wrong, but aren't you all publicly congratulating yourselves for receiving a White House-orchestrated piece of pre-debate smear in the classic Rove-Bartlett vintage? This tickles your pride as journalists how, exactly?
More Notely questions after the jump.
Anyway, about that Andy Card meeting: the Note being the Note, it can only deliver news of it in coy question-list format. For example:
1. How long can they brazenly say that it is Democrats who oppose Administration policy on the Patriot Act and domestic spying, when some Republicans oppose them too? ("How long can Democrats and the press be this incompetent?" one relatively new member of the team asked, to which his colleagues responded with swells of laughter and knowing looks.)
Ah, the giddy laughter! And the looks, ever-so knowing! (Though how said looks manage to "swell," as asserted here, is a question for far sager students of Notely syntax than ourselves.) The Note lays out the scene so expertly that you wouldn't guess that it was all gathered in the most muffled fashion, through Dan Bartlett's trouser pocket. Anyway, onward, shall we?
2. How can they best handle the inevitable release of the photos of the President with Jack Abramoff?
How, indeed? Especially given the small morsel of information the Note omits amid its self-pleasing asides: The White House baldly lied about the president never having met saucy Jack, and it is only through the labors of the aforementioned "incompetent press" that the photographic evidence to the contrary has emerged. But never mind. Leave the Notsters to puzzle and chortle over that one; we must press on:
3. How long can they allow Dan Bartlett to do live television interviews on the topic of Hanukkah?
We don't know, Note. It must be especially difficult for Mr. Bartlett to maintain his spiritual gravitas on such occasions while you admister his off-camera hand-jobs. Oh, and speaking of which, let us skip Question 4-7--some dreary business about health care and Iran and whatnot, and proceed to our favorite, Question 8:
8. How will people react when the RNC's boffo oppo on Kaine comes out right before his moment in the spotlight, demonstrating just how bad the Kilgore campaign was?
That's right: Not once, but twice, Team Note crows about getting its sweaty collective hands on some "boffo oppo," courtesy of the RNC. ABC News must have a very interesting FCC license, where all that folderol about "the public interest" is crossed out and the stern directive "Whatever Bartlett Wants!" is blocked in instead. But the truly impressive thing about Question 8, in our view is that the Note manages to make an extended entry (or excuse us, "lede") about the manly virtues of Bush spin into an occasion for self-fellation, a trick we had previously assumed was restricted to males of the canine genus. Bravo, Note! You are folding up into a perfect study in prim Washington auto-eroticism. Truly, our work here is done. --HOLLY MARTINS