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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Desperation?

Regarding CHB's excellent point below, let me offer this additional note.

In the last year and a half or so, I've gotten to know several of Washington's media-industrial-complex workers. I think before then I basically thought that media outlets -- newspapers, tv news shows, magazines -- had an essentially limitless supply of people to throw at the extra stories. I'm here to tell you that it ain't true.

When a big new story crops up (or a big old one on hold crops back up), the top folks have to scramble to cover it, dropping everything else. This is, in fact, how CardCarryingMember was born: my vacation to Vegas over July 4th weekend with my best girl got called off because we were dumb enough to schedule our outbound flight the day after the last day of the last week in the Supreme Court session.....suffice to say, her badly needed time off went the way of the dodo when Justice O'Connor announced her retirement. Why? Because her employer evidently had no one else to cover Congressional reaction. As for me, I sat home twiddling both my left thumbs. It came down to a decision between online poker and the blog, and the blog won.

A propos of what, you ask? Well, announcing the nominee to replace O'Connor is part of a tried-and-true strategy to knock a bad story (RoveWarLiesDeathGate) off the front burner with a bigger story.

Yesterday I noted just how desperate the decision to send Roy Blunt on to FTN to Face Joe Wilson was. Today let me point out just how desperate the decision to name a nominee tonight is. Remember, these are the folks who were discussing waiting to announce a nominee so as to minimize flak. It is now less important to them to avoid that flak than to get RoveWarLiesDeathGate out of the news.

Desperate times in the Bush White House.

Update: I forgot to add: look hard in tomorrow's news for really nasty stuff (from the WH point of view) about RoveWarLiesDeathGate. It's an old Washington trick, perfected by Rove, to send bad news out when it will be overwhelmed with other, unrelated coverage; bonus if that coverage is good for the WH.

Update 2: For those of you not on the WH distribution list, they cancelled the Daily Briefing today. Got themselves a twofer with this one, didn't they?

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