Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Maggots of the media. A wonderful phrase for you old-time Boston political junkies. And it fits!

I'm not sure whether this is good or bad, but Wonkette has the same take on Elisabeth Bumiller as Media Log. She writes: "She just turned in what may be the worst debate performance since Nixon sweated through his makeup." There's something about a kitten being strangled, too.

On Slate, William Saletan blasts all three inquisitors - Bumiller, Dan Rather, and WCBS-TV reporter Andrew Kirtzman - writing, "And we wonder why people hate the press."

Actually, no, we don't. The reasons are many, and have been on display for quite some time now.

The giving of the green. No doubt Massachusetts House Speaker Tom Finneran hates the press today. The Boston Globe's Raphael Lewis reports on some mighty strange donations.

In December, according to Lewis, Finneran donated $24,500 to the Massachusetts Democratic Party. The party then turned around and donated $26,000 to 10 House members who have been loyal to Mr. Speaker on some contentious issues.

What may have been going on was that Finneran took advantage of a legal loophole to make campaign donations to his supporters far in excess of what he could give via the direct route.

As it stands, the story is incomplete, but Media Log looks forward to the follow-up.

The end of the beginning. John Kerry stands an excellent chance of carrying all 10 states today, according to the final tracking polls. Click here for the Real Clear Politics roundup; here for Zogby.

The Kerry campaign is known to be concerned about Georgia, where the lead over John Edwards is narrow, and the Minnesota caucuses. There's also a chanced that Vermont will reward its former governor, Howard Dean, with a symbolic victory. But Edwards now seems unlikely to carry Ohio, where his populist message has some appeal.

Will Edwards quit tonight?

As for what's next, Media Log does not often agree with Mickey Kaus. But if you look at his piece today as things to worry about rather than as a blanket indictment, I think you'll find that Kaus has pretty much nailed it.

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