WHO'LL STOP THE RAINES? You'll not find a more vacuous piece of political analysis all week than former New York Times executive editor Howell Raines's debut for the Guardian on the shortcomings of John Kerry. You may have learned about it, as I did, from today's Boston Herald. Well, here it is in all its unexpurgated glory.
Sorry to quote the same stuff as the Herald wire report, but this riff on Kerry just screams out:
I personally find him easier to talk to than Al Gore, but there's no denying that he's ponderous. And he's pompous in a way that Gore is not. With Gore, you feel that if he could choose, he would have been born poor and cool. Kerry radiates the feeling that he is entitled to his sense of entitlement. Probably that comes from spending too much time with Teddy Kennedy, but it's a problem. The TV camera is an x-ray for picking up attitudinal truths, and Kerry's lantern jaw and Addams Family face somehow reinforce the message that this guy has passed from ponderous to pompous and is so accustomed to privilege that he doesn't have to worry about looking goofy. It's as if Lurch had gone to Choate.
Good grief. I'm not sure which is worse - that a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist is eager to allow such non-thoughts to be published under his byline, or that he was actually in charge of the World's Greatest Newspaper for a year-and-a-half. It is becoming easier to understand why his reign was such a fiasco, isn't it?
By the way, the headline over Raines's ditty is "Must Do Better." No kidding.
PRESS BOXED. Both the Globe and the Herald report today that media workspace at the Democratic National Convention is getting squeezed. Some reporters may not even be able to work inside the security zone, meaning they're going to get the Richard Reid treatment every time they want to wander inside the FleetCenter.
Just thought I'd point out that if the show had been moved to the South Boston convention center, as it should have been, the entire media horde could have been housed in big, comfortable, cheap tents in the parking lot, which was done with great effectiveness at the Republican gathering in Philadelphia four years ago.
NEW IN THIS WEEK'S PHOENIX. The New York Times confesses its sins in hyping Iraq's non-existent weapons capabilities and terrorist ties. So what took so long?