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3 October 2000

When I'm deep inside of me
Don't be too concerned
I won't ask for nothin' while I'm gone
-- "Honesty", Billy Joel

Thanks to the kind souls who sent me pointers to cheap copies of Mac OS 9; the day after I asked, deal-mac had a new lead on a cheap open-box version, so I bought that and have it in my hands for $69 instead of $90. Cool.

The first debate is tonight at 9pm Eastern; I'll be watching. Various discussion around the web:

  • Scoring The Debates by David Broder [Washington Post] thinking about my own scorecard, I've jotted down five tests for Vice President Gore and five others for Texas Gov. George W. Bush...
  • Ten questions for Gore and Bush [Salon]
    No. 7: You both offer extensions to entitlement programs that benefit seniors, who already, by a ratio of 10-to-1, receive more government-sponsored aid than children do. How do you justify the difference between the money the federal government spends on seniors and the money it spends on children?

And, Peggy Noonan gets positively logorrheic with advice for Gov. Bush:

  • The Big Debate [WSJ Opinion]
    Governor, when you get off a good line you have a way of looking at the audience as if to say, Isn't that funny? Join me in laughter! If you can stop that, stop it.

    ...whatever happens in them -- your gaffe if you make it, your great line if you say it -- will be played over and over more than ever in the million-network universe. So whatever drama happens Tuesday night will enter the national consciousness, and stay there.

I'm heartily sick of watching every news show recycle the same clips of 'highlights' and 'defining moments' of the last forty years' debates... " opponent's youth and inexperience... erience... erience..."

This was a bit of a surprise: The West Wing is apparently starting its new season tomorrow night. Set your VCRs!

What I don't get is, all through the weeks before the Olympics, NBC showed promos for the WW season premiere but didn't give a date. I haven't watched much NBC at all in the last few weeks; have they been promoting it with a date lately? It seemed like a missed opportunity to provide information to the interested viewer (me). I almost didn't find out that it was happening this week.

(And how 'bout those pathetically ugly URLs at NBC now? The West Wing should logically be at In fact, that address redirects you to,946,-0-2216,00.html. How... intuitive.)

NBC's premiere schedule (Thanks to Laurel Krahn's

The new Demotivators calendar for 2001 is out...

My favorites: Pretension ("Perfect for Objectivists!"), Dysfunction.

This year's parodies aren't as good as the last two years' (I imagine they used their best material first), but they still make me giggle.

Paul Krugman (again) on Bush's poor math (again):

  • Oops! He Did It Again [NY Times]
    ...his performance on "Moneyline" last Wednesday was just mind-blowing. I had to download a transcript to convince myself that I had really heard him correctly. It was as if Mr. Bush's aides had prepared him with a memo saying: "You've said some things on the stump that weren't true. Your mission, in the few minutes you have, is to repeat all of those things... "

    [Bush:] "I want some of the money, nearly a trillion, to go to projects like prescription drugs for seniors." ... Nearly a trillion? The budget statement released by the candidate's campaign three weeks ago shows total spending on new projects of $474.6 billion -- less than half a trillion.

    What is really striking here is the silence of the media -- those "liberal media" conservatives complain about. "Moneyline" would never let a C.E.O. get away with claiming to spend twice as much on research as the sum announced in the company's own press release. But when Mr. Bush declared that he would spend twice as much on new programs as the sum announced by his own campaign, the interviewer said nothing -- and nobody else picked up on it.

The Moneyline transcript (search for "nominee"):

  • Moneyline News Hour, 27 September 2000 [CNN]
    WILLOW BAY: why is it that you believe you would have a greater influence over OPEC than...

    BUSH: Than the current administration?

    Well, they evidently don't have much influence over OPEC right now. Otherwise I would hope that OPEC would be responding. I think our foreign policy, a president's foreign policy needs to be consistent and strong. Needs to, you know, make it clear what the priorities are of the United States and, you know, history is going to judge.

    But I would suspect history is going to say that, somewhere along the line, this group up in Washington has lost the capacity to convinve our OPEC friends to increase supplies.

Nice, clear non-sequiturs, served up that special Bush way...

Aside regarding the last entry: It's a little strange that CNNfn charges US$30+ for transcripts of Moneyline when it's available (in 'rush' form, granted) for free on

Followup/rebuttal to the story on late-night political humor I pointed to a few days ago:

  • The Times' impolitic story [TVBarn]
    Sella did not interview a variety of players in the late-night comedy game and use their words and deeds to reach his conclusion; Sella imposed his thesis on the comedians and writers even though the main point of everyone he spoke with said the idea is to hit the viewer's funnybone by the fastest way possible, by working with what is already in the public domain.

    Sella did not bothering looking up Federal Election Commission reports, either, as his predecessors did in the early '90s to see if Letterman and Carson joined their Hollywood compatriots in supporting political candidates. (Almost alone among their peers, Dave and Johnny gave exactly zero dollars to campaigns.)

Lots more I could write about, but I'm out of time for today. More soon.

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