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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Tuesday, December 17, 2002



Nearing An Endpoint?

Now, I like Atrios and his site, named "Eschaton". The anonymous author consistently brings an entertaining mix of passion and humor to his site, which even has a position on my prestigious "blogroll".

However, the site is what it is, which is a rallying point for the far left, and a launch point for conspiracy theories. If you wonder whether Bush killed Wellstone, or the media overreacted to the Wellstone funeral, you will find material of interest at Eschaton. Not to say the Atrios endorses these views, necessarily, but he certainly publicizes them.

And now Prof Krugman himself has endorsed the site, and picked up on the latest conspiracy! Let's see:

And the influence of the religious right spreads much further. The Internet commentator Atrios, who played a key role in bringing Mr. Lott's past to light, now urges us to look into the secretive Council for National Policy. This blandly named organization was founded by Tim LaHaye, co-author of the apocalyptic "Left Behind" novels, and is in effect a fundamentalist pressure group. As of 1998 the organization's membership contained many leading Congressional figures in the Republican Party, though none of the party's neoconservative intellectuals.

George W. Bush gave a closed-door speech to the council in 1999, after which the religious right in effect endorsed his candidacy. Accounts vary about what he promised, and the organization has refused to release the tape.


As a first order of business, this seems to be the second recent mention of the Council for National Policy at the Atrios site. The post is titled "Eschaton Assignment Desk", and urges journalists to follow this trail for dirt on Bush.

And here is the first post I can find, from Friday, Dec. 13:

Well, while everyone throws around Don Nickles name [to replace Lott], why don't some eager researchers check out his connections to that haven for Christian Reconstructionists and slavery apologists, the Council for National Policy. It seems to be where the plutocrats and the theocrats come together.

Interesting to see that Krugman is so compliant, and so starved for column ideas.

And as to the incipient scandal, well, my goodness! A candidate met with a special interest group which later endorsed him, and now the tape is kept secret! I think we should sit down right now and review every meeting Al Gore had with union leaders, environmental leaders, NOW, Emily's list, Hollywod moguls... why not?

Or, if Gore seems so "yesterday", maybe we should begin the process with Kerry, or Lieberman.

Or perhaps not. If Krugman is endorsing conspiracies, and suggesting investigations, on this basis, and his source is as he described, well, we may be nearing an endpoint. Of what, only time will tell.

UPDATE: Since this is all about Mickey, let's incorporate the "Faster Principle". It took the mainstream media years to acknowledge the existence of Matt Drudge. A week ago, the mainstream media credited Marshall, among other bloggers, with keeping the Lott story alive. Now, a week later, we learn that Krugman is getting his story ideas from left-wing blogs. At this accelerated pace, it may be just a few hours until Glenn Reynolds becomes US Attorney General.

UPDATE 2: Even more mysterious than blogging: Mickey describes Sidney Blumenthal's "e-mauling". [tm Pending, Hauser/MinuteMan Collaborations]

And the Man Sans Q reflects on blogging and the media.


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