Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Why The New York Times Sucks (Today)

The kiss-of-death headline above the fold: Optimistic, Democrats Debate the Party's Vision

Translation: Foolhardy and Fractious, Democrats Begin Infighting In Earnest

Clearly, this is TNYT's penance for last week's positive article about Republican congressional seats at risk in our area, especially a certain NY29.


Now that I've read that friggin' front page article I'll really tell you why TNYT sucks. This paragraph below has been kicking around since Time Magazine printed a column by stupid Joe Klein six weeks ago. The article was an undisguised and glorified plug for his new book, which is not attributed to Anonymous. Some would call his column an advertorial but I do not employ non-words in this weblog.

So thank you, The New York Times, for serving us this sandwich on stale bread. (If you need to log in, my user name is fzuccarello and password is 140140.)

"The frustration with consultants - and their impact on Democratic politics - is widespread among the Internet pundits, and at the heart of several recent books, including Crashing the Gate, co-written by Markos Moulitsas, founder of the blog (sic) the Daily Kos. In another, Politics Lost, Joe Klein mourns the passing of a more authentic, preconsultant politics that he argues was embodied by Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 campaign.
"Even the film industry recognizes the mood; Bobby, an account of June 5, 1968, the day Kennedy won the California primary and was assassinated, is scheduled for release in November.

Where does Joe Klein get off lecturing us about the forgotten "more authentic"? He wrote a book under the name Anonymous. So back to RFK. The wandering, the lack of meaning, the absence of message, the failure of message when we possess it, all of which characterize Our Party, the Democratic Party, derives in no small part from one inescapable fact. In 1963 and 1968, three visionary leaders of the Our Party were murdered. Five years, three caskets. The dead can vote, but they can't lead.

Look, we may have some success (touch wood) in taking back the House of Representatives this November, in spite of TNYT. But if you feel the wind at your back it's just hurricane season. The only way we'll have ever have a Democratic president is when our nominee walks out of Pakistan - whoops, did I say Pakistan, I mean Afghanistan - with Osama Bin Laden's head on a pike. Period. And if I'm wrong, it's because this goofy country has elected a Democratic president.

All this talk about Bobby Kennedy reminds me of a story. My old boss, David Dee, edited two television commercial campaigns for the late John Frankenheimer.

One was a big AT&T job created by the also-late N. W. Ayer advertising agency focused around the bicentennial celebrations in France. The other was a big - David edited big and yelled bigger - job for the Elizabeth Taylor Diamonds family of fragrances, Rubies, Sapphires and Emeralds by Elizabeth Arden. Where am I going with all this yes okay...

John Frankenheimer has directed some incredible films, from my personal favorite, Seven Days In May, to Black Sunday to the highly acclaimed HBO film "Path To War." He had an extraordinarily renascent career at the end of his life. Yet this last work and his other historical dramas for television are evidence that he was building up to something important.

There was one more dream project in the mind of John Frankenheimer, and he shared the story with my boss, David, who in turn revealed it to me. Mr. Frankenheimer wanted to make a movie about Bobby Kennedy. It would start with the assassination of JFK, move backward in time, then forward and end with the death of RFK. The essence of the film was some rare home movie footage of Bobby Kennedy that Mr. Frankenheimer had taken. Later, when Mr. Frankenheimer was bounding back with, gulp, Reindeer Games, I learned that the man who drove Bobby Kennedy to the Los Angeles Sheraton the night he was shot was...John Frankenheimer.

David's little twist on the whole story was that I would play Jack Ruby.

As a post-script it would be unfair to go any further without mentioning, even as a post-script, that my pal Kamala Washington was held by Bobby Kennedy during a campaign appearance in Harlem.


Blogger Scooter said...

Hey Fran,

Joe Klein will be appearing at The Strand on June 13th...you wanna go
heckle him?

2:20 PM  
Blogger Mr. Francis Zuccarello said...

Hey protest pal,

I say we go and heckle not only Joe Klein, but The Strand too. "Eight Miles My Butt!"

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re K boys -the sins of the father have been visited on the sons.

- Barry Lynn Monro

5:05 PM  

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