Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dan the Hockey Man

Dan capped his hockey coverage off April 12 with a solid column on BU's comeback, overtime victory to take the NCAA Division I crown Saturday.

The bit was Shank's third consecutive hockey piece, two on the Terriers, and one on hockey parents.

All three were good columns.

The Shankster ought to stick with school sports, as his venomous bent doesn't constantly come through as it does when he writes about professional sports.

Beware...Dan has filed articles three days in a row. He'll probably need some significant time off...


Roger Bournival said...

Dan has filed articles three days in a row. He'll probably need some significant time off...

Ima guessing 10 days on the DL...

Roger Bournival said...

Unless the proprietors or other commentors of this website object, I shall provide, for 'Objective' Bruce's pleasure, further and continuing examples of Boston Globe cheerleading of James Earl Carter, Jr.

Rejoinders of said posts may be required to provide 'historical context' (whatever that's supposed to mean).

And now, onto the First family's dog (sheesh):

WASHINGTON - Who let the dog out?

At least they sorta quote song lyrics within a recent decade or so...

That's the Washington mystery du jour.

The identity of the first puppy - the one that the Washington press corps has been yelping
(Oh, that's hilarious! - ed.) about for months, the one President Obama has seemed to delight in dropping hints about - leaked out yesterday. This despite White House efforts to delay the news until the big debut planned for Tuesday afternoon.

The little guy is a 6-month-old Portuguese water dog given to the Obama girls as a gift by that Portuguese water dog-loving senator himself, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.
(Note to scribes - Ted Kennedy does not like water - ed.) Malia and Sasha named it Bo; their cousins have a cat named Bo and first lady Michelle Obama's father was nicknamed Diddley, a source said.

Excellent guitarist, I'll grant this one a pass...

Bo's a handsome little guy. Well-suited for formal occasions at the White House, he's got tuxedo-black fur, with a white chest, white paws, and a rakish white goatee.

Clearly, the identity of the dog was information too big to contain. A mysterious website called published a puppy picture yesterday morning, complete with a Q-and-A with the dog, which it said was originally named Charlie. The celebrity gossip website linked to the picture. So much for the big White House unveiling.

The affair was another hard lesson for Obama's tight-knit team, which had considerable success at controlling information
(despite pledges to the contrary - ed.) and leaking tidbits to different news outlets during the campaign. But once Obama took office, that proved more difficult. With more wide-ranging sources of information available, word leaked to the media of major nominations, as well as the tax problems that sank (half of his Cabinet nominees - ed.) former South Dakota senator Tom Daschle's bid to become the White House health czar.

So it went with Bo's story.

In mid-March, word on the street was that the White House was going to plant a vegetable garden. A Washington Post food reporter was making calls, probing, pushing. But the White House was mum. Word filtered out that the exclusive had been promised to The New York Times. (
Who else? - ed.) But the White House offered a mollifier: The puppy exclusive is yours.

The newspaper that cracked Watergate was happy to have the puppy story.

Now that's funny!

These kinds of arrangements get made all the time in Washington, but seldom are discussed publicly. The puppy deal seemed to be holding up. Sure, reporters here and there nipped at the story. There were hints that the puppy was a gift. There were reports that the Kennedys were involved - but the senator's press people professed no knowledge.

Teddy was out buying scuba gear, perhaps?

But then came yesterday morning. The FirstDogCharlie site included a photograph of a Portuguese water dog that looked exactly like the dog in a White House photo - right down to the multicolored lei - that The Washington Post was getting ready to publish on the front page of its Sunday paper.

Still, there's lots of stuff that didn't leak out, including a secret get-acquainted session with the family at the White House a few weeks ago. The visit, known around the White House as "The Meeting," was a surprise for the girls. Bo wore a lei then, too.

Bo charmed the first family, a source who was there said. He sat when the girls sat, stood when the girls stood. He made no toileting errors and did not gnaw on the furniture.

Question for OB - do you seriously think reporting on trivial matters like this do not constitute cheerleading?

(bolding included for obvious reasons)

JERRY G said...

Go for it, Rog!

Us blogboys gotta stand up to cheerleading!


Roger Bournival said...

There's one downside to not having bought the Boston Globe on a regular basis for the past fifteen years - missing out on obvious ball sucking:

National Perspective

In a stroke of brilliance, Obama defies easy caricature

No, that's not over the top cheerleading, is it? OB? Ferris?

WASHINGTON - Within a few months of a new presidency, most Americans usually have a line on their chief's personality - a sense of his colorful foibles, annoying habits, and potential vulnerabilities.

Bill Clinton, who received a (
blowjob? - ed.) haircut on an idling Air Force One while other planes were waiting, was self-indulgent. George W. Bush, who was in the gym on a workday when a man fired a gun near the White House gates, was lazy in a frat-boyish way. His father, who romped on the lawn with his dog Millie's new puppies, was full of preppy energy and good humor, but unfocused.

While these caricatures dominated late-night comedy, they provided - to a surprising degree - a road map to their future struggles. Personality was prologue for many presidents.

Clinton went on to tell lies. George W. Bush failed to think through his policies. "Tricky Dick" Nixon engaged in a real-world conspiracy. And Ronald Reagan, whose genial, grandfatherly manner could be reassuring, failed to pay enough attention to his aides' machinations in what became the Iran-contra scandal.

So what's Barack Obama's line? There isn't one yet, and that by itself could become his line.

A scant two plus months into The One's presidency, it appears that Cannelos is attempting to brush everything aside, or at a minimum, say nothing negative.

Obama, so far, seems to occupy a place in the popular culture beyond humor. Ridicule doesn't touch him. His personality defies easy categorization.

Of the few running gags to emerge from the Obama administration -
(many) aides not paying their taxes, Treasury officials rewarding fat-cats - the only one that pertains to the president himself is the straight-faced devotion he inspires. Obama may not actually be perfect, (say it isn't so! - ed.) but so many poor souls out there think he is.

Tht's because the (obviously) thrill-up-the-leg liberal mainstream media went overboard trying to make that precise point. If OB even attempts to challenge me on that point, I will bury him and any other poor sap dumb enough to make that argument with irrefutable evidence to the contrary.

Otherwise, Obama has successfully avoided the kind of pratfalls that loom large on TV and crystallize perceptions.

At this point into Bambi's presidency, he's almost three months into a four year (most likely) presidency. What's that in horse racing terms, the first furlong?

Once, he got caught making an (
tasteless - ed.) unpleasant joke comparing his bad bowling skills to the Special Olympics. But he quickly apologized and no one believes that he's habitually insensitive.

Really? No one at all? Or is that just in reference to the Globe editorial staff?

He's come off, at times, as a bit pompous and humorless - but that perception really hasn't taken hold. There was a point in the primary election campaign when Obama's opponents tried to call attention to his aloofness, but as president he has actually leveraged that same (
aloofness) dignity-bordering-on-vanity to reinforce the idea that he stands apart from the detested politics as usual.

The best example came during his prime-time press conference last month, at which he described his "philosophy of persistence" and couldn't hide his exasperation with Washington's culture of criticism.

How dare they criticise me?

"I think when it comes to the banking system, you know, it was just a few days ago or weeks ago where people were certain that Secretary Geithner couldn't deliver a plan," he said. "Today the headlines all look like, 'Well, all right, there's a plan.'

"When it comes to Iran, you know, we did a video sending a message to the Iranian people (
that worked in the European DVD format, unlike those cheesy DVD's we gave to Gordon Bown last month) and the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran. And some people said, well, [Iran] did not immediately say that [it's] eliminating nuclear weapons and [will] stop funding terrorism. Well, we didn't expect that. . . . We haven't immediately eliminated the influence of lobbyists in Washington. We have not immediately eliminated wasteful pork projects. And we're not immediately going to get Middle East peace. We've been in office now a little over 60 days."

Um, pardon me for asking, but what do Washington lobbyists have to do with eliminating Iranian nuclear ambitions or their support for terrorism? Talk about red herrings...

Coming from some past presidents, this kind of complaining might sound self-pitying (think of Nixon or Lyndon Johnson), but Obama's very aloofness makes his case for him: The pity is for his critics.

As the immortal Howie Carr might say - self-pity is not good box office.

Obama should be able to continue to float above the fray - defying those who want to laugh with him, or at him - as long as he can maintain his air of persistence.

The president's genius (
NOPE - NO CHEERLEADING HERE - ED.) so far has been in casting his program as a pragmatic response to current emergencies and longer-term threats. His calm, serious manner, magnified by his intelligence and command over the issues, (NOPE - NO CHEERLEADING HERE - ED.) reinforces the perception of a diligent public servant at work.

There may be vanity behind it, or stubbornness, or twisting of the facts, (
or all three - ed.) or any of the other qualities that marked his recent predecessors. But so far, Obama has succeeded in casting himself as the ultimate straight man in American politics.

We are doomed, doomed...

Anonymous said...

Incredible game, great column. As a Terriers' fan though, I've got to set this straight:

"But it looked like it was all over when the Terriers trailed, 3-1, with a minute to play.

"It was so bad that the BU mascot took off his costume."

Nice detail, but both mascots there were women. Maybe verify a subject's gender firsthand? On second thought, that might be a little invasive.

I still think it was a great column on the whole, especially given the Globe superfans' predilection for fawning over BC and ignoring BU. Go Terriers!

ObjectiveBruce said...

James Earl Carter, Jr.

Wasn't that the guy about whom the Globe used a thumb-sucker hed over an editorial that read "More Mush From The Wimp?"

While you're looking that one up, you might want to understand some historical perspective, so take a look at the coverage given "Millie." Or "Him" and "Her." Sheesh.

The dog story was actually amusing and a decent device for a look at the world of Washington media relations. Roger clearly just didn't get it. Similarly, he exhibits absolutely no comprehension about the piece that, quite accurately, pointed out that Obama has not been an target for yukmeisters, parodists, and impressionists.

Can't we find some better rejoinder than a single 14-month old line from a commentator (not a reporter) about chills and legs?

For the record, I shall not concern myself with Roger's Khruschevian delusions of grandeur