Oh this is a good one! CNN anchor Kyra Phillips leaves her mike on while going to the bathroom during Bush's speech. Talking about her "passionate, compassionate" boyfriend and her "control freak" sister in law.


So A.N. Wilson was writing his new biography of Sir John Betjeman, and someone sent him a copy of a passionate love letter revealing that Betjeman was having a torrid affair. Wilson included the letter in his book, as evidence that Betjeman had a livlier sex life than was commonly believed.

The Sunday Times has just pointed out that the first letters of each sentence spell out "A.N. Wilson is a shit."

Nice Wired piece on the influence of Pitchfork on the indie-rock world. I have to admit: I check out more records based on Pitchfork recommendations than anything else. Features an interesting admission from author Dave Itzkoff about the influence Pitchfork has on Itzkoff's former employer, Spin:

As Pitchfork's influence grew, we consulted the site as both a resource and a measuring stick – if it was lavishing attention on a new band, we at least had to ask ourselves why we weren't doing the same: By then, our value as a trustworthy and consistent filter had waned.

Robert MacFarlane is apparently aiming to be the next Dale Peck. He's made a fatal blunder, though. Peck made his reputation as the literary world's preeminent hatchet man with "Rick Moody is the worst writer of his generation," an opening damnation that has everything: it's short, easily memorable, and carries the weight of objective judgment. It will appear in Moody's obituary.

MacFarlane has the advantage of publishing in the New York Times, as opposed to the New Republic. But his opening gambit misses the mark: too long to remember, explicitly wedded to the reviewer's subjective experience, and lacking a famous name on which to hang itself in the cultural memory. Here we go:

Every few years, as a reviewer, one encounters a novel whose ineptitudes are so many in number, and so thoroughgoing, that to explain them fully would produce a text that exceeded the novel itself in both length and interest.
Nice try, Bobby Mac.

One year ago, amidst the rubble caused by Hurricane Katrina, George W. Bush promised that the Gulf Coast's shattered treasures would be rebuilt:

"Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- he's lost his entire house -- there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch."

And now, on this tragic anniversary, the president acknowledges just how little has been accomplished:
“United States Senator Trent Lott had a fantastic house overlooking the bay. I know because I sat in it with he and his wife. And now it’s completely obliterated. There’s nothing.”


A great little Iraq scener from James Glanz, for some reason buried deep inside Week In Review.


A few years ago, the NYT used Condoleezza Rice's name on what was meant to be an anonymous quote, leading to this amusing correction:

Because of an editing error, a front-page article yesterday about diplomatic developments in the Iraq crisis misidentified the Bush administration official who said about the weapons inspectors in Iraq, "At some point it will become obvious that it's time for them to go." It was an administration official speaking on condition of anonymity, not Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's national security adviser.
Well, it looks like Rice's next angry phone call goes to Warren Hoge and Steven Erlanger, authors of the lead story on yesterday's U.N. resolution, which includes this anonymous-but-poorly-disguised quote (emphasis added):
If faced with an imminent threat, a senior American official said, “then yes, Israel can respond.” Nonetheless, she added, “We expect a large-scale reduction in violence, and we’d expect the large-scale bombing to stop."


Woahh! Some big news at my old job. I knew changes were in the works but didn't expect it to be splashed across the NYT! Good for Nick I say.