Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Misadventures of Michele and Murdoch

To keep our heads from exploding over the debt-ceiling debacle, it’s time to turn back to figures who keep public life from being boring. After a summer of Charlie Sheen, Donald Trump, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Anthony Weiner, Americans badly need a fresh dose of the peculiar and piquant to divert their attention.

Michele Bachmann fills the bill so well that Jon Stewart devotes a long segment to having Jerry Seinfeld try to cure him of taking cheap shots at the “gay cures” of her therapist husband, even as the Iowa GOP frontrunner is backing off her screed denouncing homosexuality as slavery and now has to defend herself from charges of membership in a church that calls the Pope the Antichrist.

Unless Republicans lose their senses entirely and nominate her, however, Bachmann will be only a passing diversion compared to the emergence of Rupert Murdoch in all his slimy glory, not only in the British scandal that shut down his News of the World and blocked his BSkyB takeover but in a rising bipartisan clamor here over charges that his “journalists” hacked into voicemail accounts of 9/11 victims.

Republican Rep. Peter King is asking the FBI to investigate, as Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez writes to the Attorney General:

“It is horrifying to consider the possibility that the victims of the 9/11 tragedy would be victimized again by an international newspaper seeking information about their personal suffering.”

Murdoch isn’t running for president, but his standing in the media world is not looking too secure as politicians and real journalists start to sense that the Fox News emperor has no clothes.

Now, back to Boehner and Eric Cantor...

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