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February 9, 2005

The missing link

Many thanks to the crew here at Easongate for including me, I hope I prove worth it.

As the Eason story continues to burn across the blogosphere like wildfire, yet only bubble up in the MSM - some folks have wondered just how far this thing can go - and what sort of staying power it might have. And specifically, to answer and agree with Jim Geraghty and the Powerline guys - here are my thoughts.

Permit me to recount a story almost forty years old. If you've been involved in movement politics, you might be familiar with the story of "Jackass #1 and Jackass #3". Back in 1968, Dave Treen almost beat then-Democratic Majority Leader Hale Boggs in a tight Lousiana Congressional race. During that campaign, Republicans put a lot of effort and energy into a mass-based youth campaign for Treen.

Now, as youth often does - the coordinators showed a lack of judgement. A stunning, mind-boggling lack of judgement just weeks before the election. The kind of boneheadedness that could surely sink a campaign. (you can email me for details if you like)

When the young men's superior and mentor found out what they had done - he knew that he had to take drastic measures to protect the campaign, and he did. The boys were sequestered in a Louisiana basement and permitted NO contact with anyone for the duration of the campaign. The campaign KNEW that no matter how the story broke in the newspaper, without actual photographs of the respective Jackasses, it simply would never get the continued coverage and legs it would deserve.

In the end, the story (amazingly) never made the newspaper, and this tale is told every year to young conservative activists primarily as a lesson in responsible (and irresponsible) campaigning. It does, however, add a little context to the Jordan situation.

If Eason Jordan and his employers at CNN are successful in supressing the videotape of the Davos panel - if the millions of news consumers are never permitted to see the footage of Eason's remarks - then we in the blogosphere will be hard-pressed to harness the long-term outrage necessary for change. Not impossible, just very very difficult.

So I strongly encourage you - keep up the pressure on Mark Adams, it's the most important piece of the puzzle.

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