"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 11 September 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run XCIX


[introducing yet another suck prodster - i'm erin...aka coolio]

Rumor has it that Michael

Kinsley will soon be packing his

khakis back to the Beltway.

Considering Slate's rather

lackluster performance of late

(page views are said to loll at

about 100,000 a week, and the

content limped through three weeks

of vacation this summer without

being updated), perhaps the real

surprise is that Kinsley's

taking the magazine with him.

Doubtless, the impending move to

Washington, DC, will spur some

hand(job)-wringing within the

select group of sites that

believe themselves to matter (at

least to each other): "Does this

mean Slate will move to print?"

"Does this mean that Kinsley's

given up on the Web?" "Does this

mean that Microsoft's given up

on the Web?" But we thought the

point of this whole Web thing

everyone keeps talking about was

that where you were didn't

matter, only what you said. And

if that's the case, we're sure

that Slate will continue to be

as relevant to Web readers as it

ever was.


[groovy magazine cover]

Michael Kelly, until last week editor of

The New Republic, learned a

couple of valuable political

lessons this week: Do what the

boss says, and don't show any

reaction to the Clinton

presidency other than bored

indifference. In his nine-month

editorship, if Kelly was not

exactly running wild over the

ethical peccadillos of the

Clinton/Gore administration, he

was at least scampering

energetically with something

almost approaching outrage - an

emotion unwelcome in a media

environment in which


hearings are decidedly less

interesting than European

drunk-driving accidents. Kelly

ignored signs that his boss

wasn't exactly behind him 100

percent - magazine owner Marty

Peretz is a former teacher of Al

Gore's, and perhaps the

somnambulant Gore's only fervid

supporter, and Peretz

contributed unsigned pieces

contradicting Kelly's attempt

to get his audience of Beltway

insiders riled over something as

gripping to them as Credit

Mobilier. It is, of course,

nearly impossible to fail

anywhere but upward in the

American entertainment/media

complex (except maybe if you're

Michael Kinsley). Besides,

Kelly crafted a smart and funny

magazine, and failed at nothing

but being smart enough to not

play up to Peretz' notorious

Goremania. Kelly will pop up

elsewhere; Marty Peretz, alas,

we shall always have with us,

and we still won't have any idea

what TRB is supposed to mean.


[hmmm, elton john credit cards - my picture never looked so good]

"Something good must come out of

this tragedy" has been just one

of the maudlin litanies favored

lately by Diana junkies

wallowing in their "pageant of

feelings." And indeed something

has: Elton John has whispered

privately that he will never

again perform "Candle In The

Wind." Our thanks are heartfelt,

though tempered by the five

daily appearances on VH1 of the

dirge's final incantation. It's

unclear whether this welcome

promise covers all three

versions - the original 1974 B

side from Goodbye Yellow Brick

Road, the 1988 re-recorded hit,

or the most recent and most

stilted revision for the dead

Di. But singers often have

trouble living up to such

promises; the same welling-up of

sentiment that inspires the vow

can just as easily break it

years later. One need only

recall, for instance, the "last"

concert in 1974 of one Ziggy

Stardust, aka David Bowie, aka

David Robert Haywood Stenton

Jones, then note Mr. Bowie's

presence on Forbes' 40 best-paid

entertainers list. The man who

fell to earth ranked 16th, with

an income of $63 million - most

of it, $55 million, raised from

investors in the Bowie back

catalog who may or may not put

future set lists to a

shareholder's vote. Now, if only

the presence of those Diana,

Chuck, William, and Harry

look-alikes at the start of the

Spice Girls "Wannabe" video

would cause that monstrosity to

be pulled from the airwaves, we

could all rest easy again.


[hasta - until we meet again.]

When we finally got our grubby

mitts on the August/September

issue of Copy Editor, the first

thing we noticed was the

redesign. Walbaum Book? Ugh!

Actually, we like Copy Editor

especially for its dour but

hilarious topics, and the latest

issue doesn't disappoint: "Was

Gianni Versace assassinated,

murdered, killed, or slain?"

reads one headline. The ensuing

500-word article includes quotes

from no less than four

interviewees on the matter, all

of whom niggled and nitpicked

unstintingly. The final verdict?

"After a while, you say killer,

killing, kill ... It's

monotonous." We couldn't have

put it any better. Oh, wait:

Yes, we could.

courtesy of the Sucksters

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