"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 12 August 1999. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Hit & Run CXCI



Lord knows we're all for media

diversity. But it's a little

hard to get passionate about the

latest struggle against the

mighty Integral in our own

backyard: the Hearst Corp.'s

purchase of the San Francisco

Chronicle and the now almost

inevitable demise of the

flagship Examiner (Monarch of

the Dailies). While the

afternoon Ex was our preferred

hangover sop, the truth is that

producing a better paper than

the San Francisco Comical was

about as challenging as beating

Nerine Shatner in the 200-meter

freestyle. And while we don't

want to live in a one-paper

town, the combined news heat of

the two papers at their most

competitive barely edged out

such legendary homeless

insulators as the Trentonian or the

New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Nevertheless, we're still hoping

for an 11th-hour bailout.

Itinerant blowhard Warren

Hinckle cites "industry buzz,"

claiming Rupert Murdoch is

preparing to swoop in and accept

Hearst's weasel terms for

purchasing the Ex. And while we

hope he's right, we suspect

Hinckle's idea is the product of

an entirely different kind of buzz.

Closer to home, we're not

counting out the possibility

that Salon's share price may

balloon to 50 or 60 in the next

week, leaving Talbot and company

with enough walking-around money

to buy their former employer and

act out the ultimate

fire-your-boss fantasy.

Meanwhile, though, our real

concern is the more pedestrian

question of what will become of

our favorite columnist in

America, the Examiner's dishless

night-life maven Lord Martine.



People are fascinated by

historical mementos from the

'70s, whether it's "1:55 a.m.

Call police; found tape on

doors ..." or "Best wishes to

Burger King, Home of the Whopper"

(the note President Nixon left a New

Jersey fast-food restaurant). At

least that was the theory behind

the new movie Dick, which opened

at cineplexes across the country

to consumerize the 25th

anniversary of the president's

resignation. Nixon's

never-ending war with the media

meets its ultimate enemy —

artistic license — as the

"abuse of power" article of

impeachment is dramatized by

having two teenagers pursued by

an ominous black truck labeled

The Plumbers. Of course, Nixon's

own handlers had wanted to

exhume Checkers' body and fly it

to Nixon's private museum in

Yorba Linda, where a

heavily edited version of the

smoking-gun tape is already on

display — but several

critics thought the film's White

House dog was Checkers, though

the black-and-white cocker

spaniel who saved the 1952

Nixon-Eisenhower campaign would

have been pushing 30 by the

time the film's events took

place. But no matter how many

aging reviewers gloated, "We

still have Richard Nixon to kick

around," the film earned only a

paltry US$2.2 million last

weekend. Maybe it's a little

generational Schadenfreude that

leaves us unmoved by the film's

failure; we still recall being

called morons by adults who were

trying to convince us that

unreadable drivel like Philip

Roth's Our Gang was actually a

work of scintillating satire. So

despite the film's odd decision

to recast the Watergate hotel's

security guard as a flatulent

Caucasian, we're not surprised

that this modern folk tale

failed to reassure audiences

that "the system works." John

Dean still went to prison, and

Nixon didn't.



We don't care if you love us, as

long as you respect us. Among

all the voluminous hate mail we

received in reaction to Suck's

musical guide for bachelorettes,

the most seething came from

humorless fans of the rhythmless

Dave Matthews Band, who objected

to our claim that any gal

involved with a fan of Dave's

would end up spending a lot of

time explaining how she'd

"fallen down the stairs." As is

often the case, however, events

have proven us right. Tailgaters

at two weekend shows, by the

lukewarm jam rockers, reignited

the new spirit of Woodstock,

with rioting that left dozens

injured, at least one car in

flames, and Hartford,

Connecticut, police short on

rubber bullets. In a typical mix

of morning-after remorse and

denial, one concert goer told

SonicNet, "It shouldn't happen

at a Dave Matthews Band concert.

The music's not about that." You

can continue to ignore the

warning signs or you can listen

to us. Just remember: When

you're telling your story to the

other women in the shelter, tell

them you read it here first.

courtesy of the Sucksters

[Purchase the Suck Book here]