SO HOW WE DOIN’? This is just the beginning. Our site continues to be programmed and designed as we speak. By next week all features will be in place and up and running. The important thing is that we have a roof over our heads and a place to meet. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Plus some very big plans.
AN ALL-TIME BRADY BUNCH: Yes, it was a super Bowl — though our own extended pre-launch activities didn’t leave us much time to watch New England’s great performance. We did notice, however, that on most every down N.E.’s defense “outphysicaled” St. Louis. The team that can play hardest and smartest the longest wins. Hero Ty Law summed up: “I don’t think they took us for granted. But I don’t think they knew they were in for the kind of fight they were in for.” Now if only the game had been played under an open sky — it’s not real football if it’s not preceded by a flyover by U.S. military jets.
WILL AL HAVE THE LAST LAUGH? In Washington, at least, everyone was yukking it up at Al Gore’s expense even before his major speech in Nashville last Saturday night. Most notably, Richard Berke’s report in Sunday’s New York Times said North Dakota Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan “laughed uproariously when asked about supporting Mr. Gore again.” Fellow Democrat John Breaux added, “You have to be likable before they can vote for you.” But what’s not to like? Al retains his profile-inviting beard, and didn’t bother to wear a coat and tie despite the importance of the Nashville occasion. C-Span viewers saw something else: Al repeatedly lurching away from the podium to move closer to his audience. It’s as if he were keeping in shape for the next time he has a chance to physically intimidate a debate opponent on the stage. Don’t think he’ll go away. The key item in Berke’s story was the backer who told Berke that though Gore may be unpopular in Washington, “in the base of the party, there’s still a great deal of support for Al Gore.” Besides, he has history on his side. As the supporter noted, “When I worked for Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, nobody in Washington wanted them. Currently, a similar thing is going on with Al Gore.” We stand warned.
WHY IT’S WORTH READING ELLEN GOODMAN (SOMETIMES): Because next to Margaret Carlson, Molly Ivins, and Anna Quindlen — oh, and Arianna — she’s the next best thing to Hannah Arendt. Her recent column on Enron tries harder than most pundits to capture a bigger picture. Sure there’s anger among the ex-employees, but also “lingering bewilderment, sadness, warring feelings of being foolish and fooled, self-deceptive and deceived.” Locals tell her about a Kenny Boy “who rode the elevator with this employees, shared photos of his grandchildren,” and “had his finger in every good cause in the city.” “Trust has gone bust,” Goodman concludes about Houston,” but at least she also notes how a former employee quoted from her 401(k) form: “Remember, you’re responsible for your own money.”
A CRUEL AND UNUSUAL HIRING: “Oh, tell me will you darlin’, why you look so bad tonight? They’s bags around your eyeballs which is red instead of white.” Is that what Roger Ailes was singing when he hired Greta Van Susteren for Fox? (The lyrics are from “Temptation (Tim-Tayshun),” a number one song of 1947.) Look what’s happened to her. Washington Post TV columnist Lisa de Moraes calls Greta’s surgical remake “a witness protection program eye job.” From now on you’ll recognize her only if you keep your eyes closed. How long before we forget she helped turn CNN into the Clinton News Network?
DIVISIONS AT THE WASHINGTON POST: “Belichek, Martz Set For Coaching Duel,” ran a headline to a Saturday Post Super Bowl preview story. “Trim the Coaching Commentary, Please,” Post columnist Michael Wilbon’s headline pleaded in the same sports section. He’s sick of everyone’s being “stuck on the topic of coaches” and seeing players “become secondary in the competition equation to the grand puppeteers.” Makes you wonder what he thought about his page’s terrific top story on “legendary” coach Bob Knight, “back in the saddle” at Texas Tech. P.S. On post-Super Bowl Monday no one was disputing that one brilliant coach had outfoxed the other.