Saturday, February 07, 2004

Look for the anti-Kerry forces to somehow use these screaming headlines from the Enquirer: "John Kerry's Secret Life Exposed: Affairs With Stars, Drug Abuse, Plastic Surgery." But the lurid story isn't so lurid after all: he dated movie stars such as Morgan Fairchild when he was single, he admits he smoked pot and an unnamed "political insider who has followed Kerry's career for years" (i.e, anybody willing to take a check from the Enquirer) claims Kerry had plastic surgery to remove an inch from his chin. Surprisingly, no mention of Botox.

But as Hotline noted: "Inside Track" reports, Kerry's "secret life" is "splashed on the cover of this week's National Enquirer." But while details "are a big yawn for longtime Kerry watchers, the rest of the country may find it rather entertaining!" The "Special
Enquirer Investigation" starts "with an old galpal's claim that "Kerry "is so vain, he 'always wanted to make love where he could see himself in the mirror.'" The investigation "also reveals that he's an admitted pot smoker who had an eye for Hollywood honeys, namely Morgan Fairchild, Michelle Phillips and Catherine
Oxenberg." There's Dana Delaney too, "whose hot date with Kerry
included a screening of his 'war films.' And lest we forget the 22-year-old blonde who was spotted around midnight 'dropping off her resume' at Kerry's Louisburg Square home while wife Teresa Heinz was in Nantucket." A "bored, but bemused Kerry watcher": "After Bill Clinton, this doesn't seem very shocking, does it?"
(Fee/Raposa, Boston Herald, 2/5).

The grab-bag of warmed-over dirt doesn't compare to Clinton's affairs, but expect it to work its way into the mainstream media through blogs, late-night comedians and sanctimonious discussions by mainstream columnists about "How far should the media go in reporting a candidate's personal life?" That was the "angle" that originally got Clinton's pre-Monica affairs on to the front pages and TV discussion shows, including Nightline. Or the media mavens might adopt a cynical, so-what? approach and still pass along the so-called dirt to a broader public, as, for instance, "Art Levine Confidential" and the Boston Herald are doing. Have we no shame? I guess not.

In the meantime, those worried about Kerry's electability and questionable ties to special interests can check out this "Anybody But Kerry" blog and, of course, Mickey Kaus's commentary, links and round-up of anti-Kerry stories.

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