My Embargoed Interview with Woodward

Bob Woodward was willing to keep William Mark Felt (Watergate’s Deep Throat) a secret for 30 years until Felt’s descendants decided it might be nice to cash in. On Wednesday Woodward revealed he had interviewed President Gerald Ford about four years ago, keeping his conversation secret until Ford died. As a result, I have decided to offer an interview to Woodward, the details of which are not to be revealed until my death. Among the questions Woodward is welcome to ask are:

Itchy or Scratchy?
Boxers, briefs, or something else?
Who ate my brother’s mint cookies?
Who did I vote for in 2000? Bush? Gore? Nader? Buchanan?
What was my connection to Jodie Foster?
Styx or Journey?
Who really shot JFK? (You never know, I might have some information no one else knows about.)
When I finally hiked to the Y in Provo, how did I “mark” the occasion?
Where have these hands been?
Who was Bob?
Do I want fries with that and do I want to Supersize?
In junior high school where did I often spend my lunch money instead of lunch? (Actually, that will probably get answered in the book I’m writing.)
Was Jane all that?
How many of my sweatshirts ended up in the closets of former girlfriends and how much did that cost me?
Speaking of former girlfriends, how many of mine ended up becoming lesbians?
When I went to my second Springsteen concert in North Carolina, during what song did I decide it was OK to leave to go to the bathroom?

You know how to reach me, Mr. Woodward.

The King is Dead

The King County Journal, as of late January, is no more. We all saw this coming. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote:

Don Kendall, general manager of Black’s newly created King County Publications Ltd. division, made the announcement in the newsroom in Kent, reading from a prepared statement. Forty full-time employees will be laid off.

Eleven Journal staff members will not be laid off. Ten will move to weekly sister publications, and one is moving to the marketing staff, Kendall said. Journal Newspapers employ about 300 people.

We heard that the jobs at other semi-weekly papers Journal employees were encouraged to take pay $12 an hour.

A Few Thoughts on Gerald Ford

By 1976, at the age of 14, I was already a Reagan guy. In 1980 I cast my first vote for Reagan. These days, while I might bicker with some of Reagan’s policies, I don’t think it’s wrong to measure some of his success by how he made America feel about itself. Jimmy Carter was supposed to be the antidote to the Republican scandal machine, and he did have some accomplishments that are noteworthy almost 30 years later. Problem was, he didn’t inspire anyone in his four years. It’s telling that Teddy Kennedy didn’t wait until 1984 to run for president.

Getting back to 1976, I wanted Reagan to beat Gerald Ford. I lived in California and grew up with a family that loved Reagan. So when he ultimately lost to Ford, I didn’t quite understand it. There was at the convention, however, a video presentation that demonstrated what Ford had accomplished in his two years. Mainly, he made us forget about Watergate and Vietnam. So when he won the nomination, I became a supporter.

Now that he has died, he is getting much credit for getting America past our pain. He deserves it. Sure, he had a reputation for clumsiness, but he made tough choices. David Postman, in his Seattle Times blog Postman on Politics, illustrates just one of those choices.

Bob Woodward, of course it’s Bob Woodward, got an interview Ford wouldn’t authorize for release until he died. I gotta ask, what is it about Woodward that he’s holding peoples’ secrets?

Perfect Ending

Sylvester Stallone could have never made another Rocky movie and it wouldn’t have diminished my admiration for at least the first two, and possibly all five of them.

About an hour ago I walked out of Rocky Balboa so glad he did give it another round.

I liked all the Rocky movies, but some of it was because I wanted to like them. I wasn’t a demanding fan, appreciating the occasional return of a screen hero. In a large sense, I was part of the Rocky problem. Stallone could have thrown up Rocky fighting Nacho Libre and I would have plunked down the money to watch it. And I probably would have liked it.

Fortunately, Stallone himself demanded more and delivered a gem.

This film goes back to what was so strong about the first two Rocky films. It’s a human movie that includes a fight, not a fight movie with humans. Sure, you could argue that Rocky Balboa uses the same old Rocky formula — fighter is down, gets a shot, doubts himself, finds some steel within — but this movie deals with life’s punches as well as the ones in the ring. Rocky III did to a lesser extent, addressing how to find desire when you really don’t have to. In Rocky IV they were searching for something for Rocky to be afraid of and found it in our then fear of the day. Rocky V, well, was a mess that I loved anyway.

Rocky Balboa is about someone past his prime still feeling the need to contribute, to be who he is. At times I can relate. It’s a sweet movie that provides perfect closure to the franchise. With this movie, where I once accepted there would be no more Rocky movies, now I find myself hoping there are no more, because this one was a wonderful way to go out.

Stirring the Drink

My video for the Kitsap Sun on what some people suspect is a doctored photo has gotten some attention from elsewhere. Another small daily called and asked for permission to link to the YouTube video. Meanwhile David Postman of the Seattle Times posted it on his political blog.

Here’s the video:



The buyout period came and went and enough people took the deal to make layoffs unnecessary. That’s obviously cool.

Now comes the second part of all of this, wondering if we’re being trimmed to become more attractive to a buyer. One rumored suitor is David Black, a Canadian who owns a few U.S. dailies and a lot of weeklies. He runs things on the extreme cheap and based on what he’s doing with the local twice-weeklies he owns in our market pays no attention to the Web. He’s been described as a printer, not a publisher. The other rumor is that McClatchy, owners of the News Tribune in Tacoma is interested. If we’re to be bought, that would be my preference.

What would really keep me up at night, however, would be if Wendy McCaw decided she were interested. She’s been criticized for her operation of the Santa Barbara News-Press and sued a writer who retold the entire story in the American Journalism Review.

She sued.

Let’s look at this closer. What do people who want to intimidate media outlets do in an attempt to intimidate them into silence? They sue. They attempt to get media companies to settle and shut up to avoid spending thousands on legal expenses. So McCaw, a presumed media person now, sues to shut someone up, demonstrating her understanding of her role in protecting the First Amendment.

Clueless. Absurdly clueless.

In the Light

I’m blogging from my house, by the light of the Christmas tree, using wireless, catching glances at the television. My house. It has electricity again.

Around 6 p.m. I got a call from a neighbor that we were back online.

I about cried. Yeah, I about cried.

University Point Held Hostage – Day 4

There still is no power in our neighborhood and the latest is it might still be days longer before we see relief. Puget Sound Energy said the number of customers without power is down below 200,000 (from 700,000) and many new agencies are acting as if the worst is over. I’ve never been on this end of the swing, the exception portion of the story in which nearly everyone else is back up to standard. Everyone’s asking, “How’d we do?” and we’re over here answering “What, you think you’re finished?”

Last night I went to the doctor to make sure I hadn’t been poisoned by carbon monoxide. Seven hours later I found out I hadn’t.

Some day, maybe Christmas, this will all be a memory.

All joking aside, be clear I know this is a mere inconvenience in comparison to a lot of stuff. I know, and I am grateful.

Side note

Sometimes I go back and read posts and I’m mortified. I should either save myself the grief and stop going back and reading them and just prepare you to accept question marks in unusual places in this product, which is largely first drafts and hit “publish,” or I should be more careful in editing and organizing my thoughts on this here writing thingy before hitting the aforementioned “publish” button. I’ll see if I can’t take more care.


Things are a mess here in the field of Steve.

On Thursday I began getting a sense that I was about to embark on a food-poisoning ordeal. By 8 p.m. I was firmly seated on the toilet confirming my earlier suspiscions when the lights in the bathroom flickered off. They came back on about five seconds later. A couple minutes later they went off again and it’s about almost three days later and they’re still off.
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