« Dead men take no bribes | Main | Choosing your fights carefully »

"Never pick a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel"

In the old days, that was sound advice -- don't get into public arguments with newspapers. With the explosion of new forms of media, it's still pretty good advice -- especially when the guy who doesn't like you is a newspaper columnist AND a radio talk-show host who's syndicated around New England, AND who arranges for his radio show to be streamed on the internet.

Such a guy is Howie Carr. Howie is a long-time "ink-stained wretch," a newspaper guy from way, way back. He also dabbled in TV news and commentary, and has had his own talk show for a good ten years or so. Howie knows pretty much all the dirt around Massachusetts politics, and has absolutely no compunction about sharing his knowledge. And he shares it in every way he can find -- despite his public persona as a bit of a technological Luddite, he's pretty much up on the web.

Lair Simon briefly used the tag line "Piss me off, and I'll name a subdomain after you." He's done Dear Abby Is Full Of Crap, Arianna Huffington IFOC, Saddam Hussein IFOC, Yassir Arafat IFOC, John Kerry IFOC, George Bush IFOC, and Tom DeLay IFOC.

Howie does it one better: he puts up whole domains about those he despises.

Boston's mayor is a truly miserable hack, as well as borderline incoherent in public. Years ago Howie stuck Thomas M. Menino with the name "Mumbles," inspired by the Dick Tracy villain, and it's stuck like a thorn in Menino's paw. Recently, as he ran for his fourth term as Boston's mayor (he ran the first time on a vow to serve no more than two terms), his campaign bought up all the variants of his name and nickname they could think of to keep his detractors from using them.

But they missed one. Howie and his gang grabbed it, and plastered it with every horrifying, hilarious sound bite they could get their hands on.

But Mumbles is local, small potatoes. Massachusetts has two Senators who have national prominence, and Howie can't stand either of them.

Years ago, when John Kerry was struggling to make his mark and get outside the considerable shadow of Massachusetts' senior senator, started showing up on local news programs at the drop of the hat. It was almost impossible to turn into an evening newscast without seeing some kind of comment from Senator Kerry. Howie hung the nickname "Liveshot" on him, and it's stuck ever since. And that's wwhere Howie's "tribute" to the failed 2004 Democratic presidential nominee got its name.

Finally, there's that Senior Senator mentioned above. Howie has a special loathing for Ted Kennedy. Others have referred to Edward Moore Kennedy (named after Edward Moore, the family chauffeur) as "Senator Splash" or "Chappaquiddick Ted," among others, but Howie goes for the simple whenever possible And he's collected as much dirt on Teddy as he has, and stuck it all on a very special tribute page.

Forget the "buys in by the barrel." Nowadays, it's a microphone and a web site that you need to fear.

Comments (7)

You know, righties like you... (Below threshold)

You know, righties like yourself always complain about "ad hominem" attacks, saying that names like "Chimpy McFlightsuit" aren't fair.

Yet, when some no-talent hack makes a few poorly-designed sites, you say it's an obvious threat to the liberal establishment.

That's rich.

Greg, Did you even r... (Below threshold)

Did you even read the damn post?

Do you know what blog you're at?

Greg, it's not about whethe... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Greg, it's not about whether or not the site's well-designed or not -- it's the content. It's a triumph of substance over style.

And you'll notice that a huge percentage of it uses their own words and images to make their point...


Boston deserves the governm... (Below threshold)

Boston deserves the government it votes for.

New Orleans is the same way.

One of the interesting thin... (Below threshold)

One of the interesting thing about bond movies ( seriously) is that the change of villians truely reflects the times.

"Tommorrow never dies" .. Not the best Bond film but it did show something that no other bond film has taken into account. Communication and presentation of the media and the power behind it.

I used to think that power was in the realm of the war powers of a govt. Yet after I learned more of history and the organization of govts through the ages, I decided to change it.

MEDIA is the true power. If someone controls what other people are learning or talking about. That makes far more power then anything else. Politicans know this by buying ads on TV. As does Major industries who buy both product placement in movies and bill boards at major events.

Ted Turner has often been joked about how influencial he can be. Yet the power of communication and repetition is so intrinsic to the human mind, it truely can shape our perception of reality.

Those who have the influence to use the media have the responsibility to use it fairly. Problem is, would it matter if they didn't.

For Example:

How often is the National Enquirer read?

Am I the only one to find i... (Below threshold)

Am I the only one to find it curious that Teddy was named after the chauffer? Or was that a joke? Because if it was not, just what was Rose up to?

Interesting. The web filter... (Below threshold)

Interesting. The web filter software blocks fatboy.cc as "tasteless." I work in a federally-owned facility, although the facility, including the information technology department, is operated by a contractor.

Does this seem like a case of the federal government blocking political speech?

I am posting anonymously but will check back for comments.






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