WHISPERS

U.S. News: Washington Whispers has some interesting tidbits, most notably:

Nader’s 9/11 Plan
Get a load of this: Likely 2004 third-party presidential hopeful Ralph Nader thinks the 9/11 terrorist attacks wouldn’t have happened if he had been president. He claims that amid all the big decisions new presidents have to make after inauguration, he would have ordered cockpit doors to be hardened against attack. He says an old report warning about how easy it is to get in the cockpit still sticks with him. What’s more, he would have wiped out Osama bin Laden and his gang without a shot being fired. How? Bribe Osama’s friends to hand him over.

Man, if only those silly Democrats hadn’t wasted their vote going with Al Gore, we could have prevented a major tragedy.

This is also interesting, as it goes against the conventional wisdom (or, at least my longstanding conception): Advice from a seasoned Pulitzer Prize-winning political reporter to Gary Hart, Bill Clinton, and other pols with a wandering eye:

The next time you get the urge, pick a paramour who won’t blab. And, adds retired Associated Press legend Walter Mears, don’t blame the press when you get caught. Mears should know. He covered every presidential campaign from JFK to George W. Bush and reveals in his juicy memoir, Deadlines Past, that Kennedy got away with it because he kept his sex life secret, not because reporters covered up for their presidential pal. “Even if they can’t prove it, reporters trade gossip,” says Mears. “Even at last call in the bar, I didn’t hear any,” he tells us. Be assured, he adds, if reporters had the skinny on JFK and Marilyn Monroe, “it would have been nuclear.” But “his affairs were secret because he saw to it,” Mears says in the book, out in October. “Not so with Gary Hart or Bill Clinton–they got involved with talkative women.” Sure, Mears concedes, times have changed and news has become more gossipy. But, “A story is no story unless you can prove it.”

(Hat tip: John Lemon)

FILED UNDER: US Politics,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. John Lemon says:

    I really doubt that the JFK-Monroe affair would have been exploited by reporters. The defining break in US journalism comes with “Woodstein’s” reporting on Watergate. From that point on, it seems as if the mission of reporters has been to try as hard as possible to shoot down a politician. Prior to that, there was more interest in simply reporting “policy news” and let “boys be boys,” (so to speak).

    (Of course there were other scandals in politics that were reported prior to Watergate, but the press has become adversarial after 1973.)

  2. James Joyner says:

    That’s what I’ve always thought. Plus, of course, NYT v. Sullivan came in 1964 and radically changed libel laws vis-a-vis public figures.

  3. Paul says:

    What’s more, he would have wiped out Osama bin Laden and his gang without a shot being fired. How? Bribe Osama’s friends to hand him over.

    Now… Correct me if I am wrong but havn’t we had a 10 million dollar price tag on this guy’s head for over a year now??? How many of his friends turned him in???

    Nadar is insane.

  4. John Lemon says:

    We shoulda given that money to build Islamic daycare centers.