1. It's 8 Central Time, and Salon is still running the retracted story that a Bush crowd booed when the President asked that people pray for Clinton. Drudge has been reporting all afternoon that the booing story was retracted. Instapundit is linking to this. My question: Was the false report an anti-Bush dirty trick or an honest mishearing of the soundtrack? I've heard the clip a few times on radio and on TV, and there is a confusing sound in the beginning of the crowd reaction that might be people saying "no" or something, but there is a positive crowd sound after that and certainly nothing to justify tarring Bush for failing to chide the crowd. It is such an easy dirty trick to go to the rallies of the candidate you don't like and act like a jackass in one way or another.
2. Do you think it's in bad taste to cover the Clinton surgery story in terms of the effect on the Kerry campaign? Two points I've heard more than once on TV tonight: Clinton won't be able to campaign for Kerry and the Clinton story today is messing up Kerry's chance to respond to the Republican convention. New spin potential: Kerry's lackluster campaign is Clinton's fault. Or, what the hell, why not Kerry's poor campaign is the fault of the fast food industry that put Clinton in his current condition? (And I'm hearing similar commentary about the hurricane: everything that happens can be characterized as depriving Kerry of the opportunity to have his message heard, because anything in the news is keeping Kerry from finally getting his chance to speak to us.)
UPDATE: I'm ashamed of myself for thinking about such things, but I wonder if the Kerry and Bush campaign people are brainstorming about how Clinton's death would affect the campaign. Are the Kerry people speculating that a Clinton death would create warm feelings that would radiate onto Kerry and weighing that against the negatives: that a Clinton death would absorb an immense amount of attention and lead to the replaying of Clinton's best moments that would be so obviously more attractive than Kerry? Are the Bush people running through their own version of the analysis? Are they planning ways to revive the Reagan death story and thinking about the beautiful role the current President would play in any Presidential funeral? Sorry. I love Bill Clinton and want the best for him. When Bush said pray for him, I contemplated praying for him. When Kerry said yell for him, I contemplated yelling for him. Good luck to dear, sweet Bill and to everybody, everywhere with a heart problem or any medical problem of any kind.