While the rest of you were watching the former mayor of New York, squiring his third wife, mocking the Democratic nominee for president as “cosmopolitan,” Detroiters were waiting to see if their mayor was going to jail now or later. Kwame Kilpatrick’s plea deal, being crafted in the wake of a quasi-impeachment hearing yesterday, was on, then off, then on, and then it rained and everybody went home. Today it’s most likely on; no one expects K2 to be mayor at the end of the day. Every picture of him taken recently shows him in another of his fine suits, steepling his hands against his mouth and scowling.
The sticking point is jail time. He’s facing 10 felony counts, and the prosecutor wants him to do at least a few months behind bars. The people of Detroit, meanwhile, prove eminently quotable: “The mayor shouldn’t go out like a punk.” “He’s an empty suit and the next suit he’s going to wear is a pinstripe suit.” “The man spent his whole life trying to be famous. Now the best he can do is be infamous.” (May I just say? It’s nice to see the owner of a barber shop knows the difference between fame and infamy. Gives me hope for the language.)
UPDATE: That’s all, folks.
Meanwhile, Peggy Noonan got caught telling the truth — see approximately nine million other sites for audio and transcripts, or click the following link — but Scott Rosenberg brings up the greater point: Where was all this honesty in Noonan’s column?
Now, if Peggy Noonan wrote a column every week that was as honest with her readers as she is here, with her colleagues, when she thinks the microphone is off, I would read it religiously. She’s part of a world that I don’t inhabit. But now I have a bright picture of the fact that she’s not writing what she knows and believes.
Exactly right. Exactly. And if there’s one thing that makes reading the best blogs so refreshing and reading most newspaper commentary a little like being stuck in an airless room, it’s this. Of course Noonan is a GOP operative with a high-paid sinecure on a right-wing editorial page, and she’s expected to represent for their side. She’s a columnist now, but could be a speechwriter in a Republican administration by this time next year. Nevertheless, it’s true: Too many writers simply aren’t honest with their readers, and even if you can’t put your finger on it precisely, it’s obvious when it’s happening. It’s why Mitch Albom is so grating, a guy who made millions writing a book advising others to slow down, savor, smell the roses — and uses it to catapult himself into a stratosphere of hyperactive multi-platform media personality-fying that ensures all of his work gets half his attention. People know he’s a fraud, even if they can’t quite say why.
The reason so many people writing for newspapers hedge and qualify and cavil is, they have more to lose. Jim Harrison uses a line every so often, something about consecrating every day and writing like your hair’s on fire. That’s it.
Bloggage: Moving van arrives at Detroit’s mayoral mansion, then leaves. If it’s someone’s idea of a joke, it’s a pretty good one.
Many are writing about Sarah Palin’s speech last night, but Roy’s one-liner won’t be beaten: Governor Palin’s address tonight was basically Reba McEntire doing a one-woman show on the life of Phyllis Schlafly.
Finally, anyone want to babysit Friday night? Alan and I are going to see the Dirtbombs:
(Hell, maybe she’s old enough to come along, too.)