Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I knew Matt Drudge would get this story out – I just did not realize his method would be so similar to mine. After I posted my thoughts on Kerry’s obvious facial enhancements, I sent Mr. Drudge a link to my blog, hoping to influence his take on the subject (and maybe get a link out of it). I was woken up this morning by my friend Ryan who was shocked by the similarity of Drudge’s photo arrangement, underscored by the headline “New and Improved Kerry Takes New Hampshire!” to what I had posted on Sunday. Obviously, I was not the only person to send Drudge information on the Kerry/Botox phenomenon – but I may have helped inspire the headline. Who knows?!

Drudge tops my commentary by obtaining and posting the following audio excerpt from a Kerry interview on Boston’s WRKO 680AM.

Kerry is asked to “categorically” deny “the reports that he has used Botox or any other cosmetic surgery.” Kerry twice repeats that he has “never even heard of it,” and in effect dismisses it as a useless story. Hmm…

I believe Kerry may have done himself a great (or may I say, grave) disservice by claiming ignorance. Perhaps his upgraded appearance is simply the work of a great makeup artist. Regardless, can he really get away with saying he has never even heard of Botox? His wife certainly has made no secret of her love affair with the drug and his campaign is being peppered with a steadily increasing number of questions about his upgraded appearance. “Never even heard of it?” Come on, John F’ing Kerry

Many politicians still underestimate the power of the Internet to carry a story – but this is going to be another lesson in why getting away with a lie is a hell of a lot harder in 2004 than it was in 1974. Thirty years ago, this story might have created a passing interest in a few curious souls, but those interested in digging deeper did not have the ability to connect with other like-minded individuals also interested in the story behind the story. If the producers at the major news networks did not think it warranted further inquiry, it would eventually die away, or perhaps not even see any light of day at all. The net allows for stories to create a massive momentum through the sheer multitude of cooperative interest in any given subject – and this can happen almost overnight, particularly when the story has national implications. And there is nothing Peter Jennings can do about it…

Undoubtedly, Kerry was not expecting Drudge to obtain a copy of this local interview and broadcast it to ten million people, many of whom are lying it wait to discover an inconsistency in his candidacy. People love taking down the king of the mountain and Kerry is a king in trouble. Just like the Dean Scream, this is going to blow up in a way that Kerry is not prepared for (or else, he would have used a more honest approach to the radio question). Trust me. This is going to be the next national obsession of the moment – and it will not go away until there is a resolution and/or casualties (Kerry’s campaign, perhaps?).

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