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I am struggling for a way to observe the passing of a friend and mentor well known in Washington but not so much elsewhere.
Doug Bailey called me close to Christmas Day in 1996 to ask if I’d be interested in running The Hotline. It was a no-brainer. I said yes. We had met a few times. Most recently standing in a long line for hot dogs at the 1996 Democratic Convention. We talked about how the media industry was on the verge of a massive transformation from print to online.
The Hotline, which Doug co-founded, was a must-read in DC, a daily synthesis of political news from newspapers throughout the country, “covering the coverage” as he put it. In those days it was mostly sent by fax. He wanted to take advantage of this emerging new thing, the Internet, and knew that I had been involved in creating one of the first newspaper web platforms where I worked, The Orlando Sentinel.
We went on to forge the most rewarding partnership of my career, along with so many great talents, such as Chuck Todd, Vaughn Ververs and Howard Mortman, making The Hotline the most innovative (and yes, quite funny) political news source of its time.
The Hotline barely exists now, replaced by Politico and so many others. And now Doug is gone, passing in his sleep on Sunday night. It’s tough to explain to those who didn’t know him what a generous, witty and brilliant character he was. Some links below to fill the blanks.
A favorite story of his numerous anecdotes from a long life in politics was from his days working for Henry Kissinger in the White House. When Doug and his young colleagues were trying to analyze Soviet strategy about a particularly matter, as smartly as they could, Kissinger responded, “Gentleman, never assume the enemy has a strategy.”
Doug had a strategy, to inspire thousands of young people who came to work for The Hotline, many of them in their first jobs out of college, to love truth, the facts, and most of all, our precious Democracy. His strategy worked, and he leaves a legacy of fun and instructive memories in the hearts and minds of everyone privileged to know him.
- Politico: Known for his fascination and innovation where politics was concerned
- National Journal: The Hotline and friends remember founder Doug Bailey
- CNN: One of the first successful political consultants of the modern era
- Washington Post: A pioneering political consultant
NBC’s Chuck Todd: “He had three distinct and separate successful careers that all had one goal: to make the American political system a little better and a little more noble.”
Doug Bailey 17 years ago envisioning a digital politics future we still need …
How convenient for the Obama Administration to be able to shift the focus from what was leaked, the real story, to the leaker, the lesser story. We’ve seen this before:
Wikipedia: “Daniel Ellsberg is a former United States military analyst who, while employed by the RAND Corporation, precipitated a national political controversy in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret Pentagon study of U.S. government decision-making in relation to the Vietnam War, to The New York Times and other newspapers.”
Ellsberg: “In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden’s release of NSA material – and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago.”
How classical music has more in common with pop than you might think — “Classical is grouped off. People don’t feel that it’s easy to listen to if they don’t know the composer or the piece. You might recognize The Beatles from the moment the song begins, but identifying Ravel — or even knowing who he is — is a lot harder, simply because of lack of exposure. Perhaps if we dedicate some time to exploring how classical can be listened to just like any other genre of music, we can view it as an art form that’s easier to confront and enjoy. … Many people shy away from classical music the same way they do fine art or quality wine. It seems an art form that you need to know something about in advance to enjoy it. I admit I have a hard time understanding this sentiment. To me, classical music is a simple experience — just sit back, listen, and take in your emotional response. Where, when appreciating abstract painting, for example, it helps to know painters were attempting to better depict reality by trading in traditional images for abstract, there’s no similar historical detail anyone really needs to enjoy any form of music.”
ACLU — “Using the Patriot Act, the U.S. government has been secretly tracking the calls of every Verizon Business Network Services customer — to whom they spoke, from where, and for how long. … What we don’t know yet is how many other telecommunications companies have been issued similar orders by the government or what the scope of the government’s program is. … It’s time to get angry. Be part of a strong public outcry against this program by signing the petition immediately and telling your friends so they know what’s happening in this country.”
Science News: “A palm-sized creature sporting a tail longer than its body has given scientists an unprecedented look at one of the earliest phases of primate evolution. An international team led by paleontologist Xijun Ni of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing analyzed this animal’s 55-million-year-old remains, the oldest known primate skeleton. Discovered 10 years ago along an ancient lake bed in central China, the fossil comes from a previously unknown genus and species, Archicebus achilles, the scientists report. … Researchers suspect that primates first evolved sometime between 85 million and 65 million years ago, around the time of the dinosaurs’ demise. Whatever the exact timing, the new Chinese find bolsters the idea that primates started out in Asia.”
Today marks eight years since we launched our little corner of the “internets.” Who knew we’d still be here, wandering our way through the news, politics and life in general. I sure didn’t. And it’s only because so many of you keep showing up, keep interested and keep on keeping on. Thank you!
There ain’t no use in growlin’
And grumblin’ all the time,
When music’s ringin’ everywhere
And everything’s a rhyme.
Just keep on smilin’ cheerfully,
Bristle up and grit your teeth,
And keep on keepin’ on.
I’d just laugh if not for the fact that so many nuts believe this junk. (This guy is actually a psychiatrist, go figure):
Dr Keith Ablow, Fox News: “I believe that the Obama administration is conducting psychological warfare on conservative Americans. Not only that but it is also waging this war on all Americans who previously viewed themselves, their country, their Constitution and their overwhelming belief in God as a force for good in the world … Seen through the lens of psychological warfare, the failure to defend our embassy in Benghazi need not be understood simply as a screw-up. It could reflect an actual strategy on the part of the administration to reinforce the notion that homicidal violence born of hatred toward America is understandable—even condonable—because we have generated it ourselves and are reaping the harvest of ill will we have sown. In other words, we should take our punishment.”
– Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team.
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