Wednesday Notebook

Operation Narrow Stall: My friend Pete alerts me to a groundbreaking piece of investigative journalism from the Washington Post: One of the paper’s bloggers went all the way to Minnesota to cover Senator Larry Craig’s heroic withdrawal of his guilty plea for disorderly conduct (next from Senator Craig: a patent filing for a “a method and device for getting toothpaste back in the tube”). While he was in Minnesota, said blogger visited the very restroom where Senator Craig made/didn’t make sundry sordid advances to an undercover cop earlier this year. The blogger’s conclusion: The stalls in the restroom are very narrow, so maybe Senator Craig’s assertions about his intentions being mistaken aren’t as ridiculous as they sound. The blogger even discovered that there were scraps of toilet paper on the restroom floor — just as Craig has insisted there were the night of his arrest. Wow. This is starting to sound like something Oliver Stone could run with. As Pete says, “If our nation’s media had directed this level of scrutiny to the bush administration’s pre-war machinations, how different the world might be. …”

Grisly Find: By way of my brother John, this AP item in the Times, datelined Maiden, N.C.: “Man Buys Smoker, Finds Human Leg Inside.” It’s a classic of the “bondage file” genre as we called it at the San Francisco Examiner (“The Monarch of the Dailies,” R.I.P.). The key graphs:

“The smoker had been sold at an auction of items left behind at a storage facility, so investigators contacted the mother and son who had rented the space where the smoker was found.

“The mother, Peg Steele, explained her son had his leg amputated after a plane crash and kept the leg following the surgery ‘for religious reasons’ she doesn’t know much about.

” ‘The rest of the family was very much against it,’ Steele said.

“Steele said her son, John Wood, plans to drive to Maiden, about 35 miles northwest of Charlotte, to reclaim his amputated leg, police said. ”

… Or Two Balls: I half-heard something on the radio during the Giants broadcast Tuesday night that I found a little hard to believe I was really hearing. An ad from a local group promoting testicular cancer awareness. And the group’s name: the Have A Ball Foundation.

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