The Breakfast Table

Is Drudge Done?

Tucker,

Let me choose my words carefully: Donald Trump is the single most repulsive person on the planet. Not since Anna Nicole Smith has such an extraordinarily big boob been mistaken for a celebrity. For me, the problem is only partly his hair, which is absolutely a toupee. (Trust me. Some people have gaydar; I have rugdar). And it’s a terrible toupee. Can’t he pay someone to tell him how bad it looks? If I left the house looking like that, my wife would change the locks. But even worse is the slit-eyed, phony-baloney pout, the one he presumably thinks makes him look serious-minded. I’ve spent the last eight years watching one middle-aged lothario manipulate his lower lip for emotional effect in the Rose Garden; I don’t need to see another. Both problems, of course, pale by comparison to the Her Issue, as in: What the hell is a girl like her doing with a guy like him? How does he get supermodels to spend more than a minute with him? Not that I really want to know the answer. Donald Trump dating–and other unmentionable gerunds–is more than I care to contemplate.

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But I’m happy to contemplate the sorry state of the Reform Party. Other than the Donald, not a peep from those quarters lately, huh? Ventura has dropped out of sight. Perot has remained out of sight. Beatty is watching Out of Sight (OK, a stretch, but work with me). And Buchanan is probably out buying Hanukkah gifts. The undoing of Pat, whom you wrote about quite nicely in the last Talk, is arguably the most interesting story of this campaign. He’s incredibly smart and telegenic–it’s always fun to watch him spar on TV, even if I disagree with him–but he’s shown himself to be a helpless captive of another era, a two-prong outlet in a world of three-prong plugs. His tin ear on the Hitler stuff–his inability to recognize that it wasn’t what he said but what he seemed to say–was baffling; imagine what he’d have said if Al Gore had played footsie with the Commies. And his cozying up to Lenora Fulani, whose great contribution to society is to make Al Sharpton seem statesmanlike, is nuts. When George W. hugs Hispanics and calls it compassionate conservatism, we all think: OK, this is who he is; he’s credible. But any time Pat’s in a room with an African-American, you wonder: When’s he gonna call 911? The shame is that the old Pat is buried beneath all that. I just saw an early cut of a great documentary on George Wallace that will play Sundance in January and then air on PBS’s American Experience in April. Pat’s on camera defending Wallace, sort of, but his energy and intelligence and authority are unmistakable. You walk away just plain liking the guy.

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Apropos of not liking someone and not having any authority to speak of: Do you think Matt Drudge’s days are numbered? First he goes all Randall Terry on us and gets bounced from Fox. Now the Hartford Courant says he’s irrelevant. (Yes, the Hartford Courant. Aren’t you surfing the Web site of Connecticut’s finest papers?) The essence of the story, which I found on the hidden gem of the Internet, mediagossip.com, is that he hasn’t broken any stories since Monica and has seen his unique selling proposition usurped by other would-be Web Winchells. That sounds about right. But damned if I don’t look at the Drudge Report every day.

Regards,
Evan

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