There’s that “B” Word Again

An old joke down in Washington (as I’ve heard) is that inhabitants have a peculiar method of reading books: index first. Of course, “Washington” is a metonym for American politics, and the index-first urge is a natural one for anybody who may find his own name (or that of another person or an organization about which he cares) in a political book.
That is why, although I’ll confess that my interest in political memoirs in general and Steve Laffey’s in particular is a nearly inaudible hum, this line in a front-page Providence Journal piece on his forthcoming book caught my attention:

The narrative travels from debates and behind-the-scenes strategy sessions to advertisements and door-knocking and the Laffey campaign’s efforts to seed its message into political blogs and radio talk shows.

The “B” word appears again in Darrell West’s review in the Books section:

He says he has no regrets about his campaign and he blames “shameful journalism,” unfriendly newspaper columnists, aggressive bloggers, and national figures such as Karl Rove and the D.C. Republican establishment, which poured millions of dollars into ads, direct mail, and opposition research attacking him.

Honestly, I don’t expect to find Anchor Rising in Laffey’s index. We weren’t particularly “aggressive” during the primary season, for one thing. For another, I don’t believe that we played that large of a role in either his momentum or his defeat. But then again, I don’t recall any blogs figuring very largely in the saga, so perhaps some adviser — of either a political or literary sort — put the “B” word so prominently in the marketing vocabulary of Laffey’s book because “blogs are hot,” or some such headline phrase from a marketing trade publication.
That said, if anybody who reads Laffey’s book comes across a paragraph akin to the following made-up possibility, I’d be interested to hear about it:

My staffers so harassed the comment sections of Anchor Rising (the state’s uninspiring conservative blog) that the Web site’s contributors seriously considered closing down the interactive feature altogether.

If the book is of the Tell All variety, perhaps we’ll finally learn who posted under which nicknames.

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Suzanne Arena
Suzanne Arena
16 years ago

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