Monday, September 20, 2004

Black Eye for Time, Newsweek, NYT, Dowd, Globe...or Atrios?

All have reported in various ways that Kerry supposedly said "Who among us does not love Nascar?" (Example: Newsweek).

Except, it never happened.

...or, maybe, big black eye for me! This quote's first appearance anywhere was in Dowd's March 18 column:

Even when he puts on that barn jacket over his expensive suit to look less lockjaw -- and says things like, "Who among us doesn't like NASCAR?" -- he can come across like Collins, Elizabeth Bennet's pretentious cousin in "Pride and Prejudice." Collins always prattles on about how lucky people would be to be rewarded by his patron, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, with "some portion of her notice" and to receive dollops of her "condescension."

It was subsquently picked up by a variety of print outlets (though, strangely, not TV), all of which either didn't source the quote or referenced Dowd. No one has reported exactly where and when Kerry supposedly said this. AmCop put in a request to Bovino for information, and he responded here.

So, Bovino's saying someone at a rally told Dowd about it and a female Times reporter, who was present and later reported on it herself, confirmed it. Bovino must be referring to a July 30 column by Sheryl Gay Stolberg and John Tierney (it's the only "Political Points" column that references it) which came out over 4 months after Dowd's original column. They wrote:

To anyone who has listened to Mr. Kerry extemporize at length -- who among us can forget his ''Who among us doesn't like Nascar?'' remark? -- the thought of the Brahmin from Boston disdaining speechwriters and trying humor seemed odd, shall we say, for the most important address of his career. And the notion of Mr. Shrum, known as much for his rhetorical brilliance as for his managerial firmness, ceding control seemed just as odd.

Rather strange, since the quote hadn't richocheted around cable TV and nor had it been reported in a straight news piece (A few print columns, one analysis piece which sourced it to Dowd, and a couple jokey references at The Note).

Anyway, I probably jumped the gun. But, I would like to know at which rally Kerry supposedly said this. And, whether he said it straight or if it was a bit of self-mockery.

And, no, in the scheme of things this isn't all that important. But, it's curious...