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Shocking Inside DC Scandal Rumor: A Media Ethics Dilemma
Ron Rosenbaum.com ^ | 10/29/07 | Ron Rosenbaum

Posted on 10/30/2007 6:09:13 PM PDT by jimboster

So I was down in DC this past weekend and happened to run into a well-connected media person, who told me flatly, unequivocally that “everyone knows” The LA Times was sitting on a story, all wrapped up and ready to go about what is a potentially devastating sexual scandal involving a leading Presidential candidate. “Everyone knows” meaning everyone in the DC mainstream media political reporting world. “Sitting on it” because the paper couldn’t decide the complex ethics of whether and when to run it. The way I heard it they’d had it for a while but don’t know what to do. The person who told me )not an LAT person) knows I write and didn’t say “don’t write about this”.

If it’s true, I don’t envy the LAT. I respect their hesitation, their dilemma, deciding to run or not to run it raises a lot of difficult journalism ethics questions and they’re likely to be attacked, when it comes out—the story or their suppression of the story—whatever they do.

I’ve been sensing hints that something’s going on, something’s going unspoken in certain insider coverage of the campaign (and by the way this rumor the LA Times is supposedly sitting on is one I never heard in this specific form before. By the way, t’s not the Edwards rumor, it’s something else.

And when my source said “everyone in Washington”, knows about it he means everyone in the elite Mainstream media, not just the LA Times, but everyone regularly writing about the Presdidential campaign knows about it and doesn’t know what to do with it. And I must admit it really is was juicy if true. But I don’t know if it’s true and I can’t decide if I think it’s relevant. But the fact that “everyone” in the elite media knew about it and was keeping silent about it, is, itself, news. But you can’t report the “news” without reporting the thing itself. Troubling!

It raises all sorts of ethical questions. What about private sexual behavior is relevant? What about a marriage belongs in the coverage of a presidential campaign? Does it go to the judgment of the candidate in question? Didn’t we all have a national nervous breakdown over these questions nearly a decade ago?

Now, as I say it’s a rumor; I haven’t seen the supporting evidence. But the person who told me said it offhandedly as if everyone in his world knew about it. And if you look close enough you can find hints of something impending, something potentially derailing to this candidate in the reporting of the campaign. Which could mean that something unspoken, unwritten about is influencing what is written, what we read.

Why are well wired media elite keeping silent about it? Because they think we can’t handle the truth? Because they think it’s substantively irrelevant? What standards of judgment are they using? Are they afraid that to print it will bring on opprobrium. Are they afraid not printing it will bring on opprobrium? Or both?

But alas if it leaks out from less “responsible” sources. then all their contextual protectiveness of us will have been wasted.

And what about timing? They, meaning the DC elite media, must know if it comes out before the parties select their primary winners and eventual nominees, voters would have the ability to decide how important they felt it to the narrative of the candidate in question. Aren’t they, in delaying and not letting the pieces fall where they potentially may, not refusing to act but acting in a different way—taking it upon themselves to decide the Presidential election by their silence?

If they waited until the nominees were chosen wouldn’t that be unfair because, arguably, it could sink the candidacy of one of the potential nominees after the nomination was finalized? And doesn’t the fact that they “all” know something’s there but can’t say affect their campaign coverage in a subterranean, subconscious way that their readers are excluded from?

I just don’t know the answer. I’m glad in a situation like this, if there is in fact truth to it, that I wouldn’t have to be the “decider”. I wouldn’t want to be in a position of having to make that choice. But it’s a choice that may well decide a crucial turning point in history. Or maybe not: Maybe voters will decide they don’t think it’s important, however juicy. But should it be their choice or the choice of the media elites? It illustrates the fact that there are still two cultures at war within our political culture, insiders and outsiders. As a relative outsider I have to admit I was shocked not just by this but by several other things “everyone” down there knows.

There seem to be two conflicting imperatives here. The new media, Web 2.0 anti-elitist preference for transparency and immediacy and the traditional elitist preference for reflection, judgment and standards—their reflection, their small-group judgment and standards. Their civic duty to “protect” us from knowing too much.

I feel a little uneasy reporting this. No matter how well “nailed” they think they have it, it may turn out to be untrue. What I’m really reporting on is the unreported persistence of a schism between the DC media elites and their inside knowlede and the public that is kept in the dark. For their own good? Maybe they’d dismiss it as irrelevant, but shouldn’t they know?

I don’t know.


TOPICS: Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2008electionbias; abedin; bimboeruption; file13; huma; humaabedin; latimesscandalrumor; mediacollusion; mediaethics; octobersurprise; ratcrime; rumorcentral; yourrighttoknow
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To: jimboster
Since the LA Times is actually debating whether to release the story or not, I'm betting it's Obama

The ethical dilemma for liberals could be trying to decide whether to run it now against a Republican hopeful, or sit on it in hopes of slaying the Republican Presidential Candidate. Sort of like CBS's ethical dilemma about when to release stories they had (or pretended they had) on Bush.

51 posted on 10/30/2007 6:26:59 PM PDT by SampleMan (Islamic tolerance is practiced by killing you last.)
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To: jimboster
Why are well wired media elite keeping silent about it?

One answer: They're dishonest. It's not like the "well wired media elite" (sic) have been completely honest with us and many of us know it.

52 posted on 10/30/2007 6:27:14 PM PDT by sionnsar (trad-anglican.faithweb.com |Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: jimboster
everyone regularly writing about the Presidential campaign knows about it and doesn’t know what to do with it

Hard to believe that, withe all the reporters covering the campaigns, EVERYONE keeps their lips shut...

53 posted on 10/30/2007 6:27:30 PM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: jimboster
It raises all sorts of ethical questions.

What about private sexual behavior is relevant?

Anything concerning a Republican, nothing concerning a Democrat.

What about a marriage belongs in the coverage of a presidential campaign?

Anything that acts to the advantage of a Democrat or embarrassment of a Republican.

Does it go to the judgment of the candidate in question?

Trick question, right? Correct answer: it depends, class altogether, on whether said candidate is a Republican or a Democrat.

Didn’t we all have a national nervous breakdown over these questions nearly a decade ago?

I don't know about you, but was fine. Clinton embarrassed himself so thoroughly that even the MSM couldn't cover up for him.

Just call me Professor of Journalistic Ethics. You can play along at home, kids.

54 posted on 10/30/2007 6:27:35 PM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (NYT Headline: Protocols of the Learned Elders of CBS: Fake but Accurate, Experts Say)
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To: jimboster
I feel a little uneasy reporting this

He never reported anything. Just went on and on about a rumor and hearsay. Bunch of talk with no real subtance. Lots of inuendo, but no meat to anything said.

Nothing but teasers IMHO and the way I see it, he should either come out and say directly what it is he is talking about, or don't write about it at all.

55 posted on 10/30/2007 6:27:41 PM PDT by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: wimpycat

OK


56 posted on 10/30/2007 6:27:57 PM PDT by Anti-Bubba182
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To: Enchante

Bill Richardson has a lot going on in the sex department but who cares?


57 posted on 10/30/2007 6:28:05 PM PDT by woofie
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To: Eagles6
Obviously fiction. Journalists don’t encounter ethical or moral dilemmas.

Kind of like an ethics problem like this: A and B go into business and decide to split all the profit 50/50.

One day a client comes in and overpays his bill to A.

The ethics problem is: should A keep the overpayment for himself, or split it with his partner B. - Tom

58 posted on 10/30/2007 6:28:05 PM PDT by Capt. Tom (Don't confuse the Bushies with the dumb Republicans - Capt. Tom)
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To: jimboster

Not Obama. Its Hillary and 3 or the 4 woman on The View!


59 posted on 10/30/2007 6:28:12 PM PDT by Holicheese (1-21-09 Hillary starts to destroy America!)
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To: doorgunner69

LOL! You’re right.

This could be about a Republican, you know. Let’s see. Giuliani? Thompson? Romney? Huckabee? McCain?

If he says it’s “juicy” if true, then look at the squeaky-cleanest Republicans, which in this context would be Romney and Huckabee.


60 posted on 10/30/2007 6:28:21 PM PDT by wimpycat (Hyperbole is the opiate of the activist wacko.)
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To: jimboster

Am I the only one who thinks it could be ... Rudy?

Just a pure guess, but that guy has enough baggage to fill a sinkhole.


61 posted on 10/30/2007 6:28:44 PM PDT by Oliver Optic (Never blame on strategery that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.)
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To: Snickersnee
I say Edwards — and that means they were scooped by the Enquirer. The article says it is NOT.
62 posted on 10/30/2007 6:29:10 PM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: jimboster
...the paper couldn’t decide the complex ethics of whether and when to run it

IOW, depending on whether the candidate is a Republican/Democrat when can it do the Most/Least damage.
63 posted on 10/30/2007 6:29:23 PM PDT by HEY4QDEMS (Sarchasm: (n) The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.)
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To: jimboster
if you look close enough you can find hints of something impending, something potentially derailing to this candidate in the reporting of the campaign. Which could mean that something unspoken, unwritten about is influencing what is written, what we read.

What hints have we seen?

Hillary's coverage hasn't been quite as fawning, but I don't know if that's a hint.

64 posted on 10/30/2007 6:29:47 PM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: jimboster

Since he ruled out Edwards- it has to be Obama, Hillary, Mitt, Fred or Rudy.

Interesting- sooner or later it’s going to get out.


65 posted on 10/30/2007 6:30:11 PM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: Capt. Tom

“A” should return the overpayment to the client. Or is this a trick question?


66 posted on 10/30/2007 6:30:20 PM PDT by wimpycat (Hyperbole is the opiate of the activist wacko.)
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To: kalee

I agree Kalee. If its a repub they are going to sit on it, wait for the worst moment for that candidate to release it, and then fall back on the ol’ “ethics” line as their reasoning for sitting on it. They really do think they are smarter than most people. To them, Freepers and Rush fans are just dumb hicks with shotguns and bibles.


67 posted on 10/30/2007 6:30:24 PM PDT by ChinaThreat (s)
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To: Eagles6

There is only one answer to this. First premise, modern journalism knows no standards or ethics. What fits the desired template gets reported, whether true or not. What goes against the desired template gets spiked, regardless.

For this reason, we know they aren’t talking about a republican. Therefore, my guess is Hillary or Obama, whom the press wants protected.

Simple.


68 posted on 10/30/2007 6:30:52 PM PDT by prov1813man (While the one you despise and ridicule works to protect you, those you embrace work to destroy you)
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To: jimboster
the point I wanted to make is that when you read elite DC political reporters writing about the campaign it may well be that they're writing from a perspective affected by something they're not telling you about.

Who are the "elite" DC reporters?

69 posted on 10/30/2007 6:31:24 PM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: jimboster

Bingo. It can’t possibly be a republican or it would already be on the front page everywhere.


70 posted on 10/30/2007 6:31:36 PM PDT by lawgirl (She comes on like thunder and she's more right than rain)
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To: Babsig
That is true. Could it be Rudy? A gay relationship? Hope not.

Gary

WatchingHillary.com


71 posted on 10/30/2007 6:31:47 PM PDT by GaryLee1990 (www.WatchingHillary.com)
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To: jimboster
But the person who told me said it offhandedly as if everyone in his world knew about it. And if you look close enough you can find hints of something impending, something potentially derailing to this candidate in the reporting of the campaign. Which could mean that something unspoken, unwritten about is influencing what is written, what we read.

Here's the clue in this piece.

I can't figure it out, but the journalist given us a clue...so who is being reported about with a "hint" of something impending?

72 posted on 10/30/2007 6:32:04 PM PDT by dawn53
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To: PetroniusMaximus

OK, its actually Mike Gravel having senior sex with Chris Dodd! Joe Biden joins in every third thursday for “Salad” night!


73 posted on 10/30/2007 6:32:46 PM PDT by Holicheese (1-21-09 Hillary starts to destroy America!)
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To: jimboster
Ron Paul is involved with this woman:


74 posted on 10/30/2007 6:32:51 PM PDT by woofie
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To: CatoRenasci
3) A documented verifiable homosexual relationship on Obama's part .

That's good for a 20 point bump in the polls if you're a dim.

75 posted on 10/30/2007 6:32:55 PM PDT by SampleMan (Islamic tolerance is practiced by killing you last.)
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To: Izzy Dunne
this rumor ... is one I never heard in this specific form before

Interesting turn of phrase, indeed. Makes me think this involves Hillary, who's been dogged by rumors for years, but nothing specific.

76 posted on 10/30/2007 6:33:53 PM PDT by JennysCool (Don't taze me, Bro!)
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To: woofie
The term was "leading" Presidential candidate.

I don't think Bill qualifies.

77 posted on 10/30/2007 6:34:00 PM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: jimboster

It can’t be Obama. Joe Biden has vouched that Obama is , “..articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. “


78 posted on 10/30/2007 6:35:21 PM PDT by csvset
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To: jimboster

If the MSM’s debating it - it’s dem — they protect their own... Or it’s a Republican they don’t want to “fall” yet... bias makes ‘em soooooooo predictable.


79 posted on 10/30/2007 6:35:28 PM PDT by GOPJ (When it makes you mad -- "ping & grrrr" -- Freeper:pandoraou812)
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To: dawn53
I thought Matt Drudge would be on top of it...but he's wrapped up with the Dem debate.

Gary

WatchingHillary.com


80 posted on 10/30/2007 6:35:30 PM PDT by GaryLee1990 (www.WatchingHillary.com)
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To: woofie

Be ready for responses from folks that can’t tease out the irony from your post.


81 posted on 10/30/2007 6:35:30 PM PDT by Chaguito
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To: CatoRenasci

A typical family pattern that results in a child becoming homosexual is an absent father and a dominant mother. It doesn’t always work out that way, but it does fairly often.

I bring up the possibility because, when you think about it, that seems to be the story of Obama’s life. He had two fathers, both Muslims, both difficult or absent; and a dominant, trendy, rich hippie mother.

Sure, he’s married, but politicians often use marriage for cover.

This is purely speculative, of course. We’ll see. Or maybe we won’t see. I don’t know how credible this source is.


82 posted on 10/30/2007 6:35:49 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: jimboster
The way I heard it they’d had it for a while but don’t know what to do.

This screams "Democrat".

If it were a Republican, we'd have read it already.

83 posted on 10/30/2007 6:36:13 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (Jet noise. The Sound of Freedom. - Go Air Force!)
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To: Izzy Dunne

I agree — the “in this specific form” would seem to imply that it’s someone with a well-known history of scandal. That would point to the ‘toons or Giuliani. But who knows?


84 posted on 10/30/2007 6:36:57 PM PDT by ellery (I don't remember a constitutional amendment that gives you the right not to be identified-R.Giuliani)
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To: jimboster

Why did it take twelve paragraphs to not even say that the muckrakers and scandalmongers have some juicy gossip but have not determined yet how to spin it for the most devastating effect?


85 posted on 10/30/2007 6:36:58 PM PDT by higgmeister (In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: kalee
My first thought, if they’re keeping it quiet it must be a dem, but on second thought, it could be a pubbie and they are just waiting to see if he wins the primary before they release it which would help the dem candidate.

Ding, ding, ding - we have a winnah...

86 posted on 10/30/2007 6:37:54 PM PDT by GOPJ (When it makes you mad -- "ping & grrrr" -- Freeper:pandoraou812)
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To: Izzy Dunne
"this rumor the LA Times is supposedly sitting on is one I never heard in this specific form before." Interesting little clue, there."

Maybe the behavior at issue involves a candidate's spouse?

87 posted on 10/30/2007 6:38:16 PM PDT by joebuck
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To: Babsig

My guess is it is Rudy.


88 posted on 10/30/2007 6:39:26 PM PDT by TornadoAlley3 ( An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping that it will eat him last..)
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To: jimboster

I know, I know, Obama’s in the gay sex tape with Viscount Linley.


89 posted on 10/30/2007 6:39:47 PM PDT by pbear8 (Padre Pio please pray for Tony Snow)
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To: JennysCool
I don't think that's it.

Rumors of Hillary's gayness have been around for years.

Rumors of straight affairs (a la Foster, Hubble) have also been around.

Some evidence of it WOULD be in that specific form.

A DIFFERENT form would be Hillary with a different species, possibly vegetable.

Hillary's been around long enough to have all sorts of rumors bound.

I'm betting O'bama, because, despite all evidence, they call him a "leading" candidate.

And they wouldn't sit on a Republican scandal.

90 posted on 10/30/2007 6:40:33 PM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: Daralundy

yup Daralundy , .. it took all the way to 16 posts to “Ring da Bell”


91 posted on 10/30/2007 6:40:38 PM PDT by Dad yer funny (FoxNews is morphing , and not for the better ,... internal struggle? Its hard to watch)
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To: jimboster
Translation...It's a Democrat. Keep an eye on the Drudge Report.


92 posted on 10/30/2007 6:41:11 PM PDT by darkwing104 (Let's get dangerous)
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To: jimboster; Izzy Dunne; All
By Jove, I think I've got it!

Hillary’s Mystery Woman: Who is Huma? http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1872041/posts

It's from last April ... and had me and a lot of others wondering. This woman, the article says, "lives with the Clintons."


93 posted on 10/30/2007 6:42:28 PM PDT by JennysCool (Don't taze me, Bro!)
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To: jimboster

If it were a republican, we’d have heard it by now, splashed everywhere. And a lesser candidate like Breck Girl or Obama wouldn’t cause this much consternation. Hildebeast may take a big hit. My guess is the democrats would rally around her.


94 posted on 10/30/2007 6:43:17 PM PDT by Kevmo (We should withdraw from Iraq via Tehran. And Duncan Hunter is just the man to get that job done.)
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To: jimboster

“I know something you don’t know.” - Ron Rosenbaum, 3rd Grader


95 posted on 10/30/2007 6:44:04 PM PDT by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll. <br> "What happens if neutrinos have mass?")
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To: joebuck
Maybe the behavior at issue involves a candidate's spouse?

Well, then it couldn't possibly be Hillary, because everything under the sun has been rumored about Bill.

96 posted on 10/30/2007 6:44:12 PM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: neodad

The story?

Hillary’s a MAN, baby!


97 posted on 10/30/2007 6:44:17 PM PDT by snowrip (Liberal? YOU ARE A SOCIALIST WITH NO RATIONAL ARGUMENT.)
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To: jimboster
Eighty percent of what the news media diseminates is shaped for political effect. If this story is genuine it must be about an individual the news media supports. The source of the story is probably an opposing candidate. The reference to “ethics” and the Los Angeles Times in the same column is a joke.
98 posted on 10/30/2007 6:44:26 PM PDT by Brad from Tennessee ("A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.")
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To: xcamel
Or Chelsea's real last name is Hubble

Naw, old news. ;)

99 posted on 10/30/2007 6:44:41 PM PDT by kAcknor ("A pistol! Are you expecting trouble sir?" "No miss, were I expecting trouble I'd have a rifle.")
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To: Kevmo

Well, if it’s a Republican it’s better we know now than later. They can’t hurt with this.


100 posted on 10/30/2007 6:45:42 PM PDT by CindyDawg
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