For a good time call ... ?
You lovers of the political gossip blogs (or all things steamy and
innuendo-based), may have clocked that one of San Antonio's own was
accused last Monday of being the real reason Senator Trent Lott of
Mississippi is stepping down before the end of his term. While the
official rationale was intimated to be money -- Lott would like to move
to ex-lawmaker lobbying Valhalla before stricter relocation
requirements kick in -- Big Head DC purported to break the story that
Lott had been documented frollicking (in cyberspace, anyway, and maybe
also on a sunny Florida beach) with Benjamin Nicholas, a pseudonymous
local gay escort with an international clientele, who wrote a freelance
article for the Current
last year about the Woodlawn Theatre. BHDC's Rob Capriccioso claims to
have "email and other documents" supporting the allegation, but his
proof so far has consisted of email protestations from Nicholas
-- which, to be fair to BHDC, start out coy, referring to Lott as
Trent, and suggesting that the Senator would appreciate some slack. By
the end of the day Monday, however, Nicholas had posted an unequivocal denial on his tasty
blog, 15 Minutes.
Backlash ensued: Huffington Post called Big Head a liar; Dan Savage of Seattle's The Stranger (where
Nicholas has also freelanced) at first wondered why Capriccioso would
pick a San Anto escort out of the blue, then came valiantly to Nicholas's defense after Big Head
refused to produce the smoking gun (or a used holster, even).
Nicholas, meanwhile, has declined to speak on the record about the
incident beyond his official denial.
Capriccioso, for his part, tells the Current: "Just like
any other journalistic organization, we are obliged to put our cards on
the table at our leisure. Just because some commenters and bloggers
have claimed that we have an obligation to reveal information in
specific ways does not make it so." Asked whether Nicholas had
threatened legal action (e.g. libel), he replied, "No comment," which
if we follow BHDC's rules of email engagement means "Yes! (Harder!
Despite the acid criticism from the virtual West Coast, BHDC refuses to
bow, and hasn't yet responded to follow up questions such as: Are you
ever going to show us the money? Are you holding out for a big-media
paycheck? Will we see you on Anderson Cooper 360? Etc.
In any event, either this is the lull before the media firestorm (major
news reporters camped out around the clock at your favorite taqueria!
ABC has already called looking for our elusive multi-talented writer),
or Nicholas's no-comment strategy is working and Capriccioso's
no-confirmation approach is backfiring, because the story hasn't perked
much since Savage's put-up-or-shut-up charge. The Current is hunting
around for some facts with which to write an actual new story, but we
don't have any yet -- don't worry, though, we haven't
finished going through our entire escort rolodex.
The other red meat
Now, some ranch bidness we didn't have room to include in the
Thanksgiving week Queque, wherein we discussed the imminent gathering
of the proletarian forces of Texas Agriculture, the Texas Farm
Bureau, convening in Waco this weekend to forge an 81st-lege
hammer with which to smash once and for all Perry's Trans-Texas-Corridor land
grab. The farmers will also be taking up the protein-rich Beef Checkoff, whose coffers are
filled annually to the tune of $80 million or so ($1 for each and every
head brought to market), a dowry so golden it was once responsible for
the marketing mega-hit "Beef. It's what's for dinner."
Unfortunately, the annual per-cow tithe to the quasi-governmental
program has remained the same since Checkoff's 1985 inception while
inflation has raced ahead, leaving critical pieces of the square-meal
revolution on the media-buy floor: Commercials, yes, but also
educational outreach in schools (to counteract the misinformed folks
who keep telling kids to eat chicken), and more food-safety research on
such topics as "Who let the E. coli back in?" and "Someone please
explain to those effin' Japs that our beef is just as good as theirs."
So ... where were we? Let me put down this napkin ... and my steak
knife ... ah, yes, the TFB will vote this weekend on doubling that
paltry 1 to a 2. If their can-do attitude is contagious at the American
Farm Bureau level, look for more pro-breef propaganda -- er, research
and marketing -- at area grocery stores and elementary cafeterias.