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Sunday, June 13, 2004

Am just back from sneaking into one of the city's hotel pools, my only survivalist tactic for summer in Santa Fe. I don't understand how a county with more than 125,000 people in it can only have one outdoor public pool. It's one of the few things I miss about the east coast: access to water all summer long without having to think about it. Well, and men with ambition. Anyway, my interview with Jorge Ramos went well, once I finally managed to have it. Missed the first scheduled one by inverting east coast with mountain time, an amateurish mistake I haven't made in a long time, if ever. So I ended up talking to him while he waited for his flight to Miami in La Guardia. The interview will be in the Reporter in two weeks, prior to his booksigning at Garcia Street Books. We had an interesting talk. He is convinced that first-time Hispanic voters will decide the 2004 presidential election, and he seems to have the numbers to back it up. It makes me a bit desperate to amp up the voter project and really send a message to the people we're registering, not just register them.
The New York Times had some hit or miss journalism today regarding politics and the like. Their John Kerry profile started so dopily, comparing Kerry to a caged hamster and then going on to talk about how restless he is on the open road ( a hamster on the open road?) that I wondered, as I have increasingly of late, if the editors at The Times have just lost their minds. Of course, give the scrutiny they've been under, and all the weird ways they are trying to respond to readers and clearly appeal to other demographics, I can see how it would be hard to edit under those circumstances. Or at least I think I can. I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoy Daniel Okrent's Public Editor column. He's been focusing, lately, on the issue of anonymous souces, trying to establish this notion that an anonymous source's relationship with a journalist is implicitly a contract. The anonymity granted in exchange for valid information. If the information proves not to be valid, says Okrent, the anonymity is no longer guaranteed. Discussion of this idea was an assignment for our last editorial meeting, and both Brendan Smith and Zane Fischer, The Reporter's staff writers, did some research on this notion in the journalistic field and found no one who thought it was an established tenet or a particularly good idea.
The Times also had an article on The Political Divisions in the US that hypothesized that it's not people in America who are divided, but the parties and political insiders who have grown more polemical and created the illusion or idea, perhaps, of this 50/50 country. Finally, they had a piece in which it was speculated that old rhetoric and political activism is hackneyed and being replaced by newer ways of activism. That article is titled Hey Hey Ho Ho Those Old Protest Tactics Have to Go, Hey, as an editor, you have to appreciate the clever headline. Speaking of which, I have a cover story of my own to edit, so that's it for now.