for Wednesday, December 12, 2001...
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THE COMEDY VOTE
Jokes Remain, but Politex Shows Signs of "Partisan War's" Burden
By BILL BRASIN, Bush Watch Reporter, 12.23.01
AUSTIN, TX. - He may have been a wartime editor during the recently concluded battle for votes that ended in a tie between Bush Watch and Bartcop in the "Partisan Warfare" category of About.com's political comedy poll, but Editor Jerry Politex was hardly solemn during a meeting at Bush Watch headquarters with a handful of reporters last week, days after he threw out the first pitch of a Round Rock Express game at Dell Stadium.
"He said, `I didn't know then that Round Rockers could wave with all of their fingers!' " recalled Roy Blabb, a Missouri reporter who is close to Mr. Politex.
"This was serious business," Mr. Blabb said of the burdens on the editor, "but he has definitely not lost his sense of humor."
While he still cannot resist a joke or two (even ribald ones), dozens of friends and advisers who have spent time with Mr. Politex said in interviews that during the duration of the voting at About.com (http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/bldotcomedy2001.htm ) he conducted himself far more seriously than he had before.
Friends say that while Mr. Politex usually appears upbeat - and is trying to convey a sense of normality - the Bartcop voting attacks and their campaign aftermath have weighed on the editor far more than the lowest moments of his Bush Watch coverage of the grueling presidential campaign between Al Gore and George W. Bush.
"It's aged the hell out of him," said reporter Garry Pundit, who for years has been close to Mr. Politex. "Look at his hair. Look at the lines on his face. It's incredible, the toll. He's the only guy in history who had to take lessons to get that grin off his face. He's a jokester. But right now he's probably consciously trying to avoid that stuff. That would weigh on you enormously."
Describing the demands on Mr. Politex as unimaginable during the campaign, he went on to say, "Good grief. He went to bed at night not knowing when the next Bartcop partisan would go into a virtual polling booth at About.com with lunch, dinner, and a change of underware, and not come out until the blisters on his voting hand turn to callouses.
Given the solemnity of the voting for the best "Partisan Warfare" site on the web, several of Mr.Politex's friends say, he had restrained his natural jocularity but also sought a balance so as not to set too gloomy a tone.
Some of Mr. Politex's friends say his strength lies in what he was often ridiculed for during his Bush Watch coverage of the Gore-Bush campaign: ignoring the facts and not delving into the big picture.
"My personal view is that complexity in an editor is not a helpful thing," Blabb said, "and certainly not a helpful thing in a voting crisis."
Despite the view - not universally shared by his friends - that Mr. Politex has aged visibly, he has been working out even more rigorously since the voting campaign ended last week.
"The fact that he's running a thirty-seven-minute mile now attests to the discipline he's bringing to his whole life right now," said Mark Miwords, Mr. Politex's chief consultant during the comedy campaign. "He has more snap, more energy, more focus." (Before last week, Mr. Miwords said, Mr. Politex was 27 to 30 seconds slower.)
Some of Mr. Politex's oldest friends say they regret that they have not heard from the Bush Watch editor since the comedy voting war. But, they insist, they understand.
"He doesn't write; he doesn't call," said a tongue-in-cheek Mahatma Kane Jeeves, who has known Mr. Politex since junior high school. "But somebody described him as the least neurotic person on the planet, and I think that's true. In terms of the big picture he has a sense of buoyancy, of calm, of focus, which came in handy in a situation like this where it had been very easy to get confused and scared under the Bartcop avalanche of votes."
Testosterone-Charged Bartcop Mob Takes Over Comedy Polling Headquarters
By Bill Brasin
PALM BEACH, FLORIDA --In the lead by thousands of votes but fearing a sudden surge in voting by Bush Watch and Free Republic, an unruly mob of Bartcop supporters took over the offices of About.Com's Comedy Division and demanded that Daniel Kurtzman, head of the 2001 Political Dot Comedy Voting Awards (http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/bldotcomedy2001.htm), be removed from his post unless he allowed Bartcop representatives to monitor and possibly challenge all votes favoring Bush Watch and Free Republic coming into the office's vote counting computers from the Comedy Division's voting booths that have been set up on its web site. The mob's demand was for round-the-clock supervision of the count until the polls close on Friday, December 21. The Bartcop mob's demands, however did not include a request for supervision of the votes for Media Whore's Online, a subsidiary of Bartcop.Com, or for Lucianne.Com, which is dead last in the sub-divison voting for "Best Site For Partisan Warfare." The leader of the mob (#1 in the above photo) who identified himself as a "loyal reader of Bartcop," complained that Free Republic and Bush Watch were taking advantage of flaws in the outmoded equipment used in the election: "There's no way Free Republic and Bush Watch could have garnered enough votes to get within 7,000 votes of us, no way at all." When asked to explain how over 5,000 Bartcop votes were recorded during the first 15 minutes of the poll opening on the first day of the election, he answered, "Yeah, well how did those other web sites get so close to us after we forged into the lead? No way, something must be wrong with the equipment or something, and we should have our representatives on hand so there's no hanky-panky."
While our calls to Comedy Division's Kurtzman went unanswered, his comments on the polling web site (http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/bldotcomedy2001.htm)suggest that the Bartcop mob leader's protestations may have been exaggerated: "All voting in the 2001 Political Dot-Comedy Awards is being conducted in strict accordance with Florida election law, utilizing state-of-the-art polling equipment recently purchased on eBay." Kurtzman's intern, Ms. Abba About, whom we were able to interview briefly at the Comedy Division's offices, added to her boss's web comments: "Bertcap readers should have no fear about the election polling not being on the up-and-up," she said. "You still may find it possible to double-punch ballots or engage in other electoral shenanigans. We urge voters not to do so, as it could impact negatively on their karma, for which About.com cannot be held responsible. If we discover any flagrant polling abuses, we will invalidate votes and adjust the final vote count accordingly. Those voters also may be subject to trial in a military tribunal."
We were informed by an unidentifed woman who answered the phone at the Enid, Oklahoma offices of Bartcop.com that Mr. Bartcop would return our call and answer any and all questions as soon as he got back from a tequila tasters convention is Las Vegas. Through e-mail, we were able to reach Free Republic's Mr. Skin Head, director of public relations, who said, "F*&% Bartcop. And I mean this with all due respect." We also talked to Mr. Jerry Politex of Bush Watch by phone from Austin, Texas. Politex remarked, "I specifically informed loyal Bush Watch readers that anyone could vote for any candidate over and over and over and over and over and over, but I told them they shouldn't do that and thanked them in advance for not doing that. Sorry, I can't talk any more right now. I'm working on a long overdue story about Bush and Enron and my readers are getting testy about the delay."
As for the poll pundits, the message they have gotten is that voting in the "Best Site for Partisan Warfare" category, the category which includes Bartcop, Bush Watch, Free Republic, Media Whores Online, and Lucianne.com, has stirred up the most voter interest, garnering over 15,000 votes as of 6:30 p.m. this evening, overshadowing all other 11 categories by a wide margin. As the chart below indicates, this category's closest competition is "Best Humor Columnist" with over 10,000 fewer votes, and its most distant competition is "Best E-mail Forward" with over 14,000 fewer votes. In all, the "Partisan Warfare" category has gotten over 30% of the votes cast in all 12 categories. Postulated poll pundit Paul Prather, "perhaps the 'partisan warfare' political protagonists prefer proper procedures peppered with political pugilism of a partisan persuasion, as the premise of the category appears to imply."
2001 Political Dot-Comedy Awards
Total Votes In Each Category
December 11, 6:30 p.m.
Total Votes In Each Category
December 11, 6:30 p.m.
Best Humor Coverage: War on Terror
Best Bin Laden-Bashing Site
Best Doctored Photo or Parody Picture
Best E-mail Forward
Best News Spoof or Satirical Publication
Best Parody (Ongoing)
Best Cartoon Site
Best Site for Jokes or Top 10 Lists
Best Humor Columnist
Best Site for Partisan Warfare
Best Site for Political News and Entertainment
The views expressed herein are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of Bush Watch. Permission of author required forBush Watch is a daily political internet magazine based in Austin, Texas, a non-advocacy site paid for and edited by Politex, a non-affiliated U.S. citizen. Contents, including "Bush Watch" and "Politex," (c) 1998-2002 by Politex. The views expressed herein are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of Bush Watch. Permission of author required for reprinting original material, and only requests for reprinting a specific item are considered. The duration of the working links is not under our control. Bush Watch has not reviewed all of the sites linked to our site and is not responsible for the content of any off-site pages or any other sites linked to our site. Your linking to any other off-site pages or other sites from our site is at your own risk.
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