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12 February 2006

The Mystery of Time

Don't get all itchy for a profound discussion of Time, the Phenomenon. This is about the last post and Time Magazine.

The Big News was that Time was posting the first photo anyone's ever seen which showed multiple-felony guilty-plea lobbyist Jack Abramoff in the same photo with President of the United States George W. Bush Jr. There've been rumors and verbal accounts -- by Abramoff himself, among others -- that such photos existed, but no media agency has yet released them.

I surfed to Time's website around 13:00 US East Coast time, and Lo! Eureka! There it was! In the foreground, President Bush was talking to a Native-American tribal chairman (he's no longer the chairman), Raul Garza, and in the background there was a bearded man whom the cutline identified as Abramoff; Time drew a red circle around him.

It was the first photo in a 3-photo slide show. The other two photos show Garza with Bush, but Abramoff isn't in these two. (In fact Garza gave the photos to Time.)

Photo 2 and Photo 3 are still there.

As the Abramoff scandal has grown, Bush has denied knowing or ever having met Abramoff. The White House has replied to media queries by denying Abramoff was ever invited to the White House.

The more the White House says a Bush-Abramoff meeting never happened, the more the media has wanted to find those photos.

Apparently Time did, and for about an hour or two, posted them to its website Sunday afternoon.

But then The Smoking Gun Slideshow Photo No. 1 vanished! The cutline

Abramoff is visible to the left
as Bush greets former tribal chairman Garza

is still there. But the Photo is gone!

On one of the most important US news stories of the year, you'll just have to take Vleeptron's word for this: The photo was there!

(Time posted it in some secure way which defeated Agence-Vleeptron Presse's best efforts to boot the thing.)

My guess is, either it's just an innocent (but colossally embarrassing) screw-up, or Time's Big Cock Tease of the Year to get surfers to run out and buy the damn magazine. I shall leave it to other bloggers to accuse Homeland Security of skullduggery. Vleeptron's not accusing anybody.

Besides, White House Press Secretary Scott ("Slavery Is Freedom") McClellan has already admitted that Yup, that's Abramoff with the President in that-there photo. Or Time says he has.

Anyway, this is just sort of weird. First the cat's out of the bag -- and then somebody shoved the poor cat back in the bag. Is it possible that only Bob of A-VP saw it?

No. If Bob saw it, 3.73 x 10^6 other people saw it.

But that's just weird.


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