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Bacanovic Of Time

Plus, a billionaire blogger and Late Night with ketchup.

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October 18, 2004

Bacanovic Of Time
While Martha Stewart is now safely sequestered in her minimum-security corner of West Virginia, her co-defendant, Peter Bacanovic, is waiting to hear from the Supreme Court. The duo were sentenced on the same day to the same five months inside and five months’ house arrest. Both were allowed to postpone hard time until their appeals were heard, but Stewart decided to get it over with. Bacanovic, meanwhile, is hoping for a constitutional miracle: He’s waiting to hear if the Supremes decide to throw out federal mandatory minimum sentencing (an issue argued before the court on October 4). Bacanovic’s defense team is under the impression that the judge who sentenced him might have given him a lesser punishment if it weren’t for the pesky guidelines. So if they’re struck down, he plans to ask. Nicely. “Peter is weighing his options,” says his spokesperson. “And we’re aggressively pursuing his appeal.”
—Carl Swanson

Le Web, C’est Moi
Billionaire George Soros jumped on the blogging bandwagon October 1, with GeorgeSoros.com. Unsurprisingly, it’s a site designed to explain to voters “Why We Must Not Re-Elect President Bush,” and he’s not exactly playing by the usual overcaffeinated, poorly-socialized-monomaniac blogger rules: Three aides read e-mails that come into the site (15,000 to date) and cull representative samples (a few dozen from several categories), to which Soros responds in longhand. The aides also send Soros postings from various blogs—Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo, in particular— which they discuss as Soros formulates his response. Surprisingly, the blogosphere has been pretty receptive to Soros—he’s “one angry rich dude,” blogger Rex Hammock says approvingly. According to Technorati.com, 243 blogs already link to him. There’s a kind of voyeuristic eagerness to it: “Seeing what Soros is reading, hearing what he thinks about what he reads,” is part of the attraction, says Buzzmachine.com’s Jeff Jarvis. “Getting inside the billionaire’s brain.” Traffic’s taking off after Dick Cheney mistakenly directed debate viewers to factcheck.com. The Cayman Islands–based company that owned the domain redirected people to Soros. “We had nothing to do with it,” says a Soros aide “[But] we had to get a new server.”
—Elizabeth Spiers

Pass The Mustard
Late Night With Conan O’Brien bandleader Max Weinberg got a window into the Heinz family secrets when he went on the trail for John Kerry last winter. He barnstormed across Iowa and New Hampshire in an RV with blink-182’s front man, Tom DeLonge, and Teresa Heinz Kerry’s son Chris Heinz. “We were in a diner and I had a new ketchup bottle,” says Weinberg. “I’m shaking it like crazy, and Chris says, ‘Let me do that—it’s my area of expertise.’ He tapped it lightly and the whole thing started to flow!” Later this month, they’re hitting the road again for one last-ditch get-out-the-vote campus jamboree across ten states.
—Greg Sargent


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