By Jefferson Flanders

With full credit to New York newspaper legend Jimmy Cannon for the phrase: Nobody asked me, but…

WILL 9/11 CONSPIRACY THEORISTS LOOK AT THE CURT SCHILLING “BLOODY SOCK” CONTROVERSY and see the “evil hand” of the Bush Administration in this “false flag,” uh, “false sock” operation? Here are the particulars: Baltimore Orioles broadcaster Gary Thorne claimed that when Schilling defeated the Yankees in the American League Championship Game 6 thriller in 2004— despite sutures in his damaged left ankle—that it was not blood on the sock, but paint—a public relations stunt! Thorne said he had learned that the bloody sock was staged from Red Sox player Doug Mirabelli.

In Red Sox Nation, the idea that Schilling had faked his heroism represents the worst sort of heresy. Mirabelli quickly denied the story, Thorne backed away, and the legend of Schilling’s grittiness appears restored. (Schilling has offered $1 million to anyone who can prove that it isn’t blood on the sock). The bloody sock is now behind glass in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

Conspiracy theorists will not rest easy, however, sensing a Bush conspiracy connection. After all, Schilling campaigned for Bush in New Hampshire in the days just before the 2004 election. So the link is clear: the Bush White House must have sent in the Black Ops team to paint Schilling’s sock so he would look heroic and that hero status could be leveraged with an endorsement of the President. Makes sense, right?

A QUESTION FOR DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE JOHN EDWARDS: did you talk over your $400 haircuts and consultancy for a big-time New York City hedge fund with your political advisors? If you did, and they didn’t see the contradiction with your populist “two Americas” campaign theme, fire them.

THE NORTH CAROLINA ATTORNEY GENERAL, ROY COOPER, HAS RELEASED his report on the Duke lacrosse case, and the bottom line is that Durham County DA’s Mike Nifong prosecution was baseless. (K.C. Johnson of Durham in Wonderland has a full explication of the report here.) Meanwhile, some are apologizing for their part in assuming the guilt of the three Duke lacrosse players involved: the rapper Common has made a public apology, as has staff writer Ruth Sheehan of the Raleigh News & Observer. The Washington Post’s Deborah Howell has admitted that the Post‘s coverage, like that of much of the mainstream media, wasn’t fair to the accused, relying too much on Nifong’s version of events.

IS IT REALLY “IDENTITY THEFT” WHEN SOMEONE USES your Social Security number or name? Or “identity borrowing”? Aren’t they borrowing signifiers of your identity, not stealing them? Is there a doctoral thesis here someplace?

SINGER, SONGWRITER AND PERFORMER JULIE FLANDERS, best know for her October Project connection, will take to the stage at Club Passim in Cambridge, Mass. next Saturday, May 5th. (File under shameless family promotion).

THE WORDS OF THE WEEK from English novelist Anthony Trollope: “It’s dogged as does it. It ain’t thinking about it.”


“Nobody asked me, but…” will appear on a monthly basis beginning in May 2007. The column will be be posted on, or slightly after, the last Friday of the month.

Decreasing the frequency of “Nobody asked me, but…” will allow more time for more specific topic posts, reportage, book and movie reviews, and journalism criticism on Neither Red nor Blue.

Reprinted from Neither Red nor Blue.

Copyright © 2007 Jefferson Flanders

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