Friday, January 9, 2009

The Secret of The Secrets of Cafe Milano

That the Slate editors thought to give Mickey a word cloud for his tags is pretty hilarious:

However, the major problem with the graphic is that there is no font large enough to hold "Immigration", "Labor Unions" and "Liberalism", thus creating an illusion of topical diversity even as the ratio of the Big Three to Everything Else ("terrorism", "economy", "pundits on boats") approaches infinity.

One prominent tag, however, failed to ring any bells for this alert reader, and "The Secrets of Cafe Milano" is kind of strange, even by Mickey's standards (e.g., "coyness"). An quick scan reveals that it has something to do with Bill Richardson, and I'll assume that this was a mistaken tag, unless Cafe Milano does hold the secrets to Tony Rezko, Marc Rich and/or the inadequate response of the Mumbai security services (a topic that Mickey, professional alchemist, is able to turn into a jeremiad against the liberal MSM).

"Cafe Milano", a Washington restaurant, appears to refer to this March 2007 Kausfiles Klassic (regarding Bill Richardson):

Kf 's tip for reporters and others hoping to help the pecadilloes make the ontological transition from unfounded to founded: Ask around at Cafe Milano, D.C. ...

Mickey later refers to Richardson as the "Cafe Milano Candidate" (and I see what you did there with the word in bold, Mickey!), a moniker which has caught on about as well as "Mr. Aflatoxin" (Jeffrey Goldberg) and "Caterpillar" (Adam Nagourney).

The funny thing is that the Bill Richardson scandal Mickey was pushing with the "Cafe Milano" codeword ("peccadilloes", "skirt", HINT HINT) has absolutely nothing to do with the actual Bill Richardson scandal that took him out of the running for Secretary of Commerce.

[Then again, what do I know? He could have met the Beverly Hills-based consultants in D.C. Maybe he hired them to do work for the State of New Mexico at Cafe Milano. Perhaps that's where he solicited kickbacks, over veal ravioli in a red wine reduction. And then had sweet, sexy sex with them, over there in the coat check.]

Of course, being stuck holding the wrong scandal doesn't deter Mickey from labeling his coverage of the comparatively boring Richardson imbroglio with the sexy-time nickname. Like a spoiled kid begging for partial credit from a teacher ("So what if Abraham Lincoln didn't write the Declaration of Independence? American president, important document, close enough, right?"), you can't help but admire his gumption as you roll your eyes in disgust.