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Old Boys Will Be Old Boys

Arianna Huffington and Mickey Kaus are a bit worked up over James Carville, Paul Begala, and Mary Matalin's appearance on "Meet The Press" this weekend. I'm a little surprised they even watched the segment – I couldn't, having already seen enough Carville and company to last a lifetime. (The James and Mary show has hit "Meet The Press" alone 41 times since 1996, according to Arianna. Mickey says 35 times. But you get the point.)

Take it away, Huff:

James and Mary, plus their straight man Paul Begala, were on to promote Carville and Begala's new book Take It Back: Our Party, Our Country, Our Future -- which, I'm sure to their publisher's immense satisfaction, was mentioned 12 times in the course of the show.

But what made this appearance extra-special is how it was so luckily timed to coincide with Carville's upcoming gig as the host of a sports show on XM satellite radio.

And what made it all even more special is the relationship of Carville's radio co-host to Meet the Press's host…

Any guess who said co-host might be? Luke Russert, a sophmore at Boston College, who "attended two Super Bowls, a World Series, five Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Games, an NBA final, four NBA All-Star Games, two NCAA Final Fours, an NHL Stanley Cup Final, a U.S. Open and The Preakness Stakes," all by age 16! He is also…let me check…yes…Tim Russert's son! What a coincidence! Here's the chummy exchange on the subject between Russert and Carville. Note that they never quite spell out what's going on:
MR. RUSSERT: James Carville, before you go I understand that politics may be part of your past, that you're going to go on XM Satellite Radio and do sports?

MR. CARVILLE: Well, Mr. Russert, I can't talk about that too much, but I think there going to be a story tomorrow's paper. Tomorrow night I'll be on the Jay Leno show on NBC, and we'll be talking about some exciting new developments and maybe a new twist on an old career.

MR. RUSSERT: With anyone I know?

MR. CARVILLE: Maybe you would be familiar with someone I'll be teaming up in this, but let's just say it's going to offer a generational look at sports and the coaches of sports and things like that ...

Wonders Arianna: "Does Tim think nobody's going to notice that he's having a guest on his "news" show who is making it possible for his son to co-host a national sports radio show before he's out of college?"

Kaus goes even further:

One angle Arianna misses is the bad parenting angle. It's one thing if a big star uses his connections to get a job for his unemployed son. Connections help. Stars' sons are often talented! But a sophomore in college? Isn't that rushing the connections thing a bit? Does Tim Russert think he's actually doing his son a favor? Does Luke Russert have no spark of honest Oedipal anger?
I'll leave the ethics of the matter to NBC, the bloggers, and you. But I am curious: Does it surprise anyone else that people in power in Washington aren't even really trying to conceal the coziness of their relationships anymore?
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