[Read the story.]
I have to wonder about the politics behind the publication of Anna Holmes' vacuous article about Gen. Clark's gaze. I am disturbed as to why Salon has decided to degrade its journalistic integrity by publishing an article that does nothing to inform readers about a candidate. Perhaps this is the first in a series about the facial expressions of the candidates? If so, I can't wait to read about Kerry's wandering left eye and drooping skin (of course, I can hear about Kerry's supposed Botox injections on Fox News), or how the fact that Edwards physically speaks out of the right side of his mouth informs his success as a trial attorney. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
-- Bill Wolff
I believe you now owe Gen. Clark some serious reporting to make up for the harm this trite piece may have caused. He is not out of the race by any means and this type of coverage is certainly below your usual standards. The "mainstream" media may be ready to dismiss his candidacy, but I expect better from Salon.
-- Sandy Nelson
I enjoyed your piece about Wes Clark's low blink rate. But I think you missed a really important detail: Clark has worn contact lenses since his youth. Maybe it was vanity, or maybe it was because glasses don't go over well in the military. Either way, the practice caused him serious corneal abrasions that almost kept him from attending his graduation from West Point. It's mentioned in a 1966 New York Times profile of Clark and cited here.
I'm a little surprised you interviewed psychologists but apparently not an ophthalmologist. I'm neither, but I'd guess there's a simple reason Clark doesn't blink much: It hurts.
-- Brian McWilliams
Have I tuned into the Onion by mistake? Did you really pay someone to write a feature on the slow blinking rate of a presidential candidate, as if that's news? Does Ms. Holmes do stories on candidates' farting habits, too? Can't wait!!
-- Nat Synowiec
Loved reading that article. My family has wondered what was different about Gen. Clark and now we know. We've been laughing (without amusement) about how MUCH Condoleezza Rice blinks when she speaks. She also swallows hard enough for her Adam's apple to bounce up and down. Is that also a sign of lying?
-- Sally Raynes
What's with you over there? The best thing you can do is talk about Wes Clark's eyelids? What about John Kerry's resemblance to Lurch? How about John Edwards looking strange with his funny mouth, or the woodchuck appearance of Howard Dean. How about some equal time to those folks? Also let's not forget the Bush smirk. How about addressing the real issue: IDEAS? Then people can have a chance to form opinions based on fact and not bull---t commentary.
-- Susan Daniels
My older brother doesn't blink much. As kids, it was great; we'd get so busted and he'd just deny it and we'd walk. But it does freak people out. In fact, my brother trained himself to blink regularly, just so people wouldn't feel weird around him. But what's this say about Clark? And really, who cares?
-- Jason Osgood
Anna Holmes should know that Clark has tear ducts and he has a heart. She must not have seen the interview with Dan Rather because Clark had tears in those eyes when talking about the brutality of Milosevic to the Kosovar Albanians. Don't tell them that Clark does not have tear ducts, OK? Clark has substance. Clark has a heart. Clark stands up to Bush and nobody else will beat Bush. Get real.
-- Martisa Vignali
Good grief, what will we denigrate next? His stellar academic performance at West Point? His excellent health? His solid marriage? His clear thinking and intelligent opinions? His stars?
-- Linda Sikorski
I thought your article about Wes Clark was fascinating. To me, his not blinking gives Gen. Clark a spiritual quality, like a Buddhist monk or a Catholic priest. It is as if his mind is concentrated on things unseen. This is a very appealing quality to me. It suggests that he is a highly intellectual person, a man of high principles.
Before I read your article, I thought that maybe his not blinking was an example of what veterans call the "thousand-yard stare," a look that comes from prolonged experience of battle. So it is very interesting to find out that Gen. Clark has always been that way, and that is not the explanation.
-- John Chesnut
I love this site, but now and then I am astounded. Blinking? Is there no limit to the vacuousness of the press? Blinking, Botox, sweaters, shoes, pores, pits and ducts? If I had any hair left I'd pull it out.
You know there really are still some of us that work hard to figure what kind of person we will vote for based on issues. Unfortunately, increasingly, we are left to do that research on our own. More and more, the press, especially the broadcast end, has become lazy and sloppy. "Vacuous" is too nice a word for them.
-- Keith Frohreich