Rich Galen

Before we start, let me advise everyone whose time is valuable that today's MULLINGS is not going to be worth it. Go get a bagel and a cup of coffee, instead. Bye.

I have a Google Alert on myself. I have often said that I have that to make sure I have been quoted correctly, but it is really because I have an ego the size of Wyoming.

Yesterday, though, it came in handy. A website - which I won't name because I don't want you to go to it and increase the traffic by about 1500% - ran a column which included, essentially this:

Some months ago former Gingrich campaign manager Rich Galen quit, having likened Gingrich's candidacy to "an airliner with no wings, no engines, and no landing gear" because the candidate was more interested in vacationing …on a Greek isle than stumping in Iowa …

I read it again to make sure I had it right. I was the manager of Newt's campaign, and I had quit because Newt took a trip to the Mediterranean.

I not only was not the manager of the campaign; I had no contact with the campaign. I wasn't on the staff; I wasn't a "senior advisor," I wasn't a consultant. I wasn't anything.

I went to the website to call or e-mail someone to tell them this needed to be fixed. Not that I was embarrassed about being named the former manager; but because the nature of the Internet is that this would have propagated through the eco-system and six months from now I would be answering questions about whether I was sorry I had quit as campaign manager now that Newt was the nominee.

The only way to interact with the website was to fill out a "contact us" form. Which I did. There was no phone number, no email for the listed editor/founder of the site, no nothing.

That was unsatisfying so I went to a very useful site:

Whois will tell you who owns most websites. It told me who owned this website and included a phone number in California so, even though it was 10:45 Eastern, I called it.

The guy who was listed as the owner of the website didn't pick up, but his answering machine did and it turns out that his real job is being … I suh-WEAR I am not making this up … a ventriloquist.

Actually, being old enough to remember both Edgar Bergan and Charlie McCarthy; and Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop, I thought this was pretty cool.

He has a website extolling the virtues of his comedic/ventriloquistic capabilities.

I left a message on his answering machine but, in keeping with the spirit of the thing, I tried not move my lips. I said - or I think I said - that I had never been connected in any way with Newt's campaign and that the essay needed to be fixed.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at