Playing both sides is loss for Ashcroft

Please sit down for this announcement, loyal American citizens. It has come to our attention that shadowy ex-political figures who go into the high-priced corporate consulting business may in fact be for sale to the highest bidder.

Please sit down for this announcement, loyal American citizens. It has come to our attention that shadowy ex-political figures who go into the high-priced corporate consulting business may in fact be for sale to the highest bidder.

We know - stunning. But rarely is the sliminess of this system on display as perfectly as it was last week when John Ashcroft, most famous for his YouTube rendition of Let the Eagle Soar (he was also an attorney general at some point, apparently), weighed in on the proposed XM-Sirius satellite radio merger with a stern letter urging the government to scuttle the deal because of antitrust concerns.

That letter was paid for by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), which fears the competition. But XM was not too pleased with Ashcroft's position, so the company called The Wall Street Journal and revealed - zing! - that Ashcroft tried to peddle his services to XM first.

Let us just add, analytically: Zing! XM turned Ashcroft down, so he ran over to the other team and jumped in for them, like when Johnny Damon left the Red Sox to join the Yankees, though it's safe to say the crowd won't stop booing Ashcroft after one article.

The NAB should have been savvy enough to at least check whether Ashcroft was a craven double dealer. And the ex-top cop should have been bright enough to only sell out to one side at a time.

We can only hope that this ugly incident does not upset the prospects for the long-awaited "Howard Stern & Oprah Morning Show."

PR Play Rating:
1. Clueless
2. Ill-advised
3. On the right track
4. Savvy
5. Ingenious

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