Michelle Cottle

Prayer Center

It's 8 a.m.


Daddy Knows

It happens at some point on show after show: The eyes widen. The brows arch. The forehead wrinkles. Then the hulking man in the tall chair leans toward his anxious guest and drawls, "Do you wanna hear what I think?"The pause for a stammered assent is unnecessary. Everyone knows the question is rhetorical. The folks who ascend the studio's stage are flat-out desperate to hear what the famously opinionated Dr. Phil has to say about whatever problem is mucking up their lives.


Hard Press

What really happened to Terry Holt? One minute, the long-time Hill flack is on top of the world, serving up pithy quotes and making the chat-show rounds as chief spokesman for Bush-Cheney '04. The next, he has been shipped off to the Republican National Committee (RNC) to spend the last two months of the most important presidential race in recent history languishing in relative obscurity as Chairman Ed Gillespie's sidekick.Was Holt exiled because of something he said?


Wolff Trapped

Snuffle. Snuffle. Snuffle. The little black nose is cold and wet on my arm. "Gracie, stop that!" media writer Michael Wolff scolds the small, spastic spaniel wriggling next to me on the sofa. Gracie tumbles to the floor, but Trixie the cat soon takes her place and delivers an exploratory head butt. "No. No. No. Come on," says an embarrassed Wolff, leaning out of his high-backed red chair and waving an arm.  Wolff and I are seated in the living room of his comfy Upper East Side home.


G.I. Jane

I told you so. There. I've said it. I've been trying to avoid those words for weeks, as the situation in Iraq has gone from grim to grimmer to straight down the toilet. But, as someone who (unlike The New Republic) opposed George W.


"When Guy Philippe comes to me with the military clothes, and how many hundreds, I don't know, of these gunmen--the whole hotel, outside, everywhere is gunmen--and shook my hand at the dinner table and said, 'I need to meet with you.' And I said, 'Let's go to private in my suite.' So we went to the suite. Three hours later, he removed his military clothes and laid up all of his guns."  Dr. K.A.


The Wonk

From the moment it became clear Al Gore would not be the forty-third president of the United States, the Democratic Party has been searching for its next political savior.


Fear Factor

It is always humbling to discover precisely how human you are, how prone to the same frailties, foibles, and garden-variety neuroses as the zany unwashed masses who watch "Fear Factor" religiously, believe Miss Cleo really is psychic, and trample one another at Wal-Mart for a shot at a dirt-cheap DVD player. Most days, you like to think you've got it more together than these folks. Then, every now and again, something happens to remind you just how deluded you are.For me, this time around, that something was the onset of parenthood.


Cajun Dressing

Boudreaux and Thibodeaux were out in the woods hunting one day. The pair stayed out so late that it got dark, and they got lost on the bayou. Standing at the edge of the water, Boudreaux looked at Thibodeaux and asked, "So how we gonna get across? It's cold, and it's deep, and we got all these hunting clothes on." About that time, a fellow from Texas A%amp%M showed up across the way, and Boudreaux yelled over to him, "Do you know where we can cross?" "No," said the fellow, "but I got this here flashlight with me.


Bible Brigade

The Reverend Franklin Graham has long been something of a thrill seeker. In his quarter-century as head of the Christian relief agency Samaritan's Purse, the eldest son of the legendary Billy Graham (and heir to his evangelical empire) has earned international respect for supplying food, water, shelter, and medical care to regions where other angels fear to tread.