- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 8, 2010

STICKIER WIKI

“Why is there no record of Michael Savage being banned in the WikiLeaks cables?” asks Mr. Savage himself, who has waged a 19-month battle to have his name scrubbed from a list of “undesirables” banned from Britain, compiled by then-Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. The list included Islamic terrorists, neo-Nazis and Russian gang members; the talk radio host sued the Home Office for defamation and asked Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to help clear his name.

“The governments of Britain and possibly the U.S. were involved in plotting this evil,” Mr. Savage declares. “Do you think the WikiLeaks people are not posting these cables because they would show that I am the victim of an evil government?”

Meanwhile, WikiLeaks has entered the circus stage, even as more documents go public and hacktivists raise havoc. From jail, founder Julian Assange penned an op-ed in The Australian, claiming he is not “anti-war.” And in a peculiar edition of the Christmas wars, an Assange figure now appears in a public Nativity scene in Naples, Italy.

Ah, but Hollywood calls. Politico’s Patrick Gavin has recommended appropriate thespians to play Mr. Assange in the inevitable heroic docu-drama, including John Cameron Mitchell, Paul Bettany and Ralph Fiennes. But Mr. Gavin’s waggish readers up the ante. Their suggestions for the role: Jane Fonda, Michael Moore, Sean Penn, Keith Olbermann, Bill Maher, Dan Rather and Charlie Sheen.

NOW HEAR THIS

“Look for the Rev. Al Sharpton to lead a major visitation to the Federal Communications Commission next week — about talk radio. Sharpton, a talk radio personality himself, is taking aim at what he calls the racist comments of Rush Limbaugh and others, and hes fed up,” predicts Tom Taylor of Radio-info.com. “Sharptons going to ask the commission to rein in hate speech, and one way he aims to get the attention of station owners is by attacking the waivers they’re granted. Presumably he’s talking about cross-ownership waivers and other temporary exceptions to the ownership rules.”

Mr. Taylor adds, “The last thing the FCC wants is to be forced into regulating content. Its got enough problems with its slippery rules about whats indecent and obscene.”

DETAILS, DETAILS

19: The number of flowery press releases sent out by the White House by 6 p.m. Wednesday extolling who “backs middle class tax cut framework” — including messages of support from Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry, Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm and Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory.

LOCAL WISDOM

“I was having a discussion with an ultraliberal friend about the tax cuts. He kept referring to the wealthy, the rich and the top 2 percent as ‘enemies of the people.’ Having had enough of this nonsense, I changed the language and asked him how he could justify ‘penalizing the successful with higher taxes.’ He sputtered and got red in the face. Then it dawned on me. It is much easier to castigate the upper 2 percent than it is to castigate the successful. The phrase ‘upper 2 percent’ conjures up images of private jets, yachts, mansions,” says Inside the Beltway reader Ray Badders.

“The term ‘successful,’ on the other hand makes me think of my next-door neighbor, my kid brother, a college buddy. The term ‘successful’ makes me think of friends who have worked hard and sacrificed for their chosen profession,” Mr. Badders adds. “And taxing the ‘successful’ runs contrary to our national values embodied by Mom’s apple pie.”

ALBERTA CLIPPER

Uh-oh. In Cancun, Mexico, it’s 54 degrees outside as alarmists from 190 nations discuss the threat of global warming.

Al Gore is not supposed to be here. But it could be that the ‘Gore effect’ has announced his secret arrival,” observes Roy Spencer, a climatologist attending the United Nations event. “As I emerged from my hotel room, I was greeted by a brisk, dry, cool Canadian breeze.”

IN CHARGE

“I look forward to working with Speaker John Boehner, the new Republican leadership and the entire incoming Republican majority to protect our homeland from the terrorists who continue to plot and execute attacks against our nation,” says Rep. Peter T. King of New York, on being elected to serve as chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security. Among his priorities: new intelligence tools to “identify and combat domestic radicalization.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 60 percent of Americans say the WikiLeaks release of secret documents “harms the public interest.”

• 75 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of Democrats agree.

• 31 percent overall say the release “serves the public interest.”

• 19 percent of Republicans and 36 percent of Democrats agree.

• 38 percent overall say the press “goes to far” in reporting the material.

• 47 percent of Republicans and 35 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center survey of 1,003 adults conducted Nov. 29 to Dec. 5.

• Rants, raves, cool breezes to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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