- The Washington Times - Monday, May 3, 2010

DRUDGE SMUDGE

Behold, a cautionary tale of social media. Consider that Washington Post “Right Now” blogger Dave Weigel tweeted a missive right from the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday night that read, “I hear there’s video out there of Matt Drudge diddling an 8-year-old boy. Shocking.” Mr. Weigel later explained it was meant to parody Mr. Drudge’s recent promotion at his online news site of a National Enquirer story that claimed President Obama had an extramarital affair.

“I have criticized Weigel before because I feel his column often looks for ways that make conservatives look bad,” says Dan Gainor, director of the Business and Media Institute, a conservative watchdog. “Apparently, Weigel thinks making jokes about child molestation or rape is professional journalism.”

“Weigel is still learning his new role as someone who works for a company that actually has an image, albeit a lefty one. The question isn’t just making inappropriate comments and bashing conservatives, which he does with regularity. The question is one of unprofessional conduct,” Mr. Gainor says.

Mr. Weigel struck back at his personal website, calling Mr. Gainor a “tiresome scold” and guilty of “humorlessness and innuendo,” among other things.

MELTING POT

“Fifteen countries attract about 500 million of the roughly 700 million adults worldwide who say they would like to relocate permanently to another country if they could. Gallup finds the U.S. is clearly the No. 1 desired destination among these potential migrants, with more than 165 million saying they would like to move there, and neighboring Canada is a distant second with 45 million … Gallup finds the U.S. appeals more to the youngest and least educated adults.”

The numbers: 40 percent have an elementary education or less, 51 percent have secondary education, 9 percent have a college degree. (From a Gallup poll of 347,713 adults in 148 countries, conducted between 2007 and 2009, and released Friday.)



BUMPER PATROL

“It’s our turn. Bring illegal immigration enforcement laws to Florida.”

Among the bumper stickers offered by “1,000,000 Strong Supporting Arizona Immigration Law SB1070,” a Facebook page created April 24.

‘CHASING BUSBOYS’

The Arizona border problem is the fault of seven Republicans and three Democrats, says the state’s major newspaper. In a front-page editorial, the Arizona Republic mostly condemns politicians for failing to remedy illegal immigration, noting that they are “pandering to public fear.”

“The result is a state law that intimidates Latinos while doing nothing to curb illegal immigration. This represents years of failure. Years of politicians taking the easy way and allowing the debate to descend into chaos.”

The newspaper named those who “failed Arizona,” the Republicans are U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl, former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, Gov. Jan Brewer, state Sen. Russell Pearce and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas. And among Democrats, Rep. Raul Grijalva and Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon. Oh, andHomeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, a former Arizona governor.

“These politicians — Republicans and Democrats — used this issue to bait voters. Voters should get wise and demand leadership and solutions,” the newspaper said, calling for a “a path to legalization that has to be earned … . When migrant labor is channeled through the legal ports of entry, the Border Patrol can focus on catching drug smugglers and other criminals instead of chasing busboys across the desert.”

INVITATION NATION

Will they accept the invitation? President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and a spate of administration heavies have received invitations to an atypical movie premiere. This one will take place May 12 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, with 300 wounded Marines as guests of honor. The film in question is “The Unbeatables,” a documentary that tracks thecourageous spirit of paraplegic athletes; the star is Iraq and Afghanistan combat veteran Oz Sanchez.

It took three years for Los Angeles filmmaker Steven Barber to finance his production from a motley gaggle of donors who included Dan Aykroyd, Clint Black, Steve Forbes and T. Boone Pickens. The film has already qualified for Academy Award consideration in 2011.

“It would be great. It would be meaningful for the president to attend,” Mr. Barber tells Inside the Beltway. “So I’m hoping, really hoping he’ll accept.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 77 percent of liberal voters prefer Democrats.

• 62 percent of conservative voters are inclined to vote Republican.

• 50 percent of U.S. voters overall have voted for an independent candidate; 41 percent have not.

• 35 percent of voters overall “tend to vote Republican; 8 percent “always vote” Republican.

• 35 percent of voters “lean Democratic at the polls”; 10 percent “always vote” Democratic.

• 32 percent say the parties are “so much alike” that we need a third party.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted April 20 and 21.

Caterwaul and doggerel to jharper@washingtontimes.com