Inside the Beltway
“Miss me yet?” The glow of President George W. Bush on the public radar is intensifying, powered by revelations in recently leaked WikiLeaks documents that chemical weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, thus neutralizing “leftist folklore” about the war in Iraq, says Newsbusters.com analyst Tom Blumer. Also consider that Sarah Palin added Mr. Bush to her talking points in a fundraising speech on Saturday, pairing up “good old Reaganism” and the gutsy “we win and you lose” aspects of Mr. Bush’s national security policy.
And soon, “W” meets “O”: Mr. Bush will appear on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on Nov. 9, the release date for “Decision Points,” his 512-page memoir that is already ranked in the top-20 books on Amazon. The Crown Publishing Group says Mr. Bush will autograph a “limited number” of bookplates. To request one, write to Decision Points, Office of George W. Bush, P.O. Box 259000, Dallas, TX 75225-9000. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope, your name, or the recipient’s name. More details at www. randomhouse.com/crown.
“I reflect on what I got right and what I got wrong, and on what I’d do differently if I had the chance,” Mr. Bush says of his memoir. “It was a privilege of a lifetime to serve in eight of the most consequential years in American history.”
JUAN: THE FINAL PHASE
Those who experience fear, guilt, anger and confusion when confronting their feelings about Muslims and terrorism are henceforth experiencing a “Juan Williams Moment.” The designation was made on WTOP - an FM news/talk station in the Nation’s Capital - which asked listeners to confess their, uh, Juan Williams moment on the air. The phenomenon also surfaced as the “Juan Williams Teachable Moment” and “Williamsgate” in other coverage, which brings us to the final segment of Mr. Williams’ saga.
It began as a media spat, progressed to cultural argument and imploded in the political realm. Mr. William’s “moment” has now mutated into “The NPR Moment” as people suddenly get in touch with their inner resentment of NPR. Indeed, Republicans such as Sen. Jim Demint of South Carolina and Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia pine to propose legislation to defund NPR. But wait. There’s more.
“National Public Radio’s recent firing of Juan Williams for making a statement considered offensive to Muslims immediately reminded me of my own encounter with NPR’s intolerance and dishonesty,” saysTraditional Values Coalition Executive Director Andrea Lafferty, who recalls that in 2002, NPR reporter David Kestenbaum reported that her organization was suspected of mailing deadly anthrax powder to several prominent lawmakers.
“We went round and round with the reporter, NPR’s ombudsman and other management types and the bottom line was this: The reporter made it up. He had no facts to back up his statement, yet he connected us to terrorism,” she continues. “In his mind, our criticism of Democratic Senators Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Tom Daschle of South Dakota for seeking to have ‘God’ removed from the oath people take when they were sworn in before committees, made us the logical suspects in mailing deadly poison to a U.S. senator.”
Mrs. Lafferty concludes, “Eventually, the president of NPR was called to Capitol Hill and forced by a congressional committee to apologize publicly in a hearing regarding that incident. By the way, Mr. Kestenbaum is still at NPR almost nine years later. He told a lie, Juan Williams did not. Why the double standard? Was it because Islam is somehow a sacred religion that is off limits while Christians are ideal targets for smears? It would seem so.”
Hollywood retribution, conservative style: David Zucker, director of such comedies as “Airplane,” “The Naked Gun,” and “An American Carol” - which cast Jon Voight in the role of George Washington - has taken on Sen. Barbara Boxer and his own shame for once supporting the California Democrat. Mr. Zucker has produced “Call Me Madam,” a parody of the infamous scene in the U.S. Senate when the lawmaker chided U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Brian Walsh for calling her “ma’am” rather than “senator.”
“Let this video be my apology. Every time I see the public record listing my campaign contribution to Boxer - I wince,” says Mr. Zucker, who is also director of CBS’ “The Good Wife” and a contributor to BigHollywood.com. See his video at www.rightchange.com - a nonprofit political organization tracking the “founding ideals” of America’s elected leaders.
POLL DU JOUR
- 78 percent of Americans say “politicians’ unwillingness” to reduce government spending is to blame for the budget crisis in many states.
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