- The Washington Times - Monday, April 18, 2011

BOXING WITH BECK

So many bouts, so little time. And dueling news sites, too. Arianna Huffington recently caught criticism - and a class-action lawsuit - for not paying bloggers who contributed to her much-visited website. Now Glenn Beck has been accused of stealing from the feisty, freewheeling community of citizen journalists by one Matthew Boyle, a staff writer for The Daily Caller, Tucker Carlson’s online news and opinion site.

“Why are some bloggers accusing Glenn of ‘taking content’ without attribution?” demands Scott Baker, editor-in-chief of TheBlaze.com - Mr. Beck’s news and opinion site - responding to charges that “dozens of conservative bloggers” complained that the Fox News host lifted their content for his daily cable show without proper credit. Many said they feel “robbed.” The story drew opinions from Big Hollywood founder Andrew Breitbart, Pajamas Media co-founder Roger L. Simon, Jihad Watch and Accuracy in Media, among others.

“I always found of all the shows and sites in the wide world of Web news, that Glenn was the most generous in terms of saying thank you, of giving credit, and of making mention on air when possible. Hes promoted - and even hired - an amazing number of bloggers and writers,” counters Mr. Baker.

He adds, “I certainly understand the frustrations of any writer or blogger who feels their contributions are being slighted. Its happened to me hundreds of times. At The Blaze, we link and cite hundreds of news and blog sites each week. Its been a major part of Glenns push to do just that.”

BIPARTISAN POLICE

And now, more bouts. No Labels - a bipartisan citizens group that promotes feel-good political discussion - is turning partisan. The organization has picked a fight with Mark Meckler, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, demanding he “put an end to his threats against House Republican members” for supporting a bipartisan deal on the 2011 spending bill.

“When the majority of Americans are crying out for adult leadership in Washington, Mr. Meckler is throwing the political equivalent of a temper tantrum. We came just hours away from a shutdown of the federal government, but thankfully, Republicans and Democrats were [able to] come together in a bipartisan manner. Now Mr. Meckler and the tea party want to thwart this progress,” says Mark McKinnon, co-founder of the four-month-old No Labels. “If the tea party really wants to show it can be a powerful force in American politics, it needs to bring ideas to the table, not threats.”

PALIN PERSISTENCE

Judging by her newly launched political action committee website, Sarah Palin is not retreating from public life any time soon, as her critics have predicted. The site’s theme is “join the commonsense conservative revolution”; it showcases videos, a donation feature, a section called “setting the record straight” to dispel persistent rumors and Mrs. Palin’s “picks” for future House, Senate and state elections. See the new site here: www.sarahpac.com.

4 SALE: FORT BLISS

No, not the Fort Bliss that is home to the U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery School and four combat brigades, spread across 1,700 square miles of New Mexico and Texas. We’re talking “Old Fort Bliss” in El Paso, Texas, built in 1873. The total 25,000-square foot property on three acres consists of four buildings; two have 24-inch-thick adobe walls and 14-foot ceilings, which once confined Geronimo after the Apache warrior’s capture in 1886. In all, there are 10 bedrooms and seven baths at the fort, situated on the Rio Grande River just across the water from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The fort itself was deactivated in 1890.

A “very motivated seller” is offering it all for $975,000 - or 32 cents a square foot, says Preservation Directory, which tracks some of the nation’s most compelling real estate.

“The large buildings are begging to be renovated into an upscale boutique, hotel or large bed and breakfast, or two of the most unusual homes in the southwest,” the group says.

SCREEN GEMS

Well, the grand prize is a $100 gift certificate at GOPStore.com. But what the heck. The Republican National Committee is staging a contest for anyone intent on explaining why they can’t “afford four more years” of President Obama. In a 30-second video. See the details at www.gop.com.

“The Republican National Committee intends to wage the 2012 campaign on multiple fronts, including a sharpened focus on social media,” explains chairman Reince Priebus. “We will use the best videos in our campaign to make Obama a one-term president.”

SHALOM

Chicken soup with matzo balls, braised beef brisket, potato kugel, carrot souffle, matzo chocolate cake.

Menu items - described as “not strictly kosher but kosher style” - from the White House Passover seder on Monday evening, attended by President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia, plus a dozen staffers. (From the White House pool report supplied by Politico’s Julie Mason.)

POLL DU JOUR

• 57 percent of likely U.S. voters disapprove of President Obama’s job performance, 43 percent approve.

• 54 percent say “it’s time for someone new” in the White House.

• 17 percent of Democrats, 31 percent of independents and 90 percent of Republicans agree.

• 38 percent overall say Mr. Obama “deserves to be re-elected”.

• 73 percent of Democrats, 31 percent of independents and 7 percent of Republicans agree.

• 25 percent overall say the nation is “heading in the right direction.”

• 22 percent approve of the job Congress as a whole is doing.

Source: An IBOPE Zogby International poll of 2,132 likely voters conducted April 13 to 15.

Bouts, pouts and shouts to jharper@washingtontimes.com.