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Oh, the caterwaul, the noise, the brinkmanship and hissy fits. The debt-ceiling debate has at least given the press something to do during the summer doldrums, a time normally reserved for close examination of the presidential vacation. The media narrative has spun out in three “noteworthy” directions, says Brent H. Baker, vice president of research for the Media Research center.

They are: (a) journalists fretting President Obama has moved too far to the right, (b) journalists claiming the tea party is a band of reckless teenagers or worse, and (c) journalists fretting that they will get labeled as “too liberal” rather than objective.

“The only thing I’d add is that the Washington press corps wants to paint President Obama as a successful leader, saving America from the tea party ‘extremists’ who put ideology ahead of the nation” Mr. Baker tells Inside the Beltway.


From Eric Dezenhall, the Washington-based crisis management guru who never met a public relations catastrophe he didn’t like or couldn’t defuse: his sixth novel, “The Devil Himself,” a historic thriller that delves into a “long-forgotten, yet crucial alliance between the U.S. Navy and the Mob” to secure the New York waterfront during World War II. The author read Meyer Lansky’s personal diary to uncover a surprising patriotic side to the mobster.

And such is the stuff of an intriguing tale. “The book shows that not every mobster involved in the operation was all bad and not everyone in the government had pure motives,” notes publisher Thomas Dunne. “Based on true events, Dezenhall weaves together historical facts and his knack for storytelling to illustrate the patriotic risks taken by Jewish and Italian gangsters in 1940s New York.”

We can’t wait for the film version, Mr. Dezenhall.


• 43 percent of likely Republican primary voters say they are not members of the tea party.

• 39 percent say they are members, 17 percent are not sure.

• 22 percent overall say they support Mitt Romney for the 2012 presidential nomination, 18 percent support Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

• 16 percent side with Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.

• 10 percent support Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, 9 percent support Herman Cain.

• 6 percent support Newt Gingrich, 3 percent support Tim Pawlenty and 2 percent support Jon Huntsman Jr.

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