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Inside the Beltway: CBS is the Clueless Broadcast Network

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The 2.4 million-member American Legion is mighty vexed with one CBS reality TV show.

"I would like to register my disappointment at the disgraceful slap in the face administered to American war heroes during your recent broadcast of the show 'The Amazing Race.' I prefer to call it 'The Amazing Gall.' In a broadcast reminiscent of Tokyo Rose, reality game show contestants visited a 'B-52 Memorial' in Vietnam, which featured the wreckage of a B-52 bomber shot down during the war," says national commander and Vietnam vet James E. Koutz in an letter to CBS President Les Moonves.

The aircraft was shot near Hanoi on Dec. 27, 1972, and is now the centerpiece of a monument celebrating "defeat of U.S. imperialists," according to a nearby plaque.

"What wasn't shown were the U.S. crew members that were killed or the grieving American families that were left behind. The Dept. of Defense is encouraging Americans to honor and commemorate our Vietnam War veterans for the sacrifice that they made 50 years ago. The American Legion takes this obligation very seriously. We only wish that the network that once gave us Kate Smith -- famous for her rendition of 'God Bless America' -- would return to its great roots and not be so eager to broadcast anti-American propaganda."

Mr. Koutz concludes, "Mr. Moonves, at the very least, I think that you owe our Vietnam War veterans an apology."

LIGHTS ON

Eco-minded global folk have proclaimed that in order to "protect the planet," everybody should turn off their lights Saturday night as a symbolic "Earth Hour" gesture against climate change. Well, OK. But not everyone agrees with such antics.

"We think this sends the wrong message and represents a rejection of human innovation and progress," says the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which has organized the "Human Achievement Hour," a countergesture to celebrate "individual freedom and innovation" among those who prefer not to sit in the dark and worry.

"During Human Achievement Hour, 8:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., enjoy the benefits of energy, capitalism, and human innovation. Keep your lights on," organizers counsel. "Gather with friends in the warmth of a heated home, watch television, take a hot shower, drink a beer, call a loved one on the phone, or listen to music." See the well-lit doings here: cei.org/hah.

SCREENING BREITBART

"Hating Breitbart" was a big hit at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference. The documentary film celebrating the life and times of the late conservative media provocateur Andrew Breitbart has much grass-roots support. And like the commercial movie "Lincoln," the Breitbart work is getting a little help from congressional sources.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher will hold a private screening of "Hating Breitbart" in home territory this weekend. The California Republican hosts an audience at a swell spot in Costa Mesa; the film's director Andrew Marcus -- who spent two years following his subject around with a camera -- will be on hand to take questions afterward. The film itself will be open in select theaters and will be released on DVD on May 17.

"Don't forget what happened with '2016', which started little and got loud," says one source, referring to the independent film "2016: Obama's America," which opened quietly in a single Texas theater and eventually become the second most profitable political documentary ever produced.

BECKONING HASSELBECK

Attention, Fox News blondes. A certain blonde conservative could be headed for CNN. That would be Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who faces a very public and not especially harmonious departure from ABC's girly chat fest "The View." CNN's new and vigorous news honcho Jeff Zucker and has taken notice of Mrs. Hasselbeck, says the New York Post.

"They're definitely interested," the paper notes, citing an unnamed source.

Naturally, no one has a comment. Yet. Mrs. Hasselbeck, 35, was a co-host on "The View" for six years and first popped up on public radar as a finalist on the reality TV show "Survivor" in 2001.

SARTORIAL PROOF

"We petition the Obama administration to require congressmen and senators to wear logos of their financial backers on their clothing, much like NASCAR drivers do."

-- From a new petition filed Wednesday with the White House "We the People" website; it drew more than 9,000 signature in 24 hours.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

"Another American small town is for sale. This one is Searchlight, Nevada, best known as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's hometown and a popular gambling casino," reports TopTenRealEstateDeals, a national realtor website that tracks the fate of splashy properties around the nation.

"Reid was born here in 1939 and still has a home in Searchlight. Reid talks about Searchlight a lot and has even written a book about the town. It has a Harry Reid Elementary School, a population of around 500 people, and is located an hour south of Las Vegas. Included in the sale are the casino, a motel and a former brothel. Asking price is $5 million, which Sen. Reid said is a bargain. However Sen. Reid also says he is not interested in buying Searchlight," the group says.

POLL DU JOUR

• 91 percent of Americans say they're being "squeezed" by gas prices, 90 percent are squeezed by food and consumer goods prices.

• 71 percent say the federal budget deficit is affecting their household finances.

• 53 percent have confidence in President Obama to deal with the deficit; 13 percent of Republicans and 86 percent of Democrats agree.

• 39 percent have confidence in Republican leaders: 63 percent of Republicans and 20 percent of Democrats agree.

• 27 percent overall say the U.S. economy is recovering; 9 percent of Republicans and 43 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center survey of 1,501 U.S. adults conducted March 13 to 17.

• Tip line always open at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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