- The Washington Times - Monday, April 24, 2000

George Will's rejoinder

George Stephanopoulos, the former Clinton aide who now is a top newsman at ABC, defends the Justice Department's decision to forcibly remove Elian Gonzalez from his Miami home.

When ABC's Cokie Roberts asked about the picture of a federal agent pointing a gun at the boy, Mr. Stephanopoulos echoed Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder in blaming it on the Miami family.

"Cokie, you're right. It is a picture that nobody wants, but whose fault is it? It's the family's. And they bear the moral responsibility for having that picture there. They're the ones who wanted this, and every step of the way they've chosen to create psychological propaganda over the psychological health of the boy," Mr. Stephanopoulos said on "This Week."

However, Mr. Stephanopoulos appeared stunned when co-panelist George Will offered this rejoinder:

"That's just what Bull Connor would have said. The civil rights people produced these inflammatory photographs of us using state power to enforce an unjust law. Look, Mr. Holder said here a moment ago they knocked, waited 10 seconds. Knocked, waited 20 more seconds. You can believe Mr. Holder, you can believe your two lying eyes, but if you look at that tape, you're going to have trouble believing that actually happened. The climate for this excessive use of force was set by a drumbeat from this administration echoed by disgraceful journalism that called Miami 'a banana republic.' "

Airheads, intellectuals

While Janet Reno and friends did a good job of distracting attention from the Earth Day 2000 rally on the Mall Saturday, newsman Marc Morano was there interviewing celebrity activist Chevy Chase.

Mr. Morano, a reporter for the nationally syndicated television newsmagazine "American Investigator," managed to rile the actor and comedian by questioning the role of celebrities at such events.

"I am not from Hollywood," Mr. Chase objected. "I'm from upstate New York, first of all, and second of all, I don't know who you are." He said a lot of Hollywood activists "are airheads" but many others are "intellectuals" such as himself.

Mr. Chase also objected to the idea that capitalism is the best way to raise people out of poverty, "because sometimes socialism works."

An example? "I think free markets are important, but you know you can do both and I think Cuba might prove that," Mr. Chase said.

For a full transcript, go to www.americaninvestigator.com.

Veep possibilities

"Friends of George W. Bush are promoting Rep. John Kasich as the veep twin for the GOP presidential hopeful," Paul Bedard writes in U.S. News & World Report.

"With the help of a special Web site, www.BplusK.org, organizer Karen Sellars says the group is nearing 1,000 petition signatures backing the Ohio Republican. Not to be forgotten, Elizabeth Dole, meanwhile, has joined the board of computer big Gateway. What's that do for her? Friends say it shows that she's familiar with Silicon Valley and that she could be Bush's tech link," Mr. Bedard said.

"Finally, conservatives are pushing Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, who gets kudos for his handling of the Oklahoma City tragedy," he said. "Footnote: www.veepstakes.com is offering $5,000 for correctly picking the next veep."

Candidate confusion

Tennessee guitarist Jim Williams set up a vulgar political Web site as a joke, but Georgia congressional candidate Jim Williams doesn't think it's funny the state Democratic Party mistook it as his.

The guitarist set up the page a few months ago as a spoof of politics in general, not any specific candidate, the Associated Press reports.

A bright-colored banner proclaims "Jim Williams: Congress 2000," and in bold print next to that is the slogan of the phony campaign: "Vote for me and I'll kiss your [expletive]."

Among the items listed on the fake campaign platform are promises to deport Jerry Falwell and put a picture of "X-Files" star Gillian Anderson on the new $100 bill. There also is a link to the guitarist's e-mail address that says: "E-mail your special interests to Jim."

Several have tried. He has received lobbying mail from a pharmaceutical company and an invitation to speak at a Georgia Sierra Club meeting.

"It's still funny," the musician from Knoxville, Tenn., said in a telephone interview. "As soon as it quits being funny, I'll take it down. This just shows any idiot with a little money and too much time can put up a" realistic-looking Web site.

Mr. Williams said he never had heard of candidate Jim Williams, a Democrat who ran in 1998 and got 45 percent of the vote against Republican Bob Barr. This year he's in a three-way race for the party nomination to take on Mr. Barr in the fall.

Mr. Williams the candidate said he learned of the vulgar Web site several months ago when a flier handed out at a gathering of Cobb County Democrats listed the site as his. He immediately alerted party officials and assumed the problem was corrected.

When told Thursday the party referred a reporter to the guitarist's site, Mr. Williams was angry. He said it confirmed his hunch that the state party considers him an afterthought to candidate Roger Kahn, a businessman who has $1 million in campaign funds, half from his own pocket.

Business as usual

"Remember the flap over White House efforts to encourage anti-drug plot lines in TV shows? Hollywood seems unfazed," National Journal reports.

"On April 11, at least two dozen television scriptwriters, producers, and magazine editors met with 10 teen-agers behind closed doors in Los Angeles to discuss drugs and sex. The media types hope to portray the pitfalls of teen vices more realistically. The roundtable, held at MTV's office, was jointly sponsored by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, a nonprofit group, and the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, part of the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy," the magazine said.

"An organizer said the L.A. meeting attracted more honchos than a similar event in New York City in December before the controversy erupted."

The vanquished

The Rev. Jesse Jackson says because Southerners lost the Civil War, they lost the right to fly the Confederate flag.

"That flag should be in the museum as a relic of the nation's past," Mr. Jackson said last week in a telephone interview with the Associated Press. "The vanquished have no right to fly the flag. One could not fly a Nazi flag over the Capitol in Germany or fly it on the ground of the Statehouse."

Mr. Jackson said he opposes a compromise bill in the South Carolina legislature that would remove the Confederate flag from atop the Statehouse dome but allow it to fly at a monument for Confederate war dead.

Mr. Jackson's remarks came after a state representative of his Rainbow/Push Coalition spoke in Columbia, S.C., with other flag opponents.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which forced the flag debate when it started an economic boycott of the state, has said the emblem shouldn't fly in any position of sovereignty because it is a symbol of hate.

His support comes as House leaders prepared for debate on the Senate-approved compromise measure. With 123 House members, the bill would need 62 votes to pass. The House Judiciary Committee is expected to approve the bill tomorrow, and it could reach the floor of the Republican-controlled House in the next two weeks.

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