- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 2, 2000

Germ journalism

Bad news and good news for Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer: He didn't win New Hampshire, but at least he didn't come down with the flu.
If nothing else, the latter represents a victory over homosexual columnist Dan Savage, who if we are to believe his bizarre penmanship in the on-line publication Salon.com orchestrated a vile infiltration of Bauer 2000 campaign headquarters in Des Moines.
Posing as one Mr. Bauer's "gay bashing" volunteers, Mr. Savage, feverish with the flu, "hatched a plan to infect the candidate himself."
In other words, get close enough to Mr. Bauer "to lay him flat" just before yesterday's New Hampshire primary.
"I started licking doorknobs," Mr. Savage writes.
"The front door, office doors, even a bathroom door. When that was done, I started in on the staplers, phones and computer keyboards. Then I stood in the kitchen and licked the rims of all the clean coffee cups drying in the rack."
While he admits to "feeling slightly sickened" by his perverted act, Mr. Savage's upset stomach didn't keep him from chewing on "my killer pen" and handing it to Mr. Bauer for an autograph.
"My bodily fluids flu bugs and all were all over his hand," says Mr. Savage. "He handed me the pen, and started to walk toward his van. He stopped to answer a reporter's question, and I saw him run a finger under his nose. Perfect. I didn't need to lick all those doorknobs after all."
Reached in New Hampshire yesterday, Mr. Bauer's communications director, Tim Goeglein, was furious: "It would appear to be a hate crime through and through, and [Mr. Savage's] seething anger and hatred at Christians is enormously disturbing."
He adds: "This is the sort of intolerance that the left in America seems almost preoccupied with. It would be nice to see some indignation, some anger among that crowd for this sort of outrageous and unacceptable behavior. This is not journalism, this is trash can politics at its worst."
From San Francisco, Salon.com editor David Talbot tells Inside the Beltway that Mr. Savage is an "infrequent contributor" to the publication.
Still, "like we do with all writers, we don't cut them loose when they get into trouble. We're not abandoning Dan," he stresses.
But Mr. Talbot also acknowledges "a lot of dissent and controversy [among staff] at Salon.com" about whether to run the piece.
In retrospect, he says, a disclaimer should have accompanied the article, "explaining Salon.com did not assign, or endorse, or condone" its content.

Historic moment

Hillary Rodham Clinton is seeking volunteers to host house parties in New York to coincide with the formal announcement Sunday of her candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
"Invite friends, family and supporters to your home and share this historic moment together," Mrs. Clinton asks.
If all goes as planned, simultaneously in each of New York's 62 counties the first lady's supporters will gather around kitchen tables in more than 500 homes in all and watch Mrs. Clinton's announcement on television.
Then (or so her campaign promises) each of the 500 homes will receive a phone call from the first lady.
Anybody who wishes to receive a "House Party kit" can e-mail their name, phone number and address to [email protected] Mention you read about it in Inside the Beltway and receive two kits.

Everybody shake hands

Scott Reed and Craig Smith, together under one roof?
Only in Washington, where Bob Dole's presidential campaign manager and one-time executive director of the Republic National Committee, and Al Gore's former presidential campaign manager and one-time White House political director have joined Ketchum Public Relations.
If that's not enough to balance the political scales, two other well-known political operatives have joined Ketchum as senior counselors in government relations: Rich Galen, former press secretary to Dan Quayle and House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Katie Whelan, former executive director of the Democratic Governors Association.
"Ketchum specifically sought out active, senior political operatives from both parties who have previously demonstrated success as consultants," explains Ray Kotcher, senior partner and president of Ketchum. "Our agency allows us to provide our clients with a broader array of policy and political options at the presidential, congressional and gubernatorial levels."

Sensitive banking

"I believe the atmosphere of the Bank Group is still strongly affected by its having been founded as mainly an Anglo-American, male institution," says newly elected World Bank Group Chair Morallina Fanwar George of India, the first woman from a developing country to hold the post in many years.
"I hope I'll bring some sensitivity that comes from being both a Part II national and a woman a more patient and reflective attitude in the way we approach situations and people."

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