- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 15, 2000

Blackballing Bubba

The last time President Clinton went head-to-head with Wayne R. LaPierre Jr., executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, the NRA's membership jumped by a million.
Now, with Mr. Clinton and Mr. LaPierre at each other again ruffling even more feathers on this hunt the NRA's phone is ringing off the hook.
"Right now, our membership is about 3.5 million. We've grown by a net of 1 million over the last year," Bill Powers, the NRA's director of public affairs, said in an interview.
"Probably more than anything, this is attributable to people recognizing the threat to their rights and their desire to protect those rights in the face of the lack of will on the part of the Clinton and Gore administration to go after the bad guys."
You mean they're targeting the white hats?
"The administration is not enforcing the laws already on the books," Mr. Powers explains. "Instead of going after the violent criminals, they keep imposing more laws on law-abiding citizens. And more and more Americans are seeing through it.
"I really think most Americans understand the difference between the good guys and bad guys, even if the Clinton and Gore administration doesn't seem to get it."
While Mr. Clinton and Mr. LaPierre trade shots over who's to blame for gun violence, we asked Mr. Powers how many NRA members have actually been charged with violent gun crimes.
"I can tell you this," he says, "our policy has always been, for over 100 years now, that if you are a convicted felon convicted of a crime you are ineligible for NRA membership."
That could spell trouble for Mr. Clinton, who repeatedly brags as recently as Monday night that he had a "lifetime" membership with the NRA.
After all, Robert W. Ray, the Whitewater independent counsel, said this week that his office has yet to resolve the issue of whether to indict the president once he leaves office.
Meaning, if Mr. Clinton's NRA membership hasn't already been revoked, it could be soon.

'Lost Lives'

In a special Irish broadcast last Christmas, President Clinton, along with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern and Ulster's political leaders read excerpts of the book "Lost Lives."
"A book recording the story of every man, woman and child killed in the Northern Ireland conflict," says the book's co-author, Chris Thornton, an American working in Northern Ireland for the Belfast Telegraph, "it is, as far as we know, the only complete record of deaths from any extended conflict."
Mr. Thornton will come to Washington today with Northern Ireland's politicians and later attend the traditional White House St. Patrick's Day celebration. The political correspondent has been asked by the White House to bring a copy of the book for Mr. Clinton.
"Lost Lives" already has had an extraordinary reception, becoming the No. 1 best seller in Northern Ireland, as well as gaining "the dubious honor of being declared the most-stolen book in Belfast," Mr. Thornton quips. The book was also recently in line for the Orwell Prize in Britain.
"Most importantly, the relatives of many victims have told us they view 'Lost Lives' as a memorial to their loved ones who died," says Mr. Thornton. "Both Protestant and Catholic churches have put the book on display."
The book's nearly 1 million words trace the lives and deaths of more than 3,600 victims.

Go figure.com

Joseph Farah, former editor of the Sacramento Union, knows all about newspapermen who venture into cyberspace. He now edits WorldNetDaily, an on-line site of news and commentary.
In a copyrighted story yesterday, WorldNetDaily reported that its on-line competitor of sorts washingtonpost.com has racked up $100 million in losses in nearly four years of cyberspace existence.
"That means the parent [Washington Post] company has lost an eye-popping 1/10 of a billion dollars so far in cyberspace," says WorldNet.
WorldNet, which ranks 17th among news sites in readership, says it is puzzling why the Post, which "boasts more traffic than any other netpaper," can't turn a profit.
Greg Eckstrom, vice president of marketing for The Post's Internet site, calls the $100 million figure inaccurate. He says the Washington Post Co. actually invested $85 million in several Web sites not just the newspaper site "an investment spanning across a number of other companies," including Newsweek.
The WorldNet story adds that newspapers in general are losing money on Internet sites, with a few exceptions Knight Ridder, USA Today and (we're pleased to report) The Washington Times.

Liddy endorsement

Radio talk-show host G. Gordon Liddy says he will attend a reception next Tuesday at the Pennsylvania Avenue law office of Barbour, Griffith & Rogers for Arizona Republican congressional candidate Tom Liddy.
Tom is, after all, his son.
Sen. Fred Thompson, Tennessee Republican, will also be on hand to cheer on the 37-year-old Mr. Liddy, a Phoenix lawyer and ex-Marine captain who once taught in the public schools of Prince George's County.
This column remembers when the younger Mr. Liddy was associate editor of Rising Tide, the national GOP magazine.

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