- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 24, 2001

'Racist brat
Its been an irreverent month and more for CNN founder Ted Turner, who began this Easter season by labeling his own networks news staffers with ash on their foreheads "Jesus freaks" and concluded it by blaming his split from wife, Jane Fonda, on her newfound Christianity.
Now we pick up veteran broadcast journalists new book, "Staying Tuned: A Life in Journalism" (Pocket Books, $26.95), due for publication on May 8, only to read more about "the casually bigoted Turner, " as the author prefers to write.
"Once he had lunch with the Reverend Jesse Jackson, who was urging him to hire more Afro-Americans, " reveals Mr. Schorr of the billionaire Mr. Turner, his former boss. "Flippantly, Turner said he was a minority, too, having to contend with the big three networks, that he was also poor, having lost $15 million the previous year.
"And, Turner added, as Jackson shook his head unbelievingly, one answer to minority unemployment might be to have blacks carry missiles from silo to silo, 'the way Egyptians used to carry stone blocks during the building of the pyramids.
"Turning to Jane Fonda, his second wife, the civil rights leader said, 'Your husband is a racist brat.
"'He treats everybody that way, she replied."

Down boy

After reading your piece in todays Washington Times, I suggest you change your dog food. Sincerely, Bob Dole."
—former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, in a one-sentence letter to political reporter Ralph Z. Hallow of The Washington Times, who had quoted an erstwhile Senate colleague as saying the Republican leadership "started going downhill" under Mr. Dole.

Wilder bear

Its not your fathers Smokey Bear anymore.
The national symbol of forest fire prevention since 1944, Smokey is becoming "contemporary" on us, with the new message: "Only You Can Prevent Wildfires."
Thats right, the "forest fires" Smokey warned us about for generations — the longest running public service announcement campaign in U.S. history — are passe. The new "wildfire" slogan, explains the U.S. Forest Service, responds to the rampant outbreak of wildfires during the past year.
Hopefully the new Smokey will be as effective as the old. Burned "forest" decreased from 22 million acres per year at the start of the Smokey Bear campaign to less than 4 million acres per year today. The number of wildfires, on the other hand, is dramatically up, with more than 102,000 started last year by human carelessness.

King and court

Television pundit John McLaughlin believes theres more to life than politics, snaring Donald Trump and model-girlfriend Melania Knauss to be among his dinner guests at this weekends White House Correspondents Association Dinner.
And if thats not enough glitz for Washington, Patricia Duff, the wealthy multi-divorced ex-wife of billionaire Ron Perelman, will also pull her throne up to Mr. McLaughlins table.

French flight

We discover a Frenchman among the aerospace "hall of famers" to be inducted at a National Air and Space Museum gala tomorrow night.
Jean-Luc Lagardere, co-chairman of EADS, the freshly minted European Aeronautic Defense and Space company (which includes 80 percent of Airbus, Boeings only competitor for civilian aircraft), will be recognized for his "lifetime achievement."
The 73-year-old Frenchman is widely regarded as Frances top entrepreneur and a leading proponent of trans-Atlantic defense industry consolidation.
As for worthy Americans, the government/military hall of famer is former deputy secretary of defense and now Center for Strategic and International Studies President John Hamre.
Aerospace laureates include John H. Dasburg, president/CEO of Northwest Airlines; the U.S.-Russian RD-180 rocket engine development team; the Mars Global Surveyor team; and for electronics, Larry Fullerton, founder and chief technical officer of Time Domain Corp.

Minority bandwagon

As expected, a great deal of reaction to our item yesterday about the Southern Legal Resource Center preparing for a federal hearing this Friday "on whether or not Confederate Southern-Americans should be considered a 'people for national origin purposes."
"Who does one contact to become a 'people for national origin purposes, " wonders reader Fred J. Mayer. "I guess by todays standards I should be considered a German-Hungarian American, even though I never considered myself anything but 'American."

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