- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 18, 2001

Brokaw's 'agenda'

"Tom Brokaw opened Monday's NBC 'Nightly News' by promising 'race will be a major issue in the contentious hearings' for John Ashcroft's confirmation, 'especially since Ashcroft defended the Confederate agenda of Robert E. Lee.' A nice formulation for Martin Luther King Day as Brokaw, for the second night in a row, without quoting one syllable of what Ashcroft actually said, demanded that George W. Bush defend Ashcroft's supposed affection for the 'Confederate agenda.' …

"Brokaw opened the January 15 'NBC Nightly News': 'Good evening on this Martin Luther King holiday, a prelude to what begins tomorrow in Washington the confirmation hearings for John Ashcroft, the former Missouri senator who is George W. Bush's choice to be attorney general. Race will be a major issue in the contentious hearings, especially since Ashcroft defended the Confederate agenda of Robert E. Lee in an interview with the Southern Partisan, a magazine promoting the culture of the Old South. Over the weekend in Texas I met with President-elect Bush and asked about the Ashcroft interview and many other issues.' …

"A bit later in the interview excerpt Brokaw pushed Bush: 'You going to get together with John McCain on campaign-finance reform?' When Bush was not adequately enthusiastic, Brokaw pressed him to get on board… .

"Apparently, liberal positions really trump any racial concerns for Brokaw since while he was denouncing what Ashcroft said in an interview with Southern Partisan … he was holding up McCain as a leader whom Bush should follow. McCain's South Carolina campaign adviser: Richard Quinn is the former editor of the Southern Partisan."

from a Tuesday "Cyberalert" from the Media Research Center at www.mrc.org

One is the loneliest

"One of the barrels in my life is marked 'singleness' and I've spent my fair share of time at the bottom of it, as have many other single adults. For singles like me in the post-college years, singleness is a state of constant rejection. Nobody has chosen to marry me yet, while all around me it seems that everybody else is being paired off.

"That fact is that I've been rejected, even if it's been by guys I didn't want to marry; the point is, most of them didn't want to marry me either… .

"I once heard a pastor describe marriage as the 'breaking away and gluing together' of two people. First they each break away from their own families, and then they are glued to each other. For adult singles, we've done the breaking away, and there's no one to be glued to."

Wendy Widder in her new book, "Living Whole Without a Better Half"

'Contagious optimism'

"Ronald Reagan was 13 years older than Jimmy Carter, the incumbent he had defeated by more than 8 million votes, but on the day Reagan was sworn in as the 40th president, 'the Gipper,' as he was widely called, seemed the younger man. Four years in office had left Carter looking haggard, especially during the waning days of the hostage crisis in Iran.

"Reagan, nearly 70, had no gray on his head… . Reagan had run for president three times and served two terms as governor of California; because of his Hollywood career, his face and voice were familiar to generations of Americans.

"Yet Reagan's contagious optimism was fresh in Washington, which had wearied of Carter's pessimism, best remembered in his diagnosis that his countrymen were suffering from 'a crisis of confidence … that strikes at the heart and soul of the American spirit.'

"Reagan believed there was nothing wrong with the national mood that couldn't be improved by reducing inflation, interest rates, taxes, and government's role and by retrieving the 52 American hostages held in the U.S. Embassy in Iran."

Carl M. Cannon, writing on "Goose Bumps and Omens," in the Jan. 13 issue of National Journal

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