- The Washington Times - Monday, January 22, 2001

Flesh and money

We have to laugh at our cross-town rival, The Washington Post, which reports that Maryland authorities are seeking an injunction to stop the A-One-T Oriental Massage parlor in Wheaton from acting as a front for prostitution.

As The Post reported, at least one employee of the massage parlor was convicted in the last month of engaging in prostitution or knowingly being in a house of prostitution.

But turn the pages of the same day's newspaper, and what do you find?

An advertisement, wouldn't you know, for A-One-T Oriental Massage, drawing attention to the parlor's "Comfortable Surroundings."

Diplomat to dad

Longtime Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Harold Koh faced reporters one last time before officially turning the diplomatic reins over to Colin Powell and his lieutenants.

Mrs. Albright won't drift far, remaining in Washington to tie up a few loose ends of her worldly affairs.

But asked about his future plans, Mr. Koh replied: "I'm leaving tomorrow night. I'm driving to New Haven, Connecticut, where my family has lived this entire time … and my major ambition, after being assistant secretary, is to be the assistant coach of my son's Little League team."

President Kerrey

The youngest senator to retire this month, 57-year-old Nebraska Democrat Bob Kerrey, kindly sends Inside the Beltway an invitation to his Feb. 20 installation as president of the New School University in New York's Greenwich Village.

Alma mater, no less, of Marlon Brando and Tennessee Williams, among other characters.

Mr. Kerrey seriously weighed another run for the White House in 2000 and then abruptly decided to give up politics altogether. This compromise presidential installation takes place at Carnegie Hall.

Democratic shuffle

Becoming his old self again, former vice-presidential candidate Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman has regained his chairmanship of the Democratic Leadership Council, which also just appointed Rep. Ellen Tauscher, California Democrat, as vice chairman.

The congresswoman replaces former Colorado governor and Democratic National Committee Chairman Roy Romer, who held the post since 1995.

At the same time, Bruce Reed, President Clinton's domestic policy adviser for the past four years, will become president of the DLC, which gives him credit for "overseeing the longest period of sustained economic growth in American history."

Popcorn anyone?

The Joan Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University forwards an eye-opening study on how both soft and critical ("nasty") news is not only shrinking the news audience, but weakening democracy.

The study says news today is "substantially different" than it was even a decade ago, edging "toward entertainment in its form and content." Or what former broadcaster Marvin Kalb dismisses as "the new news."

"Critics say that the news is based increasingly on what will interest an audience rather than on what the audience needs to know," the study observes, quoting former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton Minow as complaining that much of today's news is "pretty close to tabloid."

People interested in hard news, as a result, will have a "diminished appetite because the news is too soft or too nasty to meet their taste. Such readers, viewers, and listeners are irreplaceable. A news habit takes years to create and takes years to diminish but, once diminished, is not easily restored."

The consequences: "Democracy cannot operate effectively without a free press that performs well as watchdog and information source. In other words, the press must do its job well if democracy is to succeed."

USS Nitze

Paul H. Nitze, adviser to five presidents, 57th secretary of the Navy from 1963 to 1967, and leading strategist and arms control expert, is getting his own ship.

The 44th ship, in fact, of the Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyers will be named in honor of the co-founder of the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.

With the exception of Jimmy Carter, Mr. Nitze advised every president from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan. But it was as head of the U.S. negotiating team at the arms control talks in Geneva between 1981 and 1984, Mr. Nitze took his famous "walk in the woods" with Soviet negotiator Yuli Kvitsinsky in an effort to break a deadlock between the superpowers on Euromissiles.

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