- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 8, 2001

Thou Shan't Project
Tim Russert, host of NBCs "Meet the Press," told the the 2,400-strong graduating class of Old Dominion University — this columnists alma mater — that he thought of lecturing about controversial television coverage of the recent presidential election, but thought better of it.
"Television news has a very hard time with complex issues," Mr. Russert said in his commencement address to the audience of 15,000 in Norfolk. "We sometimes oversimplify things and make incorrect projections."
The Sunday news-show host recalled former TV news broadcaster David Brinkley observing that "if Moses came down from the mountaintop in 2001, television news would report it the following way: 'Moses came down from the mountaintop today with the Ten Commandments — heres Sam Donaldson with the three most important."

No little toe

Sen. John W. Warner, Virginia Republican and former secretary of the Navy, says its "out of a sense of duty" that hes coming to the defense of former Sen. Bob Kerrey, the Nebraska Democrat whose combat duty as a Navy SEAL in Vietnam was recently called into question.
Mr. Warner, who served in the Pentagon during some of the most "intense" months of the Vietnam War, often visiting the war zones, describes a "camaraderie" that runs deep between combat veterans now serving as U.S. senators, and says he often finds himself listening to their stories "of that incredible period of American history."
In fact, says Mr. Warner, there is one moment "I shall never forget in my career as a senator."
Just prior to becoming commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, he says, now-retired Gen. Charles Krulak was summoned to the Senate to review various procedural matters with regard to his confirmation.
"General Krulak got up to leave," says Mr. Warner. "He said: 'Senator Warner, this is not the first time we met. I was a little taken aback …
"He said: 'I was wounded in Vietnam and was in the process of being evacuated. I was on a stretcher with another man who had just been wounded, and the helicopter was coming in to take us out. Someone came up and grabbed me by the big toe and shook that toe. He said to me: 'Captain, you are going to be all right; you are going to make it. I am here today to say I made it, and you were that gentleman, as secretary of the Navy, who grabbed me by the toe."

May procession

"Make your reservation to attend one of the four diversity training sessions scheduled during May by Nichols and Associates."
— Government memo sent in recent days to employees of the Environmental Protection Agency, as Uncle Sam tries to keep up with 281 million Americans divided into 126 racial and ethnic categories in the 2000 census.

Blaming J.R.

For a nation in which "everything we have in our life" depends on it, "it is amazing to me how negative people have turned the word 'oil, as if it is some evil empire out there," says Rep. Scott McInnis, Colorado Republican.
Why the negativism?
"They think of the J.R. Ewing of 'Dallas days and oil," says the congressman.

Radio Free Arkansas

Heritage Foundation Vice President Herb Berkowitz says the "censors will be nowhere around" this Thursday, when Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Paul Greenberg, editorial-page editor of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, delivers the foundations 2001 Distinguished Journalist Lecture.
A Little Rock, Ark., public radio station that carried Mr. Greenbergs commentary recently tried to silence the writer after some of the stations listeners complained about Mr. Greenbergs conservative views.
Mr. Greenberg wrote in his nationally syndicated column that Fred Fiske, president of the National Conference of Editorial Writers, "was ready to use his bully pulpit to make my being censored a national issue."
"Naturally, Paul wrote about his experience and the ensuing uproar — from liberals and conservatives alike — that forced the station to restore his commentary to the airwaves," notes Mr. Berkowitz.
In Washington this week, Mr. Greenberg will address journalisms struggle to maintain "focus, judgment and sanity" in the face of a 24-hour news cycle and information overload.

Wheres Huck?

Rep. Gary A. Condit, California Democrat, rose on the floor of the House of Representatives to honor the distinguished career of … Tom Sawyer?
As in Merced County Sheriff-Coroner Tom Sawyer, who is retiring after 34 years as a peace officer, including several years with the California Highway Patrol.
Mr. Sawyer, we should point out, is no relation to Rep. Tom Sawyer, the Ohio Democrat and former mayor of Akron now serving his eighth term on Capitol Hill.


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