Monday, November 5, 2001

No wimps here
It is a rare moment in live television when a congressman in this case Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican becomes sharply critical of his interviewers.
It is an even rarer moment when an interviewer in this case Brian Kilmeade of Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Friends” returns fire.
“I don’t know how you got up today,” Mr. Kilmeade shot back to Mr. King, seconds after the congressman labeled as “irresponsible” and “asinine” a suggestion by Fox host Steve Doocy that Congress was provided better medical care than postal workers after the recent anthrax attacks.
“I’ve been listening to you, and you’re an embarrassment,” Mr. Kilmeade went so far as to tell Mr. King.
Mr. King’s office acknowledges that the congressman’s beef was never with the morning Fox hosts, but rather with Rupert Murdoch, who owns both the Fox network and the New York Post. You see, Mr. King remains sore over a recent Post headline that called House members “wimps” for adjourning because of the anthrax contamination.
Kevin Fogarty, Mr. King’s legislative director and press secretary, tells Inside the Beltway: “Congressman King … is not talking to New York Post reporters until Mr. Murdoch apologizes to Speaker [J. Dennis] Hastert.”

Duck season
Bureaucrats at Washington’s Energy Department and National Nuclear Security Administration say they’re sitting ducks if terrorists decide to rear their ugly heads.
The threat deals with the unusual architectural design of the Forrestal building, which houses both agencies at 10th Street and Independence Avenue SW. The federal facility, adjacent to L’Enfant Plaza, rises on pillars, with a large breezeway and city street underneath.
“The unique architectural design of the Forrestal facility demands that 10th Street SW be closed to all vehicular traffic immediately,” says a petition being circulated among employees of both federal agencies.
“In light of recent events affecting our nation and the need to improve the safety for all citizens, [failure to do so] places thousands of dedicated, talented, hard-working federal and contractor employees, visitors and children in a day care facility at great risk,” the petition reads.
Citing traffic congestion and economic impact, the District has been reluctant to close city streets to vehicular traffic, as has been done in front of the White House and elsewhere because of the ongoing terrorist threat.

Final expression
Karl Rove, senior adviser to President Bush, is the featured speaker of the annual Washington Club dinner of the American Alternative Foundation Thursday at the Four Seasons Hotel.
That night, the foundation’s Free Expression Award will be given posthumously to Republican activist and television commentator Barbara Olson who, prior to perishing aboard the airliner that crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, twice managed to telephone her husband, U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson, providing important details about the terrorist hijackers.

Escape in a book
Anthrax hasn’t put a damper on Washington’s largest literary event the nation’s best and brightest minds, a record number in fact, from a diverse array of fields, flocking to the National Press Club Thursday for the 24th annual Book Fair and Authors’ Night.
Helping to make this year’s book fair the biggest ever are no fewer than 70 authors, including Washingtonians Marie Arana (“American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood”), Stephen Hunter (“Pale Horse Coming”), Letitia Baldridge (“A Lady, First”), Morton Kondracke (“Saving Milly”), Brian Lamb (“Booknotes: Stories from American History”), Bobby Mitchell (“Hail Redskins”) and Jonathan Yardley (“Ring: A Biography of Ring Lardner”).
Other recognizable authors and faces will include Walter Cronkite, Michael Barone, retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark, Martin Goldsmith, Christopher Hitchens, Jim Huber, James Webb and America’s leading sex therapist, Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

Make no mistake
It was our mistake not Washington Democratic Rep. Jay Inslee’s to insert “immobilize” in place of “mobilize” when writing last Friday about the urgent need to manufacture baggage screening equipment at the nation’s airports in order to prevent future acts of terrorism.
And yes, it certainly is a new world when left-lipped talk show hostess Rosie O’Donnell declares to the entire world that she not only supports President Bush, she proclaims:
“Honey, I love him now. He is our president. We are at war.”

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