- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Lincoln and Bush

Abraham Lincoln has moved to the top of the list of greatest presidents in an ABC News poll for President's Day that saw George W. Bush ease ahead of Ronald Reagan in the overall survey and among Republicans.

Lincoln was chosen by 20 percent, while the current president and John F. Kennedy were essentially tied for second with Kennedy at 14 percent and Mr. Bush at 13 percent. Mr. Reagan, Bill Clinton and Franklin Roosevelt were tied for third at 8 percent apiece.

In the same ABC poll a year ago, Mr. Reagan was at the top with 18 percent, Kennedy 16 percent and Lincoln 14 percent.

Kennedy and Lincoln were tied atop the list among Democrats this year, whereas Lincoln was the easy winner among independents, and Mr. Bush and Lincoln led among Republicans, with Mr. Reagan slightly behind them.

Lincoln was first among whites, but second among blacks, who overwhelmingly chose Mr. Clinton as the greatest president. Roosevelt was the leader among those 65 and older.

The poll was conducted Feb. 13-17 among a sample of 1,025 adults and had an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

He gets no respect

"Maybe Bill Clinton is no longer as popular in Hollywood as he thinks," the anonymous "Prowler" writes at www.americanprowler.org.

"At a charity fund-raiser for cardiovascular research in L.A. last Thursday, U2 lead singer Bono was honored by the usual throng of celebrities and hangers-on for his 'extraordinary philanthropy.' The 'Love Rocks' event featured everyone from comedian Drew Carey to Cher. Even Larry King dropped by. …

"Now a self-important Hollywood event wouldn't be self-important if it didn't include Bill Clinton. This time, it was Bill on video, greeting Bono, just after Mick Jagger's video tribute. When Clinton's face appeared on the giant screen over the stage, it was met with not very friendly laughter from the audience, and Clinton's first couple of sentences were inaudible. 'It was embarrassing, to say the least,' says a spokesperson for the Entertainment Industry Foundation, which helped organize the event. 'Clinton got less respect here than Sylvester Stallone, and that's saying something with this crowd.'

The laughs didn't end there. A few minutes later, Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey stood at the podium and performed a dead-on impression of Clinton uttering his usual pieties with his trademark squint. 'It was hysterical, especially coming from Spacey, who's supposed to be a big fan of Clinton,' says the EIF staffer.'"

Republican film

A new film to be shown at Republican political gatherings around the country emphasizes the actions of Republican leaders in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Assembled largely from news clips, the six-and-a-half-minute film was produced by the Republican National Committee to energize supporters, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

The film's theme: "Elections matter. Who we elect matters," said Missouri Republican Party Chairman Ann Wagner, who narrates part of the film.

She said Missouri Republicans were the first state group in the country to see the film, aired at Friday night's banquet that kicked off the party's annual Lincoln Days event. The film was first screened at the national Republican Party's January meeting in Austin, Texas.

"It is powerful," Mrs. Wagner said. "Those were powerful times."

Mrs. Wagner, who also serves as co-leader of the national GOP, said she was brought to tears the first time she saw it.

Patriotic in tone, the film features footage of new homeland security chief Tom Ridge, former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and the city's firefighters. Although Republican politicians are featured, and all the narrators are party leaders, the film avoids using the word "Republican."

John Hancock, executive director of the state GOP, said the video was similar to those made by the party after the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan and after the Persian Gulf war in 1991.

"I can't imagine that anyone would say there's anything wrong with this," Mr. Hancock said. "It highlights Republican leaders and is to be shown to Republican audiences. It's not like this video is being used to garner votes somewhere."

'Hilarious or pathetic'

"ABC, CBS and NBC have blacked out Bernard Goldberg," the Media Research Center's Brent Baker writes at www.mrc.org.

"On Sunday's CNN 'Reliable Sources,' Bernard Goldberg informed host Howard Kurtz that though he's been interviewed on many overseas shows and on 'about 25 programs on cable,' he's been shut out by ABC, CBS and NBC. The author of 'Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News,' also reported that 'many people' at the three broadcast networks 'agree with what I've said,' but 'none of them either are stupid enough or courageous enough … to come forward and say anything.'

"On the February 17 'Reliable Sources,' Kurtz asked Goldberg how his book has been received. Goldberg replied: 'It's been overwhelmingly heartwarming. But really, the more important point is that it's been overwhelmingly civil. Many people, as you know, like the book, some don't. But both sides, even the people who don't like it, have been civil, except for a sliver of people who you work with at The Washington Post, Howie.

"But beyond that, what I find fascinating is that this book has been written about, or I've actually be in been interviewed in places like England, Australia, Canada, Brazil, New Zealand, China, Israel, Russia. That's just a short list. I didn't have time to do the Italian "Nightline," or Sweden or Mexico. … I've been on over 350 radio stations in the United States, and about 25 programs on cable TV.

"'But the only three places, Howie and this is fine with me, because I could use what little free time I have but the only three places I haven't been at any time of the day or night and I'm including 2 in the morning or 4 in the morning, anytime are ABC, NBC, and CBS, which is either hilarious or pathetic.'"

Secret handshake

"In his MTV interview which had several sterling moments Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke of 'the white power structure,'" Jay Nordlinger writes at the National Review Web site (www.nationalreview.com).

"I have heard about the white power structure all my life. Have you ever been invited into it? Did someone teach you a secret handshake or something?" Mr. Nordlinger asked.

"'White power structure' is a lazy, loaded locution that serious people should avoid."

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