- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Just like Osama?
A spokesman for a leading U.S.-based Muslim organization says the Revs. Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Jimmy Swaggart are just as bad as Osama bin Laden, and that given the chance, these christian conservatives would commit mass murder against Muslims.
"They're the equivalent of our Osama bin Laden," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), in an interview with Steve Malzberg on WABC radio in New York City. A summary of the interview appears online at www.NewsMax.com.
"Why did Osama bin Laden send planes into the World Trade Center? What possible reason?" Mr. Hooper asked rhetorically. "The only thing you can think of is that he wanted to create a permanent divide between the Muslim world and the West. And that's the same thing these guys want to do."
Questioned on whether he thought the three Christian conservatives wanted to kill Muslims, Mr. Hooper initially said, "Their tactics are obviously not the same, but their goals are the same. Their goals are to divide people along religious lines and to create an unending civilizational conflict that does no one any good."
But moments later, Mr. Hooper charged that Mr. Falwell, Mr. Robertson and Mr. Swaggart would commit mass murder against Muslims if they had the chance.
Mr. Hooper said one of bin Laden's goals is to kill Christians, Jews and Westerners. "And I'm sure that, given the right circumstance, these [Christian] guys would do the same in the opposite direction."

Jeepers Freepers
Al Gore says he was terrorized by "busloads of people" organized by the Republican Party, protesting outside the vice presidential residence during the 2000 Florida presidential recount.
In an interview with Barbara Walters on ABC, Mr. Gore talked about the "the organized chanting round-the-clock," and said: "Well, this was the Republican response to what was happening during that 36-day period, and they organized busloads of people that came and stood outside the house all day and all night screaming at the top of their lungs."
Says Mr. Gore's daughter, Karenna: "It was right-wing groups, it was definitely Bush-campaign-oriented effort to bus in people to have a sort of siege at the vice president's house, and, so, they were all lining there, screaming, and it was kind of an assortment of groups. I mean, some of them were anti-abortion groups, and some of them were pro-gun groups. But they were all screaming, 'Get out of Cheney's house,' the whole time."
In point of fact, the Republican Party did not organize the protests, nor were "busloads" of protesters sent in by other groups. The protests against the inventor of the Internet were organized on the Internet.
Specifically, the protests were started by the "Freepers" on Free Republic (www.freerepublic.com), "an online gathering place for independent, grass-roots conservatism."
Free Republic was founded by Jim Robinson, a Vietnam veteran living in Fresno, Calif., and the protests on Massachusetts Avenue outside the Naval Observatory were organized by Washington, D.C. area members.
Also, Mr. Gore might like to know that it was a Freeper who designed a widely circulated parody of the Gore-Lieberman 2000 logo: "Sore Loserman."

California in play
"As the president savors this month's election results and the promise of moving his agenda in the capital, the gubernatorial vote in California offers tantalizing clues for his 2004 re-election campaign," writes Ken Khachigian, who was an adviser to President Reagan and California Republican Govs. George Deukmejian and Pete Wilson.
"The outcome on the coast despite a Democratic sweep offers great opportunity for George W. Bush to turn the Golden State into a 'red' one," Mr. Khachigian said in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal.
He noted that Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, backed by a huge war chest, was able to dispatch Republican rookie candidate Bill Simon by only 5 percentage points.
"While most post-election chatter suggests California remains hopelessly out of reach for Mr. Bush in the 2004 presidential election, these views rest on the naivete of political reporters and the wishful thinking of the left. As Karl Rove and team set up shop for re-election, they should turn a keen eye towards California returns. Great promise lies therein."

'Snotty peacenik'
How bad can things get for MSNBC's "Donahue"? So bad that "Saturday Night Live" on sister network NBC parodied the low-rated talk show. Darrell Hammond portrayed host Phil Donahue, with "guests" who included left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore.
"Michael, you saw these election results. Americans are moving to the right and they want us liberals just to shut up and stop spoiling all the fun," the Donahue character says.
"That's not true," says the Moore character.
Replies Donahue: "Oh, let's face it. We're one huge bummer. Phil Donahue, that snotty peacenik intellectual. And Michael Moore, the scruffy, unwashed, sweaty, overweight rabble-rouser. I mean, people just don't like us, Michael."
"I don't know," says Moore. "I think people like me. And for the record, I do bathe."
Snotty or not, the "Donahue" show has helped make the cable MSNBC network "a ratings embarrassment" for parent company General Electric, Janet Kornblum reports in USA Today.
MSNBC is averaging fewer than 400,000 viewers during prime time, compared with 983,000 viewers at CNN and 1.5 million for Fox News Channel.
"Phil Donahue's days at MSNBC are numbered," the reporter said. "NBC News executives are likely to cancel his talk show by year's end."

A flag lag
In the revived battle over Georgia's state flag, two groups on opposite sides have decided to cut Gov.-elect Sonny Perdue a little slack, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Sam Williams, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, has advised business leaders to keep quiet, citing efforts to work with the incoming Perdue administration in other areas. Mr. Williams also raised the possibility of a behind-the-scenes solution.
Meanwhile, the Sons of Confederate Veterans decided Monday at least tentatively to wait until after Mr. Perdue's inauguration Jan. 13 to stage a massive rally at the Capitol advocating a return to a state banner dominated by the Confederate battle emblem.
Instead, the rally will be scheduled a day later, making it less likely that Mr. Perdue's swearing-in will be overshadowed by rebel flags and demonstrators in Confederate regalia along with counterprotesters.


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