- The Washington Times - Monday, November 3, 2003

Blackballing Fox?

“Democratic Party officials are so distressed that the Fox News Channel has sponsored two major primary debates that they are trying to block the network’s possible role in one in December,” the New York Times reports.

“Party officials say they have asked ABC News to drop consideration of Fox as a partner for the sixth and final officially sanctioned debate, which ABC News is in the running to sponsor in New Hampshire,” the newspaper said.

“Given that Fox News is home to some outspoken liberal-bashing hosts, Democratic officials said, they doubted the network was TV destination No. 1 for core primary voters.

“‘It is fair to conclude that not a lot of Democrats watch Fox,’ one party official said.

“But Fox News officials said the network was likely to be involved in at least one more major forum because WMUR, the powerful ABC affiliate in New Hampshire, has an agreement to stage an event with Fox before the state’s primary.

“‘We receive numerous compliments from the campaigns and the candidates about our fair and balanced coverage,’ said Marty Ryan, the Fox News executive producer for political programs.

“Jennifer Backus, a Democratic Party strategist, does not see it that way. ‘The reason why some Democrats don’t want to go on Fox,’ she said, ‘is because they think it’s unfair and unbalanced.’”

Speaking of haughty

The New Republic, an influential and generally liberal magazine of politics and policy in Washington, decided to embrace a new movie about how writer Stephen Glass was caught fictionalizing most of his stories in the magazine, including one that depicted young conservatives as drunken and sadistic fornicators.

In fact, the magazine held a special screening of “Shattered Glass” on Thursday night at the AMC Mazza Gallerie on Wisconsin Avenue NW. During a panel discussion afterward, owner and Editor in Chief Marty Peretz said he felt a sense of “schadenfreude” — a German word meaning joy in the misfortune of others — when the “haughty” folks at the New York Times found themselves in a similar situation with reporter Jayson Blair earlier this year.

We don’t know if New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd attended the screening, but noticed that she took the opportunity to compare the Bush administration to Mr. Glass, Mr. Blair and other fabricators in her column yesterday.

The movie, by the way, is terrific.

Party on

While we would be the first to point out that the Democratic National Committee bears no responsibility for what occurs at a private business, it is amusing to note that just five days after Bill Clinton, DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe and other Democratic dignitaries were partying it up at the Dream nightclub in the District, the same club sponsored an “Asian pimp ‘n’ ho costume party.”

Mr. Clinton and other leading Democrats attended a fund-raiser at the club last Monday night. The “Asian pimp ‘n’ ho costume party” took place Saturday.

The latter event, by the way, was listed as an “our pick” in the “On the Town” column in The Washington Post’s Weekend section.

Unwed voters

Maybe the Republicans should start a matchmaking service.

The Census Bureau recently reported that 132 members of the House represent districts in which a majority of households are headed by unmarried adults.

Single head-of-household voters apparently prefer Democrats. Only 19 of the majority-single districts have Republican representatives in the House.

Among the 113 House Democrats representing majority-single districts (with the percentage of households headed by unmarried adults):

Illinois Reps. Bobby L. Rush (63.9), Rahm Emanuel (58.2) and Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (56.9); California Reps. Nancy Pelosi (69.9), Barbara Lee (62.8), Henry A. Waxman (60.0) and Maxine Waters (57.7); Michigan Reps. John Conyers Jr. (63.1); Missouri Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (52.6); Texas Reps. Martin Frost (52.1) and Sheila Jackson-Lee (60.8); and New York Democrats Charles B. Rangel (75.0), Carolyn B. Maloney (70.0) and Jerrold Nadler (66.1).

Furthermore, the Census Bureau reports that a majority of households in 13 states are headed by unmarried adults, and Democrats hold a 16-10 majority of Senate seats from those states, which include California (50.5 percent unmarried households) and New York (54.1 percent).

Recruiting Rowley

A group of Minnesota Democrats is pressing FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley to run for Congress, hoping the agent who exposed pre-September 11 blunders at bureau headquarters can help them win another seat in the House.

State Democratic Party Chairman Mike Erlandson said at least five party activists have spoken with Miss Rowley in recent weeks about challenging freshman Republican Rep. John Kline, a retired Marine colonel.

“Obviously, we’re excited about the prospect of her taking a serious look at the race,” Mr. Erlandson said.

Miss Rowley has not publicly disclosed her political leanings and declined to comment yesterday, the Associated Press reports.

If she did run, the 23-year FBI veteran would have to quit her job about a year shy of qualifying for early-retirement benefits.

Miss Rowley was named one of Time magazine’s 2002 Persons of the Year for criticizing FBI headquarters’ refusal to seek a warrant for a search of terrorism suspect Zacarias Moussaoui’s possessions before September 11.

More recently, Miss Rowley stirred controversy with her criticism of the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq and its handling of civil liberties at home.

Heart trouble

Kentucky Gov. Paul E. Patton underwent a medical procedure to keep an artery open Saturday after his heart rate became accelerated, officials at the University of Kentucky Hospital announced yesterday.

Mr. Patton underwent a heart catheterization on Saturday and two stents were implanted, the hospital said.

Mr. Patton was released in time to attend the Arkansas-Kentucky football game Saturday night, the Associated Press reports. He was resting at the governor’s mansion in Frankfort yesterday, according to his staff.

Mr. Patton, a Democrat, is barred by term limits from seeking a third term in Tuesday’s election. He has been battered by his admission that he had an extramarital affair.

Let me speak

“Look for Al Sharpton and Carol Moseley Braun to continue campaigning even after a Democratic nominee emerges,” Paul Bedard writes in the Washington Whispers column of U.S. News & World Report.

“Why? They hope to win enough delegates to negotiate for a key speaking role at the 2004 convention.”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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