- The Washington Times - Monday, September 8, 2003

Preaching change

The Rev. Al Sharpton wants black voters to rethink the Democratic Party.

“We must not be in a relationship with a Democratic Party that takes us for granted. We must no longer be the political mistresses of the Democratic Party,” Mr. Sharpton told a group of Virginia-based minority construction company executives Saturday.

The presidential hopeful continued, “A mistress is where they take you out to have fun but they can’t take you home to Mama and Daddy. Either we’re going to get married in 2004 or we’re going to find some folks who ain’t ashamed to be seen with us.”

Mr. Sharpton also denounced what he called “negro amnesia” among a new generation of black people who overlook the sacrifices of civil rights activists four decades ago, and harken to violent or profane rap music lyrics.

“To think that we have come down dangerous alleys, that we have traveled through the backwoods of terror, that we have survived beatings and been shot down in cold blood doesn’t give you the right to call your mama a whore,” Mr. Sharpton said, according to the Associated Press.

Fox not a hawk?

Was Fox News the most patriotic news channel during the war in Iraq? One study suggests that CBS News may deserve the title.

The Center for Media and Public Affairs pored over 331/2 hours of television coverage of the war in Iraq to reveal “wide disparities in news agendas,” according to a study released today.

ABC’s coverage was the most critical of the war, with just 34 percent of on-air comments favorable. NBC’s coverage was described as “most balanced towards the American mission,” with 53 percent positive.

Fox News had 60 percent positive comments on the war. CBS’ coverage was the most supportive, the study found, with 74 percent of opinions favorable. The study also found that 63 of the Fox stories showed combat scenes. NBC showed 102, ABC showed 98 and CBS 80. The group did not include CNN or MSNBC because of “limited resources,” the study stated.

Statue of limitations

Fox News commentator Dennis Miller is fretting about American safety.

“We now have better security at Borders bookstores than at our actual borders. Meanwhile, all we can do is kvetch about how wrong it is to search and profile people,” Mr. Miller noted in a column yesterday.

“Here’s one way we can solve our border problems: Why don’t we just buy Mexico and Canada? I mean the continent is already called North America. Somebody was trying to tell us something.”

Mr. Miller continued, “You know, we’ve got the best country in the world and its greatness is based on inclusion. But someone should turn over that plaque on the Statue of Liberty and check underneath because I’m pretty sure it’ll say, ‘But for God sakes, don’t let people in who want to blow up this statue!’

“By the way, I find it ironic that the French gave us the Statue of Liberty because you know when it comes to being gracious to foreigners, well, the French wrote the book on that, didn’t they?”

Terry time

Put up or shut up: That’s the message from Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie to Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe.

After the party bosses appeared together on NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday, Mr. Gillespie accused Mr. McAuliffe of making “outrageous attacks against former President Bush, President Bush and Majority Leader Tom DeLay. He should immediately substantiate his on-air assertions,” Mr. Gillespie said in a press release.

Among other things, Mr. McAuliffe said that during the 2000 South Carolina primary, “the Bush campaign went out and attacked John McCain, they attacked his wife, they attacked his children, they attacked his mental sanity, they attacked his patriotism.”

Poll vault

The public believes President Bush has made the country safer from terrorists. Almost three-fourths in a CBS News poll released yesterday said the president has helped make the country safer. Even a majority of Democrats agreed.

But the president is not viewed so favorably on his handling of the economy. Almost two-thirds of the respondents said he has had almost no success creating jobs, and half said Bush has not helped the economy.

Seven in 10 of the respondents said domestic issues, not international issues, will capture their votes in the 2004 presidential election.

A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Friday, meanwhile, gave Mr. Bush a 66 percent approval rating on his job handling terrorism, and a 59 percent overall job approval. The poll also found that 51 percent of the respondents said they would vote for Mr. Bush in 2004; 39 percent said they would vote for a Democratic candidate.

In late July, 48 percent said they would vote for Mr. Bush, 40 percent for a Democrat.

The CBS poll of 930 adults, including 775 registered voters, was taken Aug. 26-28. The Gallup poll of 1,009 adults was conducted Aug. 25-26.

Scarborough on alert

The Washington Times’ defense reporter Rowan Scarborough may have riveted the attention of the White House.

“There was a report, an internal report by the Joint Chiefs of Staff released last week to The Washington Times,” ABC’s George Stephanopoulos told Secretary of State Colin L. Powell yesterday. “It said there wasn’t proper planning for the postwar effort, and perhaps that the rush to war in March prevented proper planning.”

Mr. Powell replied, “Well, be that as it may, I’ll let the Joint Chiefs of Staff speak for their own report. The point is that we now understand the nature of the task that is before us. We know there remain Fedayeen and Ba’athist elements. We know that there are terrorists who are coming into Iraq. And we will now identify this enemy, and we will root them out. And that’s what the president is going to talk about tonight.”

History repeats

A much ballyhooed and very lurid article in a 1977 Oui magazine surfaced recently to make mischief with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s California campaign. But another titillating article by the same writer once helped deflate the gubernatorial dreams of New York Mayor Ed Koch.

In 1982, just days after Mr. Koch announced his bid for higher office, Playboy published Peter Manso’s 17-page interview with Hizzoner, which was widely credited as dooming Mr. Koch’s campaign.

When asked whether he could ever imagine moving to upstate New York, Mr. Koch responded with a barrage of disdainful stereotypes about the countryside, calling it “sterile,” “a joke” and “a land of gingham dresses, Sears Roebuck suits and pickup trucks.”

Needless to say, this didn’t sit well with many of the New York voters who lived in the hinterlands. Despite a once-commanding lead, Mr. Koch was upset in the primary contest by Mario Cuomo.

“That’s OK,” Mr. Koch told the Associated Press. “I didn’t want to be governor anyway.”

Author Mr. Manso, insists he won’t sell the old tapes of his Oui interview with Mr. Schwarzenegger, unless the candidate questions their veracity.

“People want those tapes for prurient and/or political reasons,” Mr. Manso said. “Having those tapes on the Internet won’t improve the culture.”

Contact Jennifer Harper at jharper@washingtontimes.com or 202/636-3085.

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