- The Washington Times - Friday, November 19, 2004

Comic concern

We’re not sure who should be more concerned — the major TV networks or the nation as a whole.

But Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” is more trusted by youths than two of the big three network news anchors.

Declare Yourself, the leading nonpartisan youth voter advocacy group founded by television producer Norman Lear, asked 1,200 18- to 29-year-olds last week which network news anchor they trusted the most to give them information about politics and politicians.

The top choice at 26 percent was “none of them” (there is hope).

Tom Brokaw (soon to retire) of NBC finished first with 17 percent, followed by non-network anchor Mr. Stewart with 16 percent, ABC’s Peter Jennings at 15 percent, and Dan Rather of CBS at 10 percent.

Among first-time voters, Mr. Stewart finished ahead of all three major-network anchors.

“America’s youth really came out to vote this time, but apparently, they assign more credibility to a fake anchor on a fake news show than the real thing,” Washington pollster Frank Luntz tells Inside the Beltway.

The survey also found that the vast majority of voters ages 18 to 29 said they “definitely” will continue their political activities, both at the ballot box and in the community.

Edwards’ legacy

The Senate paid tribute this week to retiring members, and at the top of the list was Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, who was runner-up both in the Democratic presidential primary and as running mate of Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat.

The Senate salute was like listening to the 2004 presidential campaign all over again: “Senator Edwards, the son of a mill worker, was the first in his family to go to college,” began Sen. Kent Conrad, North Dakota Democrat.

Mr. Edwards doesn’t plan to stray too far from the political spotlight, although his primary focus now is on his wife, Elizabeth, who recently was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Dennis remains

One of the longest-surviving 2004 Democratic presidential contenders, Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio, has no plans to go anywhere.

And as U.S. forces this week continued to secure Fallujah, Mr. Kucinich was busy calling for an Iraq exit strategy.

“Bombing the villages to save the villages is not an exit strategy,” he says. “Expanding house-to-house fighting across Iraq is not an exit strategy.”

The congressman says the only way for U.S. troops to come home is for the United States to seek a “new relationship” with the United Nations.

Counting counties

Rep. Joe Wilson, a South Carolina Republican whose first trip to Washington on July 4, 1963, was aboard a bus to attend the National Draft [Barry] Goldwater Rally, wasn’t surprised that President Bush won re-election.

“His message resonated across every demographic group in America — Hispanics, African-Americans, Jewish Americans, Asian-Americans and women,” the congressman said.

And then there’s this telling statistic: Of the 3,153 counties in this country, Mr. Bush carried 2,542, while his Democratic opponent, Sen. John Kerry, carried only 611.

A dollar saved

Look next year for Benjamin Franklin — the only Founding Father to sign all of this nation’s organizational documents, who played a major role in the design of the Great Seal of the United States, who designed the first American coin and who once said, “A penny saved is a penny earned” — to appear on $1 U.S. silver coins.

There will be two coins, actually — one showing Franklin’s younger image, the other his later profile.

• John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or [email protected]

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