- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Blogger angst

NBC’s Tom Brokaw signs off the air tonight after 21 years as anchorman, and will be replaced tomorrow by correspondent Brian Williams. Both have opinions about Internet bloggers — whose dogged pursuit of CBS’ Dan Rather helped expose his use of forged documents in a “60 Minutes” story that questioned President Bush’s National Guard service.

Mr. Brokaw is not threatened by bloggers.

“Some of the bloggers out there are voices that the country is well-served to listen to. They’re smart, analytic and offer unique points of view,” he told the Los Angeles Daily News yesterday.

“What troubles me is when bloggers ascribe political motives to what we do or use what we said as a point of departure for some kind of political screed that Internet users may be confused by,” Mr. Brokaw said.

Mr. Williams — who called himself a “big NASCAR freak, a ‘gear-head,’” in an NBC interview yesterday — is even less receptive.

Bloggers are “on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem,” he told attendees at a recent Time magazine “Person of the Year” luncheon.

Move off

“MoveOn.org is at a standstill. Election Day gave the hyper-liberal (‘progressive’) organization a case of the blues,” noted the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Monday.

With “pandemic shell shock,” supporters of Sen. John Kerry staged 1,680 house parties on Nov. 21 to recover and “analyze how MoveOn.org should move on.”

Revelers proposed a nationwide consumer strike plus a boycott of ATMs produced by companies that make electronic voting machines — which suggested “a degree of cluelessness quite staggering,” according to the paper.

It concluded, “At a San Francisco party, someone said Republicans won on issues such as God, guns and gays, while the opposition did not have a clear message. It might be simpler than that. One actually believed in something, while the other only wanted to defeat Bush. Until ‘progressives’ offer more than liberal opposition, MoveOn.org will go nowhere.”

Marital bliss

Maria Shriver, wife of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and card-carrying member of the Kennedy family, says America’s first foreign-born president will not be her husband.

“Forget about it. It is not going to happen. The process takes years, and this is as far as it goes,” she tells the January issue of Vanity Fair magazine.

But heavens, she loves her he-man hubby rather than those ivory tower guys.

The pair are “hot for each other, into each other. There hasn’t been a moment when I have been bored. I have worked and worked on my marriage, and it has paid off,” she said.

“Everyone assumed that I was supposed to marry someone like a John Kerry, some preppy that had gone to Harvard or Yale. I didn’t want to marry those boys. I did not like them. I had been around them my whole life,” she continued.

“I wanted out of that suffocation. I wanted someone different. … Here was a guy who was free. If he wants to be a Republican, he is a Republican. If he wants to be a movie star, he is a movie star.”

Jersey jumble

Democratic Sen. Jon Corzine is expected to announce his candidacy for governor of New Jersey today, hoping to replace Gov. James E. McGreevey, who left office after having a homosexual affair with an aide.

Mr. Corzine, 57, is a Wall Street executive who spent $70 million of his own fortune to win his seat in 2000.

“He is seen as the most effective person in the party to run for governor. There is a crisis of confidence. Given his executive experience, he believes he can be a force for change,” a Democratic source told Reuters yesterday.

Mr. Corzine faces a likely challenge from Democrat and acting Gov. Richard J. Codey, who took over from Mr. McGreevey. Republican candidates include Douglas Forrester, who lost a bid for the Senate to Democrat Frank R. Lautenberg in 2002, and Bret Schundler, a former Jersey City mayor who lost his bid for governor in 2001 — and four other hopefuls.

McGreevey, Part 2

“Test your gaydar,” ABC News’ John Stossel advised in an online column yesterday.

“Jim McGreevey surprised a lot of people a few months ago when he announced: ‘I am a gay American.’ But a lot of people say they can tell right away — just by looking at someone — or listening to them — whether they’re gay or not. They say they have ‘gaydar.’ (The word is a play on radar — seeing what’s hidden.)”

Mr. Stossel continued, “Apparently McGreevey’s wife doesn’t have gaydar. They are reported to have separated. And his ex-wife said she had no clue, and most of his constituents didn’t know. So if so many people can be fooled, does gaydar really exist?”

Yes, apparently.

“Gaydar absolutely exists,” noted Northwestern University researcher Michael Bailey, who has devised a test to rate it.

Licenses to kill

Some folks with painful memories are down on Sen. Joe Lieberman.

District-based 9/11 Families for a Secure America, which represents 300 families with relatives killed in the September 11 attacks, called the Connecticut Democrat a “true obstructionist” yesterday to the “9/11 bill” because of his insistence that no immigration safeguards be included in proposed legislation.

“The 19 terrorists used more than 60 driver’s licenses to operate within this country, board those planes and eventually kill 3,000 people, including my son,” said Peter Gadiel, the group’s president.

“Joe Lieberman doesn’t think driver’s license reform or any immigration safeguards should be in the 9/11 bill. He’s simply making no sense and is obviously letting special interests do his thinking instead of doing what’s right for the American people,” Mr. Gadiel said.

A captive press

The entire run of the November issue of the Yale Free Press, a conservative student publication, was stolen from the university’s campus over the Thanksgiving break, “horrified” student editor Diana Feygin said yesterday.

Although she has received some support from Yale, Miss Feygin “wished the administration were more proactive in its investigation,” the Yale Daily News reported.

The stolen issues contained a poll asking students whether they felt political freedom in the classroom was an issue at Yale. Miss Feygin and her staff were mystified that thieves couldn’t “disagree in a way that’s more helpful.”

Nationally, theft of conservative collegiate newspapers is not uncommon, she said. The California Patriot, a conservative monthly at the University of California at Berkeley, was stolen repeatedly in 2002.

In 1999, Light & Truth, another Yale conservative publication, was discarded by freshman counselors because they felt it “encouraged freshmen to skip sexual-education lectures held during orientation.”

Contact Jennifer Harper at 202/636-3085 or [email protected]

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