- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 20, 2005

You can’t do that

“When CBS bigwigs saw a rough cut of ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ in November 1965, they hated it.

“‘They said it was slow,’ executive producer Lee Mendelson remembers with a laugh. There were concerns that the show was almost defiantly different: There was no laugh track, real children provided the voices, and there was a swinging score by jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi.

“Mendelson and animator Bill Melendez fretted about the insistence by Peanuts creator Charles Schulz that his first-ever TV spinoff end with a reading of the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke by a lisping little boy named Linus.

“‘We told Schulz, “Look, you can’t read from the Bible on network television,”’ Mendelson says. ‘When we finished the show and watched it, Melendez and I looked at each other and I said, “We’ve ruined Charlie Brown.”’

“Good grief, were they wrong. The first broadcast was watched by almost 50 percent of the nation’s viewers.”

— Bill Nichols, writing on “The Christmas classic that almost wasn’t,” Dec. 6 in USA Today

Indictment envy

“I’m getting a little insulted that no Democratic prosecutor has indicted me. Liberals bring trumped-up criminal charges against all the most dangerous conservatives. Why not me?

“Democrat prosecutor Barry Krischer has spent two years and hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to find some criminal charge to bring against Rush Limbaugh. Political hack Ronnie Earle spent three years and went through six grand juries to indict Tom DeLay. Liberals spent the last two years fantasizing in public about Karl Rove being indicted. Newt Gingrich was under criminal investigation for 3 years back in the ‘90s when liberals were afraid of him. Final result: No crime. …

“I’ve done a lot for my country. I think I deserve to be indicted, too. How am I supposed to show my face around Washington if I haven’t been ‘frog-marched’ out of my office by some liberal D.A. looking to move to D.C. for the next Democratic administration? What’s a girl have to do to become a ‘person of interest’ around here?

— Ann Coulter, writing on “Why can’t I get arrested?” Dec. 14 in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Africa’s ills

“There are probably more annoying things than being hectored about African development by a wealthy Irish rock star in a cowboy hat, but I can’t think of one at the moment. …

“It seems to have been Africa’s fate to become a theater of empty talk and public gestures. But the impression that Africa is fatally troubled and can be saved only by outside help — not to mention celebrities and charity concerts — is a destructive and misleading conceit. …

“When Malawi’s minister of education was accused of stealing millions of dollars from the education budget in 2000, and the Zambian president was charged with stealing from the treasury, and Nigeria squandered its oil wealth, what happened? The simplifiers of Africa’s problems kept calling for debt relief and more aid. …

“Bono … not only believes that he has the solution to Africa’s ills, he is also shouting so loud that other people seem to trust his answers. … He recently had lunch at the White House, where he expounded upon the ‘more money’ platform and how African countries are uniquely futile.”

— Paul Theroux, writing on “The Rock Star’s Burden,” Thursday in the New York Times

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