Long before Karl Rove got caught up in the Valerie Plame scandal, President Bush issued a warning via White House memo that he does not approve of his lieutenants being quoted as “unnamed” officials.
Suffice it to say, only a select few within the White House reveal any secrets these days.
Suzanne Malveaux, a familiar face in the White House press room, told CNN viewers the other day that she has her own anonymous source inside the White House.
“[A]nd we have this kind of code,” she said, “and if there’s something significant that’s going to happen, he always says it’s a ‘suit and tie day.’ And it’s not as sexy as the flower pot’s over here, move it to the other side, but that’s what we use.”
Pushed too far
Marc Morano, senior staff writer for CNSNews.com in Washington, reports that the California State University professor who bore Jesse Jackson‘s illegitimate child has made her first public comments on the subject, including harsh criticism of the black community for “scapegoat[ing]” her.
“I was attacked by friends, strangers and the black press without mercy,” Karin L. Stanford writes in a new multi-authored book, her chapter titled “Wolves at the Door.” “Black religious leaders and congregations prayed for him (Jackson) and his ‘family,’ but not for our daughter [Ashley] and me.”
After a story about his love child was published in the National Enquirer, Mr. Jackson admitted in January 2001 that he was indeed the father of the then-20-month-old girl.
At that time, Miss Stanford recalled, the former director of Mr. Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH office here in Washington, the “black media” and “black establishment” turned on her. She said she was immediately labeled “a political stalker,” “gold digger” and “opportunist” — even though she refused financial offers to publicly reveal her relationship with the civil rights leader.
“Coming at a time when [former] President Bill Clinton was being crucified for lying about his affair with a White House intern, my partner was praised by the media for his honesty,” Miss Stanford writes in the book, “Because I Said So: 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race & Themselves.”
Saying she’s been riding in the back seat for too long, actress and activist Jane Fonda says she will embark on a cross-country bus tour demanding an end to the U.S. military presence in Iraq.
“I’ve decided I’m coming out,” she said. “I have not taken a stand on any war since Vietnam. I carry a lot of baggage from that.”
That she does. Among her unsavory comments during her 1972 trip to North Vietnam, Miss Fonda condemned U.S. soldiers as “war criminals.” And rest assured, she soon will encounter some of these “criminals” on her bus tour, which is set to roll in March.
Take her recent book-signing appearance in Kansas City, where 54-year-old Michael Smith, a Vietnam war veteran, says he waited in line for 90 minutes so he could spit tobacco juice on Miss Fonda.
Quote of the week
“If the war in Iraq were going better, we wouldn’t still be asking how we got into it. But it isn’t — so we are.”
— Chris Matthews, MSNBC talk-show host
Will Hollywood be forced to pick a new pet cause?
An ad campaign that began yesterday in Weekly Variety urges celebrities who support People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to dump the organization and “fire their publicist” in light of the felony animal-cruelty charges against two PETA employees.
The ad, sponsored by the Foundation for Biomedical Research in Washington, lists the names of 50 celebrities serving on the honorary committee for PETA’s 25th anniversary celebration, including Pamela Anderson, Christina Applegate and Alicia Silverstone.
The ad intones: “If your name is on this list, fire your publicist.”
The ad reminds readers of the discovery of dead dogs and puppies in North Carolina, purportedly killed in the back of a van, stuffed in trash bags and dumped into a garbage bin by PETA employees.
“We believe that many of the stars on PETA’s honorary committee simply don’t know what they’re supporting,” says Frankie Trull, president of the Foundation for Biomedical Research. “Chances are, they lent their names to this ubiquitous animal-rights organization out of genuine compassion for animals, but would be shocked and appalled by the indiscriminate killings of homeless pets.”
John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or firstname.lastname@example.org.