- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 10, 2006

The new Marilyn?

“We’d love to have her go,” United Service Organizations spokesman John Hanson tells Inside the Beltway, referring to 20-year-old actress Lindsay Lohan, who says she wants to go to Iraq to entertain U.S. troops in the mold of Marilyn Monroe a half-century ago.

“She would be a great addition to any USO tour,” says Mr. Hanson, recalling Miss Monroe’s memorable visit with American troops stationed in Korea in 1954.

“We heard Marilyn showed up in a flight suit, and she looked great, but she said the troops did not want to see her dressed [in military garb], so she actually changed into a cocktail dress and walked out on stage. There is an iconic picture of her appearance,” Mr. Hanson says.

Miss Lohan tells the September issue of Elle magazine, which hit newsstands yesterday, that she’s been trying for some time to go Iraq in the company of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat, during which time she could entertain troops. However, she says Mrs. Clinton considered such a trip to be too dangerous.

Miss Lohan says: “It’s so amazing seeing [Miss Monroe] just going somewhere, this beautiful sex kitten, who’s basically a pinup, which is what I’ve always aspired to be.”

Today’s urban battlefields are a far cry from previous wars and in many ways more dangerous.

“These are not garden spots,” Mr. Hanson reminds this column.

Still, an impressive list of celebrities from the entertainment and sports worlds have provided American troops with morale boosts during recent wars, including in Iraq.

Sun burn salve

It seems Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, has adequately ruffled editorial feathers at the Baltimore Sun after suggesting that the newspaper is guilty of past political “bias.”

After Inside the Beltway yesterday published portions of a letter from Mr. Steele to his supporters explaining why he did not submit a completed 10-question candidate survey to the Sun — he said he preferred his answers appear as written, “unfiltered and without bias” — the Steele campaign heard immediately from Sun management.

Now, in a statement exclusive to Inside the Beltway, the Steele campaign wishes to clarify: “The Steele campaign has not questioned the integrity of the Baltimore Sun. The Sun’s editorial page did not indicate if, or how, Lt. Gov. Steele’s answers would be shared with the public.

“Therefore, Lt. Gov. Steele decided to share his answers with all Marylanders. His complete answers to the questions from the Baltimore Sun’s editorial page may be seen at www.steeleformaryland.com.

“As noted … Lt. Gov. Steele is hopeful the hiring of a new publisher will help the Sun listen to the views of all Marylanders and avoid such indefensible statements such as the editorial page’s comment in 2002 that he brought ‘little to the team but the color of his skin.’”

Right-wing dating

“It sort of started with a boy that I had a crush on inviting me to his car to listen to Rush Limbaugh. It’s not traditional, but that’s exactly how it happened.”

—Lisa De Pasquale, 28, conference director for the American Conservative Union, telling this week’s National Journal that her romance with politics was sparked under obviously unusual circumstances.

They’re gr-r-r-r-eat

Forget everything you’ve read about this “do-nothing” Congress. Bills and resolutions are indeed getting passed:

“Resolved, That the Senate recognizes … the most famous and successful cereals and characters, including: (1) Tony the Tiger; and (2) Snap, Crackle, and Pop.”

In all seriousness, the recent Senate resolution recognizes contributions of Will Keith Kellogg to the people of the world on this 100th anniversary of the creation of the first flaked breakfast cereal. Kellogg founded the Kellogg Co. in 1906 in Battle Creek, Mich.

Aw, shucks

In the category of “most bizarre media advisory ever issued,” we call to your attention an eye-opening paragraph in a Tuesday advisory from BP Alaska surrounding today’s press tour of Prudhoe Bay operations, including the latest oil spill site:

“All participants, by acceptance of invitation, agree to adhere to all BP safety issues. No firearms, illegal drugs, contraband or alcohol are allowed.”

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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