- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 30, 2006

Beyond Harry Potter

Twenty-two House Republicans, led by Rep. Donald Manzullo of Illinois, have sent a letter to U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker requesting that he review the processes by which the Department of Health and Human Services determines the effectiveness of 24 federally funded sex-education programs.

The congressmen note that one “Focus on Kids” program, which is aimed at students ages 9 to 15, “assigns teens to create a list of ways to be close to a person without having intercourse, including body massage, bathing together, masturbation, sensuous feeding, fantasizing, watching erotic movies, reading erotic books and magazines.”

The congressmen’s descriptions of the remaining programs we dare not print, given this is a family newspaper, and adults might be reading.

Dishonor indeed

Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas is master of ceremonies for this evening’s annual gala of the Media Research Center (MRC), featuring the ever-popular (and dreaded) Dishonors Awards. The event will be held at the Grand Hyatt Washington hotel.

“Each year you think the media can’t get worse, but they never let us down,” notes Mr. Thomas, referring to awards for the most outrageous reporting of the preceding year as determined by a panel of leading judges, this year including William F. Buckley Jr., Ann Coulter, Steve Forbes, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, Robert Novak and MRC founder L. Brent Bozell III, whose ability to microscopically monitor the Fourth Estate is nothing short of uncanny.

While we can’t disclose tonight’s winners, why not revisit the 2005 gala that prominently featured newly crowned NBC “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams, who native Washingtonians will recall got his start at WTTG-TV Channel 5.

Specifically, the MRC drew attention to a pair of interviews, the first conducted by Mr. Williams with Enola Gay navigator TheodoreDutchVan Kirk on the 60th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.

Mr. Williams: “You just told me the story about one photograph from the war that always kind of catches you, the Japanese soldier returning to his city that’s been destroyed. Do you have remorse for what happened? How do you deal with that in your mind?”

Mr. Van Kirk: “No, I do not have remorse! I pity the people who were there. I always think of it, Brian, as being the dropping of the atom bomb was an act of war to end a war.”

Then there was Mr. Williams’ exchange with NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell, wife of former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

Mrs. Mitchell: “It is an iconic picture: American hostages, hands bound and blindfolded, being paraded outside the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by their captors. But has one of those student radicals now become Iran’s newly elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? … Tonight, U.S. intelligence officials say that they will continue to study this, but may never have definitive proof of what the role was of Iran’s new president, Brian.”

Mr. Williams: “Andrea, what would it all matter if proven true? Someone brought up today the first several U.S. presidents were certainly revolutionaries and might have been called ‘terrorists’ at the time by the British crown, after all.”

Mrs. Mitchell: “Indeed, Brian.”

Warmth of Spain

Global warming, whether man-made or by the hand of Mother Nature, seems to have everybody hot under the collar.

Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow Christopher C. Horner, counsel to the Washington-based Cooler Heads Coalition, arrived in Spain this week as one of four invited speakers to the conference “Kyoto: Solution or the Problem?”

“It was no surprise to find the Marxist student organization at Spain’s elite left-wing university, Carlos III de Madrid, ripping down … 600 posters announcing the conference,” Mr. Horner writes to Inside the Beltway. “After all, it featured ‘evil’ me as one of four speakers at only the second event ever hosted at the school for those advocating non-socialist programs.”

The evil label is compliments of Spanish Environment Minister Cristina Narbona, who publicly called Mr. Horner the devil for daring to set foot in Spain while bearing charts showing European “failure” to abide by the United Nations’ Kyoto Protocol to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Or as the Washington lawyer put it: Europe “is busy violating the energy-rationing agreement; Spain in particularly spectacular fashion.”

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

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