- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tipper’s traps

Who was that blonde playing alongside drummer Mickey Hart at Tuesday night’s Dead show at the Verizon Center?

Why, it was Tipper Gore, rocking out to “Sugar Magnolia.” Our colleague and longtime Deadhead Karen Goldberg Goff reports that Mrs. Gore - who used to play drums in an all-girl rock band back in high school in Arlington - was actually quite good when she joined the band in the third set.

Mrs. Gore remained onstage through the encores, dancing along to “Uncle John’s Band” and “Ripple” before joining the reunited band members for a final bow.

Earlier in the day, band members dropped in on President Obama at the White House and paid a visit to their favorite D.C. haunt, the Old Ebbitt Grill.

Tapper taps

Jake Tapper, ABC News White House correspondent and Political Punch blogger for the network’s Web site, is the first to admit he’s had trouble reconciling the breezy rhetorical license of the blogosphere with the self-restraint and impartiality expected of a network correspondent.

The multimedia straddle may have just gotten a little harder.

“Lovely pix of the Obamas,” Mr. Tapper tweeted April 14. “Very much the Camelot Huxtables. Btwn this + yesterday’s Easter Egg roll, i’m going into diabetic shock.”

Did he say … “Camelot Huxtables”?

“It’s like the only frame of reference people have is one African-American couple they fell in love with on the Cosby show,” Roland Martin, a senior analyst for “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” and contributor to Essence magazine, told Green and Glover when informed of Mr. Tapper’s tweet. “There are thousands upon thousands of Barack and Michelle Obamas out there. Let the Obamas be the Obamas and the Kennedys be the Kennedys.”

Defenders of Mr. Tapper - and, believe us, he is able to mobilize a few on short notice - were quick to dismiss the idea that the reporter had any intention of racially stereotyping the first family.

“Knowing Jake, it was a compliment meant to convey that the Obamas are a cross between the fictional Black family and the real deal,” e-mailed political strategist and CNN commentator Donna Brazile.

“I was searching for a cultural reference of a gorgeous African-American family with little girls,” Mr. Tapper explained to G2. “I guess I rely on TV references too much. Once I compared Charlie Gibson to Ward Cleaver from ‘Leave it to Beaver.’ That anyone interpreted my comments in any other way says to me it was a dumb thing for me to tweet.”

Nanny state?

Fran Drescher, award-winning actress, author, comedian and now State Department special envoy for women’s health, spoke at a luncheon Tuesday at the National Press Club.

Miss Drescher told us that after some early career stumbles - including a few failed pilots at CBS - she found herself on a flight to France seated fortuitously next to the president of the network. Never one to miss an opportunity, Miss Drescher used the 9 1/2-hour flight to pitch the idea of a show of her own to the cornered executive.

“Where was he going to go?” she joked. “Coach?”

The outcome of the airborne pitch meeting? “The Nanny,” which made her an international celebrity.

Miss Drescher was diagnosed with uterine cancer eight years ago, and she has since come to believe that she became famous and survived cancer to spread the word about its early detection and treatment via the Cancer Schmancer Movement (named after her book about her experience with the disease). The Cancer Schmancer Movement is a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that all women’s cancers are diagnosed while in stage one, the most curable stage.

“We are not trying to find a cure,” she explains. “Stage-one diagnosis is available to us today.”

Urging all to “recognize the early-warning whispers of the cancers that could affect you so you can become better partners with your physicians to know what tests are available,” she says: “Doctors are bludgeoned by health insurance companies to go the least expensive route for diagnostic testing. They usually subscribe to the philosophy that if you hear hooves galloping, don’t look for a zebra; it’s probably a horse. But if you happen to be a zebra, you will slip between the cracks. Very often cancers at their earliest and most curable stages mimic more benign illnesses.”


@BoFirstDog replied to our Twitter inquiry into the secret identity of the mastermind behind First Dog Bo Obama‘s Twitter account with the cryptic clue, “My real name is Charlie.”

On further investigation, we learned that “Charlie” was the name given to Bo by the breeder. As of 4 p.m. on April 15, @BoFirstDog had 552 followers and is following 998. He also has a blog linked to his Twitter account - https://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/firstdog.

Beyond that, we’re still stumped. Any ideas?

To contact Stephanie Green and Elizabeth Glover with a tip or to request event coverage, please e-mail undercover@washingtontimes.com.

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