- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 13, 2010

PRIME TIME PRUDENCE

Her memories of Eliot Spitzer don’t seem to involve his prowess as a political pundit. “Manhattan Madam” Kristin Davis, who once supplied call girls to the former New York governor, is mighty vexed at MSNBC for using Mr. Spitzer as a fill-in host for liberal commentator Dylan Ratigan. She’s lined up her charges.

“Eliot Spitzer violated federal money-laundering laws, violated the Mann Act by transporting a prostitute across state lines to perform sex acts, lied repeatedly to the people of New York about the real source of his campaign financings, abused power by directing the state police to fabricate documents, used the state police to spy on his political opponent Nixon-style and then lied about it all,” says Ms. Davis, who served four months in prison for her activities and is now running for governor of the Empire State herself.

“I defend MSNBC’s right to interview Spitzer at any time, but making him a host and questioning others, condones behavior which is beyond the pale. Eliot Spitzer had the money and lawyers to avoid being convicted of his crimes, but that does not mean he deserves a position of public trust, based on his proven actions.”

101 MINUTES

What really goes on during large scale, industrial-strength diplomatic wrangling? Depends on the vantage point, perhaps. Behold, two versions of President Obama’s bilateral meeting with President Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Monday afternoon:

“President Yanukovych and President Obama reaffirmed their shared vision of a world without nuclear weapons and pledged to work together to prevent proliferation and to realize the Nuclear Security Summit’s goal of securing all vulnerable nuclear materials.”

(The official White House statement on the encounter.)

“We were in there for all of 30 seconds as the two leaders and their entourages sat silently and sort of posed for the cameras. It looked kind of odd to see the principals and all the [diplomats] looking at the cameras.

“POTUS suddenly ended quiet time saying, ‘Alright? Thanks guys.’ And the pool was escorted out. … spotted peaceful Falun Gong & Save Tibet protesters about three blocks from the Convention Center.”

(White House “pool” report sent from the scene at 1:28 p.m. via a Blackberry device by New York Daily News correspondent Kenneth Bazinet, who later witnessed Mr. Obama’s back-to-back meetings with Presidents Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia and Hu Jintao of China.

“Thankfully, the news-free, pretty picture-taking sessions are done for today,” Mr. Bazinet concluded at 3:09 p.m.

TAKING AIM

Uh-oh. There are potshots in the air, with a Republican in the middle. Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, is targeting the “Second Amendment March” and “Restore the Constitution Open-Carry Rally,” scheduled for April 19 in the District of Columbia and Virginia, respectively.

“The two events will feature a number of speakers who are current and former militia leaders or who have ties to extreme, anti-government groups,” Mr. Horwitz says.

“But perhaps most disturbing is the fact that Rep. Paul Broun, Georgia Republican, will speak at the D.C. event. That Broun is no fan of the Obama agenda is well-known, and unproblematic. But by giving his tacit endorsement to a group of individuals who have openly stated they will engage in ‘bloody revolution’ against our government if their demands are not met, the congressman is acting to weaken and discredit the very institution through which he serves his constituents. He should withdraw from the event immediately,” Mr. Horwitz adds.

“Our elected officials must be united in denouncing the use of political violence as a tool to overturn the results of the democratic process. Such violence was decried by our founders, and we should see it as the same grave threat to the rule of law as they did.”

DETERMINED HEADLINES

The “death” of journalism has been greatly exaggerated, perhaps. A new Project for Excellence in Journalism survey of 353 news executives released Monday finds that 92 percent of the newspaper types and 58 percent of broadcasters report they have cut back on their staffs. But wait. Seven out of 10 of the newspaper types and 64 percent of the broadcasters also agree that “the staff is leaner but can do the job well.”

Seventy-five percent of both groups have “serious reservations” about receiving subsidies from the government, meanwhile, while 63 percent say that even without new revenue streams or financial partnerships, they expect their news organization to remain solvent for a decade - and beyond.

JUST SO YOU KNOW

“Wanted: Citizen reporters to cover April 15th Tax Day. Get your iPhone ready. Register now!”

(From a Pajamas Media notice; see the rest here: www.pjtv.com)

POLL DU JOUR

• 55 percent say it is likely the U.S. will be attacked by terrorists using nuclear weapons in the next decade.

• 45 percent say it is not likely.

• 38 percent of Americans say it is likely the U.S. will be involved in a “nuclear war” in the next decade.

• 61 percent disagree.

• 74 percent say the “total elimination” of nuclear weapons is not possible.

• 70 percent say the Senate should vote in favor of President Obama’s treaty with Russia to reduce nuclear weapons.

Source: A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey of 1,008 adults conducted April 9 to 11.

Cryptic descriptions, brazen press releases, onomatopoeias to [email protected]

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