- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 25, 2010

TEA BASHERS

Could they be getting a little, uh, nervous? The press has declared war on the “tea party,” just as it did on former President George W. Bush during his time of office, says Media Research Center founder L. Brent Bozell III.

“During the Bush years, the news media were the promoters of protest, the champions of dissent. Denouncing the president as a brain-damaged warmonger was the most patriotic thing you could do - just ask the Dixie Chicks - and it was guaranteed to please the press,” Mr. Bozell says, recalling that antiwar dissenters got considerable glorification from news organizations at the time, cast as morality-minded heroes in many cases.

“My, how times - and standards - change. On the weekend of the vote for a massive government intervention in the health-insurance market, these same reporters had a different take. The ‘tea party’ protesters were not going to be hailed for their courageous and patriotic use of their free time. They were going to be smeared for daring to be,” Mr. Bozell adds. “To listen to the press, the tea party’s presence in Washington was violent, dangerous, uncivil and unprecedented, and their protests threatened to ruin the Republican image - as if that isn’t at the top of the liberal media’s ‘To Do’ list every day.”

VIEW FINDER

Rep. Tom Price is troubled by the White House “refusal” to let the press photograph or record meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week.

President Obama’s been filmed shaking hands with Hugo Chavez and Moammar Gaddafi, yet he’s stopped giving the prime minister of Israel the same courtesy,” the Georgia Republican says. “That’s absurd. And it portends a troubling inclination by the president and his administration to garner popularity abroad by distancing themselves from longtime allies. The White House’s overreaction to the announcement of an Israeli housing project has put needless strain on the close relationship our two countries have long enjoyed.”

ENDORSEMENT WATCH

Former secretary of state turned Stanford University political science professor Condoleezza Rice has endorsed fiscal conservative, security-minded Carly Fiorina in her quest for the U.S. Senate seat from California. She is challenging incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Democrat.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has endorsed Kentucky Secretary of State TreyGrayson, rather than Rand Paul - son of Rep.Ron Paul, Texas Republican - in the May 18 Republican primary to succeed retiring Sen. Jim Bunning.

“I’m a lifelong conservative, and I can tell the real thing when I see it,” Mr. Cheney says.

CENSUS GUILT

So far, 16 percent of Americans have dutifully sent back their 2010 census forms, with the town of Westside City, Iowa, leading the nation with a whopping 74 percent response rate to the national survey since it was mailed to 120 million households last week. Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota lead among states - with about one-third of their residents returning their census forms.

Census Bureau Director Robert Groves has a strategy to persuade the rest of the population to comply.

“If every household mailed back its 2010 census form, taxpayers could reduce the cost of taking the census by $1.5 billion,” he says, adding that for every percentage point increase in mail response, taxpayers save an estimated $85 million in federal funds.

“I’d like nothing more than to return money to the taxpayers following this census because they mailed back the census forms at a record rate. In the end, the American public’s willingness to participate in the 2010 census will determine its success and how much money we’re able to return to Congress,” Mr. Groves observes.

The federal agency has an online map to show the response. See it here: https:// 2010.census.gov/2010census/ take10map/

POLL DU JOUR

• 67 percent of Republicans and 14 percent of Democrats say President Obama is a socialist.

• 61 percent of Republicans and 17 percent of Democrats say Mr. Obama wants to “take away Americans’ rights to own guns.”

• 57 percent of Republicans and 15 percent of Democrats say he is a Muslim.

• 55 percent of Republicans and 9 percent of Democrats say the president has done things “that are unconstitutional.”

• 47 percent of Republicans and 12 percent of Democrats say Mr. Obama “resents America’s heritage.”

• 45 percent of Republicans and 8 percent of Democrats say he was not born in the U.S. and is ineligible to be president.

Source: A Harris Poll of 2,320 adults surveyed online March 1- 8 and released Wednesday.

Brews, stews and news to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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