And now the most engaging two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine.
Doris Kearns Goodwin, the historian, author and television analyst, has been caught lifting, virtually without change, passages from the works of two other writers. In one case, Goodwin reached an out of court settlement with writer Lynne McTaggart after passages of Goodwin's 1987 book The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys were found to be nearly identical to parts of McTaggart's 1983 biography of Kathleen Kennedy. Goodwin told the Boston Globe she paid McTaggart as part of the settlement, but would not say how much. The Weekly Standard, which broke the Goodwin story, also pointed out passages in Goodwin's book that seemed to be direct lifts from the 1969 book Young Joe, the Forgotten Kennedy, about Joseph Kennedy Jr.
A new poll by the independent firm Ipsos-Reid finds the number of people identifying themselves as Republicans up by a net eight percent since Sept. 11. The GOP registered large gains among such non-Republican groups as New Englanders, up 22 percent, low-income working moms, up 16 percent, and non-working suburban moms up 11 percent. By contrast, the Democrats gained only among blacks, up 2 percent overall, and among high-income, highly educated men, up 1 percent.
And speaking of polls, the British tabloid the Daily Mirror, the one that published that editorial denouncing the treatment of those captives in Cuba as “torture,” took a survey of its readers. The paper asked if readers "condemn the U.S. treatment of Al Qaeda prisoners at Guantanamo Bay." One thousand seven hundred thirty-three said yes. Seventeen thousand three hundred seven said no.
In his Martin Luther King Day address on Monday, California Gov. Gray Davis traced his commitment to civil rights in part to his experiences in Vietnam. He said, "what I saw was a disproportionate burden of people of color, people without a college degree to fight America's war….I vowed to do something to right that wrong." Navy statistics show, however, that while blacks made up 13.5 percent of the U.S. population during that war, blacks made up only about 10.6 percent of the fighting force in Vietnam. And while blacks were 13.5 percent of the population, they were only about 12.5 percent of those killed.