And now the most absorbing two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
All the News That's Fit to Print?
The New York Times, which has been reported by Newsweek magazine to have used its news pages to back up its editorial page crusade against the membership policies of the golf club that sponsors the Masters Tournament, may have gone farther than Newsweek knew. The New York Daily News reports that a column by the Times award-winning sports columnist Dave Anderson was killed by the paper, because it disagreed with an editorial that called on Tiger Woods to boycott the Masters because the Augusta National Club does not admit women. The Daily News quotes Anderson as saying, "That's right, my column didn't run. It was decided by the editors that we should not argue with the editorial page."
A new survey of opinion in 44 countries indicates that anti-U.S. feeling has grown sharply in much of the world since the original burst of sympathy after the 9/11 terrorist massacre. The Pew Research Center found that favorability ratings for the United States had fallen in 19 of the 27 countries where there was enough previous data to make a comparison. And it found strong sentiment against U.S.-led military action against in Iraq in key European countries even as opinion in the United States was sharply in favor. In Britain, there was even division, but the opposition was overwhelming in France, Germany and Russia.
And speaking of polls, the pollster Scott Rasmussen has put out a new study of the results of the recent midterm election, which suggests that the media focus on the Republican recapture of the Senate missed what he calls the "depth and reach of the GOP victory." Rasmussen notes that going into election night 2002 the Democrats still controlled a majority not only of U.S. Senate seats, but also of state Senate and House seats. But all of that changed in November, he says, and has placed President Bush and the Republicans "on the threshold of obtaining a lasting majority."
Aiming for Amends
Remember that University of New Mexico professor who said on the day of 9/11 attacks that "anyone who can blow up the Pentagon has my vote." History professor Richard Berthold subsequently apologized for what he called "an incredibly stupid joke." He was barred by the university from teaching freshmen, and now he says that because of "constant harassment by persons in authority at the university," he is being driven into retirement. The university denies he is being forced out.