And now the most telling two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry's office is vigorously denying a report that he pays $150 a visit to have his hair cut at the Washington beauty salon run by the fabled Cristophe of Beverly Hills, who gave Bill Clinton his famous haircut aboard Air Force One, and still does Mrs. Clinton's hair. Kerry's office insists the Massachusetts Democrat, who has an eye on the White House, only pays Cristophe $75 to have his hair done, and says it is not Cristophe himself who does the work, but one of his stylists, Isabel Goetz, who also does Mrs. Clinton's hair. There was no explanation as to why Kerry apparently gets a 50 percent discount.
Costume Controversy Continued...
Remember those two University of Virginia fraternities that got in hot water because three people attending a joint Halloween party were wearing blackface. Two of the guests were dressed as tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams, both of whom are black, and the other was dressed as Uncle Sam. The fraternities, Zeta Psi and Kappa Alpha, were accused of disorderly conduct but the University's Interfraternity Council has now ruled that the outfits were a form of constitutionally protected free speech. But the council nonetheless condemned those at the party for "an apparent historical blindness and lack of sensitivity."
Down at Vanderbilt, meanwhile, an assistant math professor has stirred things up by saying that confederate soldiers were "cowards masking as civilized men," and that they all should have been executed. The teacher, 32-year-old Jonathan David Farley, was responding to a controversy over the removal of the word "Confederate" from the school's "Confederate Memorial Hall," which, the Washington Times notes, was built in the 1930s with donations from the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Farley, whose university Web site photo shows him posing next to a Che Guevara Poster, says the Daughters of the Confederacy "honors traitors."