And now the most telling two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
Lott's More Apologies
The more Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., says by way of apology, the worse it seems to get for him. Spike Lee, the movie director, is now saying that Lott is a "card-carrying member of the Klan...I know he's got that hood in the closet somewhere, the hood and the robe." Appearing on ABC's Good Morning America, Lee provided no evidence to back up that accusation. On the same program, Ed Gordon, who interviewed the apologetic senator on his program on Black Entertainment Television last night, indicated he was not impressed with Lott's appearance on his show. Gordon said, "It was politically expedient for him to come and talk to me. That's why he was there."
His Lot in Life
The only poll so far on Trent Lott's fate shows a narrow majority, 51 percent, thinks he should step down, with 41 percent believing he should remain as Senate Republican leader. But the survey by the Washington Post and ABC News, showed that only a third of Republicans think Lott should step aside, compared with three-fourths of Democrats. And the poll found no change in the favorability rating of the Republican Party, which stood at 56 percent, the same as the Democrats.
A-Lott-ing New Senate Seats?
Mississippi political circles, meanwhile, are buzzing with talk that Lott could soon be replaced by a black Democrat. The Sun Herald of Biloxi, Miss., quotes Democratic State Chairman Rickie Cole as saying that if Lott resigns, former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy "would make a fine senator." That, of course, would presume that Lott will not only be forced out as Senate Republican leader, but would then resign from the Senate as well. That would give Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove the chance to appoint an interim successor. Espy, a former congressman, was indicted for illegally accepting gifts while he was Bill Clinton's agriculture secretary, but was acquitted.
Controversial Condit Connection?
Retiring California Congressman Gary Condit is suing best-selling author Dominick Dunne for $11 million dollars, saying the author slandered him in interviews about the Chandra Levy case. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Manhattan, says Dunne "made false and defamatory statements accusing [Condit] of involvement in the crimes of kidnapping and murder." The author described receiving a tip that Levy was abducted and murdered by the head of a prostitution ring serving Arab embassies where Condit was a frequent guest.