And now the most intriguing two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
Receiving Contributions from Journalists
Robert Reich, the former Clinton labor secretary now running for governor of Massachusetts, has received $2,350 in campaign contributions from journalists, including Hendrik Hertzberg, senior editor at the New Yorker Magazine, who often writes about politics. But Hertzberg told the Boston Globe there's no ethical problem because "I write opinion, political opinion at that." The same cannot be said of general assignment reporter Sandra Constantine of the Springfield Union-News, who gave Reich $20 and says she wishes she could give more. She explained, "I'm just a liberal." The Globe cites 15 examples of journalists donating to Reich, 3 to other democrats, and only one giving to Republican gubernatorial candidate Mitt Romney.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post, New York Times and Chicago Tribune have been found using some of the very same business practices their editorial pages have criticized. The Post itself reports that until recently, the newspaper did not count the stock options it grants executives as an expense. The same is true of the Times and Tribune, though all three papers have editorialized against the practice. And the Times, it turns, engaged in a complex, no-cash swap transaction for newsprint, with none other than Enron, a company whose complex deals the paper had sharply criticized.
Washington mayor Anthony Williams says he is troubled and sickened. This after only about 3,000 of the more than 10,000 signatures on his petitions to be on the ballot this fall, turned out to be the names of legitimate registered D.C. democrats. Suspicion grew when such names as Kelsey Grammer and Kofi Annan and Donald Rumsfeld appeared on Williams' petitions. His honor has now fired his top campaign staffer and put another aide on leave, but also says, "Mistakes were made, by this mayor." Aides say they are confident, however, that there are enough valid signatures to get him on the ballot.
No More Free Magazines!
The State Department is not pleased with the coverage its “Visa Express” program for Saudi Arabians has been getting in the conservative journal National Review. Indeed, Assistant Secretary of State Elizabeth Jones had an aide call to cancel her subscription. But it turned out she didn't have a subscription. The magazine had been sending her free copies, which it says it has now stopped doing.