And now the most compelling two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
A Lott of Hypocrisy Around?
One byproduct of the Trent Lott case is that politicians who have condemned Lott are being reminded of some of their own off-the-cuff ethnic comments. Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry, one of the men who would be president, was quick to say of Lott, "There can never be an appearance of racism or bigotry in any high position of leadership." Columnist Joe Fitzgerald notes in the Boston Herald this morning that Kerry once said in a radio interview, "The Iraqi army is in such bad shape even the Italians could kick their butts." Kerry's staff said he was just being facetious, which is the same explanation they gave when Kerry criticized former Gov. William Weld as "a guy who takes more vacations than people on welfare.''
A Washington-bound air shuttle flight from New York on Sunday afternoon was taxiing toward the runway when it suddenly turned back to the gate. A passenger had alerted the crew that he had an emergency and had to return. The passenger was Al Gore's Press Secretary Jano Cabrera and the emergency was that he'd gotten an urgent page. The reason for the page turned out to be Gore's decision not to run, but Cabrera told the Washington Post he didn't know that until he got inside the terminal. But that, of course, doesn't explain why he still had his pager turned on.
Hop to Cop
John Miller, co-host of the ABC News magazine 20/20 may now be leaving to become a top aide to Los Angeles Chief of Police William Bratton. If what the Los Angeles Times is reporting about Miller is true, he may be getting out of journalism in the nick of time. Miller is perhaps best known for what was described at the time as an exclusive interview with Usama bin Laden, back in May 1998, and for the book The Cell, a purported inside story of the 9/11 attack. But the Times reports that the so-called interview with bin Laden was in fact a one-way session in which bin Laden talked in Arabic and Miller, with no idea what he was saying, simply sat there, occasionally nodding as if in agreement, including when bin Laden said he was going to kill as many Americans as possible. He asked no questions. What's more, the Times cites numerous passages from Miller's book The Cell, which he co-authored with two others, which bear a striking resemblance to passages from one of the Times own stories published months before the book came out.