And now the most captivating two minutes in television, the latest from Special Report's "Political Grapevine."
Can $135 grand spruce up its image?
The U.S. Civil Rights Commission has paid $135,000 a year to an outside public relations firm to improve its image, even though the commission has two full-time spokesmen on its staff. The Scripps-Howard News Service says the outside firm's pay is twice the amount the panel is authorized to pay outside consultants.
Meanwhile, the commission is refusing to include in its report on the Florida presidential election a study by the commission's Republican minority that takes issue with the statistics used by the majority Democrats to claim blacks were discriminated against. The majority says that because the consultant who did the minority analysis was not paid, commission rules prohibit his work from being included.
Clothing for the colorblind
Colgate University in upstate New York has decided to stop calling its athletic teams the Red Raiders to avoid offending Native Americans, this despite the fact that the name, which dates to 1932, was chosen to reflect the new maroon uniforms the school adopted that year and has never had anything to do with Native Americans. The resolution passed by the Colgate board of trustees said the word "red" was being dropped "to avoid any possible inference of a racial stereotype." The school has apparently decided to keep the red uniforms, however.
New terminology for the 21st century
Scotland Yard has issued a new decree to its officers to stop referring to gays and lesbians as homosexuals. A new police handbook claims that "homosexual is a medical term used to criminalize lesbians, gay men and bisexuals in the 19th century." The London Daily Mail points out that the Oxford English Dictionary's definition of homosexuals simply refers to a sexual propensity between people of the same sex. The new handbook also urges police to "treat transvestites and transsexuals with the same respect and dignity as other members of the public."
Warm water, swimmers, and sharks -- duh!
Those highly publicized shark attacks in Florida recently have Johnnie Cochran and other trial lawyers circling, suggesting lifeguards and others may have failed to warn bathers of increased danger. But Florida with its vast stretches of populated, warm-weather shoreline has long been the leading locale for shark attacks, and the Cox Newspapers report that there has been no increase in the number of attacks this year. Last year, there were 34 attacks. So far this year, 16.
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