And now the most telling two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine.
NBC executives are reportedly fuming over comments made by Aaron Sorkin, the creator and writer of the hit series The West Wing. Sorkin blasted that NBC Special with Tom Brokaw that ran ahead of a rerun of The West Wing last month, and featured a tour of the White House and interview with President Bush. Sorkin told the New Yorker Magazine that, “The White House pumped up the President's schedule to show him being much busier and more engaged than he is and Tom Brokaw let it happen. The show was a Valentine to Bush." Sorkin, by the way, is a recovering cocaine addict who was arrested last April in the Burbank, Calif., airport when police found rock cocaine and other drugs in his bag.
When President Bush delivered that speech in China last week calling for religious tolerance and political openness and praising American liberty, his words were carried live on state TV. But when the government-controlled New China News Agency put out a transcript of the speech, almost half of it had been censored out. The Los Angeles Times reports from Beijing that all the comments about religious freedom and democracy were gone. So was his praise of America's freedom, his comments on his own faith, his description of the Statue of Liberty and even his praise of the firefighters and police officers who gave their lives trying to save victims on 9/11.
The polling firm Ipsos-Reid has a new survey out that it says shows "support for tax cuts collapses in the face of domestic spending desires." By large majorities, the survey purports to show that people favor prescription drug benefits for the elderly (76 percent), improved education (72 percent) and extending unemployment benefits (68 percent) over tax cuts. But the question asked if people "Would be willing to delay the tax cuts promised by President Bush in his State of the Union address." But that leaves it unclear if the question means the tax cuts already enacted into law, or the additional ones the President wants as part of a stimulus package. An Ipsos-Reid spokeswoman conceded to Fox News that the question was not clear.