And now the most intriguing two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
Got Bush to Get United Nations Involved?
Secretary of State Powell may believe he was the one who got President Bush to involve the United Nations in the effort to disarm Iraq, but Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts apparently thinks he did it. He told the Boston Globe that his vote for the Iraq war resolution was ''for the president to have the ability to maximize leverage with the United Nations ... I think it worked. We have the U.N. involved. We got the president to go to the U.N. Where we have the president is in the position we put him."
Oh, That Pesky First Amendment...
Elsewhere in Massachusetts, they are considering imposing a speech code at Harvard Law School, to ban what the Boston Globe called, "harassing, offensive language from the classroom." But the idea seemed sufficiently inconsistent with freedom of speech that it set off a roaring debate at a campus town meeting last night, one in which the professor and trial lawyer Alan Dershowitz demanded that one speech code proponent be specific about what she would ban. When the student had no answer, Dershowitz was criticized by fellow Professor Randall Kennedy for making her feel embarrassed. Law Dean Robert Clark says he would be reluctant to impose such a code.
Meanwhile, the Radio City Music Hall troupe has been using its freedom of speech to put on a Christmas show featuring the famous Rockettes. But the performance was too much for the Fort Worth Star Telegram when it played in the Dallas area. The problem was not so much the singing and dancing but the recreation of the Biblical Christmas story, which, the paper complained, "drags on for a good 20 minutes." People had been lured, the paper said, with the promise of an entertaining revue, but had been "ambushed with Christian theology," which it called "dated and borderline offensive."
Stay Away From Saddam!
And Saddam Hussein, it seems, finds it more than borderline offensive when anyone gets too close to him. He is portrayed in a documentary film to be shown on Cinemax next Tuesday as terribly afraid of germs, insistent that women should bathe twice a day, and that he be greeted not with the traditional kiss on the cheek, but with a kiss somewhere near his armpit.