And now the most compelling two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix now says he was not referring to the Bush administration or the Pentagon during an exclusive interview with The Guardian when he said that in Washington "there are bastards who...planted nasty things in the media" about him in the months leading up to the war in Iraq. But today's Guardian says that when asked during the interview whether he believed he had been the target of a deliberate smear campaign by elements of the Pentagon, Blix answered, "Yes."
Bill at Bat
During the Clinton-Lewinsky scandals, Howell Raines, then editor of The New York Times editorial page, didn't exactly go to bat for the president. But he didn't call for Clinton's resignation either and opposed his impeachment, and now it seems Clinton did go to bat for Raines. The New York Daily News reports that the former president telephoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger to say Raines' resignation was too severe a penalty for the recent scandals at the Times. And speaking of going to bat, Mr. Clinton has also telephoned Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa, suspended for playing with a corked bat, to offer some guidance during times of controversy. Sosa told the Chicago Sun-Times that Mr. Clinton told him to "stay strong and don't give up. It's something that happens to people. It'll go away."
Check Was in the Mail
Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton is being sued by Ford Motor Credit Company for more than $34,000 for failing to pay monthly fees on the lease of a Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle. According to CelebrityJustice.com, the suit says Sharpton and his National Action Network have not paid for the vehicle since November. The suit says Sharpton did send a check in January but it bounced. A Sharpton spokeswoman said she was unaware of the matter, and that Sharpton himself does not drive.
A private school in Philadelphia has pulled out of a French student exchange program because the school says it cannot "ensure a truly comfortable or hospitable stay...as the anti-French sentiment here in the U.S. is very strong." Furthermore, the London Daily Telegraph says two families from the Springside School just outright refused to house French students because France did not back the war in Iraq.