The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Saturday, June 26, 2004  

Together With Media Miscellany

Walk on the Dark Side [*]
According to various media reports, including a brief item in today’s New York Times, Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.) has been lined up to speak at the Republican National Convention later this summer. A spokesman for Sen. Miller declined to comment to the Times. But Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) observed: “This is the same Zell Miller who said 40 years ago that President Lyndon Johnson had sold his soul when he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. . . . I do not understand what he is so angry about, but apparently he has lost his way.”

The Grownups are in Charge
Oh, yeah? Well he had it coming! The Washington Post reports (“Cheney Defends Use of Four-Letter Word,” by Dana Milbank and Helen Dewar):

Vice President Dick Cheney on Friday vigorously defended his vulgarity directed at a prominent Democratic senator earlier this week in the Senate chamber.

Cheney said he “probably” used an obscenity in an argument Tuesday on the Senate floor with Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) and added that he had no regrets. “I expressed myself rather forcefully, felt better after I had done it,” Cheney told Neil Cavuto of Fox News. The vice president said those who heard the putdown agreed with him. “I think that a lot of my colleagues felt that what I had said badly needed to be said, that it was long overdue.” […]

Cheney said yesterday he was in no mood to exchange pleasantries with Leahy because Leahy had “challenged my integrity” by making charges of cronyism between Cheney and his former firm, Halliburton Co. Leahy on Monday had a conference call to kick off the Democratic National Committee’s “Halliburton Week” focusing on Cheney, the company, “and the millions of dollars they’ve cost taxpayers,” the party said.

“I didn’t like the fact that after he had done so, then he wanted to act like, you know, everything’s peaches and cream,” Cheney said. “And I informed him of my view of his conduct in no uncertain terms. And as I say, I felt better afterwards.”

Sure, maybe he was just having a bad day, but I wonder whether something larger than the vice president’s notorious petulance is at work here. Something like: The Republicans are getting scared.

This Bush Need Not Apply
You know you’re in trouble when even the Irish are disinclined to extend rudimentary hospitality during your visit. From the Washington Post: “The protest plans -- contrasting so starkly with the festive receptions for presidents John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton -- prompted such massive security that the morning newspapers called the 6,000-officer deployment the largest in the history of the island. Naval gunships patrolled an estuary, armored cars searched bogs and article after article reported complaints that the civil rights of protesters were being trampled.”

Just Managing at the Times
In the American Prospect Todd Gitlin offers a disturbing and depressing review of the New York Times in the year since the departure of the much-reviled (at least among those he fired) Howell Raines (“It Was a Very Bad Year,” July 1). Among those Gitlin calls to account: Bill Keller, Judith Miller, Richard W. Stevenson, Jodi Wilgoren, and Elisabeth Bumiller.

Dogs Bite Man
In the face of massive opposition, would-be animal killer Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggar (R) has abandoned a plan to put down animals in California shelters after just three days holding. Schwarzeneggar’s proposal would have saved $14 million annually, roughly 41 cents per resident (based on 2000 census figures).

[* Note: Additional items may be posted to “PP&T” after initial publication but only on the day of publication, excluding post-publication addenda.]

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