Finally, an old-fashioned cat fight. Signaling to her handlers that she has not been declawed, Senator Hillary last week laced into slinky Siamese purebred Dr. Ann Coulter for being "vicious" and "mean" toward some of the senator's Jersey girl pals. Whereupon cool cat Coulter hissed back: "Before criticizing others for being 'mean' to women, perhaps Hillary should talk to her husband who was accused of rape by Juanita Broaddrick and was groping Kathleen Willey at the very moment Willey's husband was committing suicide."
That reply proved too strong for one of the referees in this fight, Miss New York Times. This is how she reported the tigress Coulter's response: "'Before criticizing others for being "mean to women," perhaps Hillary should talk to her husband,' her e-mail message said in part." Hate to tell you how to live your life, Ms. Times, but when you leave out the best "part," it's called censorship.
At a decidedly unstag affair the next night, Senator Hillary showed off her scratches. The event was an all-women-in-pants-suits gala dinner for 350 networking gals at which the "socialist single mother" President of Chile, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, was honored guest. It was Senator Hillary, however, who stole the show, though no one expects her to be indicted. Needless to say, Ann Coulter was not invited to the event, despite her decidedly female bona fides, not to mention the networking she'd freshly done on NBC.
"Hey where's Katie? Did she leave or something?" she asked the recently liberated host of the Today show, Mr. Matt Lauer. It's a meaner line than any Coulter has delivered apropos the Bush-bashing widows from New Jersey. How many years did Lauer suffer abuse at the hands of killer Katie? Another unindictable crime, no doubt. These days, men like Lauer are lucky to get work as waiters at such events as the no-men-need-apply dinner for Chile's single mom chief exec.
Still, it was a good question. Where is Katie Couric? When last seen on screen she was reconfirming her emotional qualifications to replace Dan Rather. Crying like a girl, she told viewers on May 31, her last day at NBC, "I'm feeling happy and sad and completely out of control." Dan couldn't have put it more pointedly. We'll know more about her command of his frequency after Labor Day, when she unveils her morning smile on CBS's Evening News.
Meanwhile, who in television is currently qualified to discuss such pressing issues as American obesity and the Bush administration's fixation on 500 pound bombs? Or to congratulate Rep. John Murtha's for his fair-weathered decision to contend for the House Democrats' number two slot, but only if his party wins a majority? Or to commiserate with commencement keynoter Prof. Judith Resnik, who told this year's Bryn Mawr graduates, "I do not think that either the world or my own country has been torture-free since the Renaissance. But I was hopeful enough, patriotic enough, to believe that my government would never justify harming a person just short of when his or her organs were failing"? (Here's one of those times when you wish the "his or her" formulation hadn't come into common usage.)
Now that we know that Mr. Al-Zarqawi's organs were failing before he died, who is left at NBC Today competent enough to interview representatives from The Hague on this denial of an al Qaeda dignitary's basic human rights? And, most critically, who will greet Angelina and Brad on their triumphant return from Namibia? Not since Diana and Dodi's noisome summer of 1997 has there been such a sad spectacle. Might not Ann Coulter write her next book on them? Probably not, since it would never sell. Regardless, we have an upset winner in this week's EOW sweepstakes: Brangelina. Though it's too late to get ourselves booked with Katie, we'll donate their fine to a charity of their choice. Just remind us to do so in Katie's honor.