Jeepers, bleepers, the hand of John Ashcroft is being subliminally felt from coast to coast. A New York-based ABC women's show rebroadcast in the Pacific time zone removed the name of Jesus from a dieter's exclamation, "Yes, and thank you, thank you, Jesus, is all I have to say." Now in certain rightist circles that bleep-over was seen as a sure sign of paranoid leftist anti-religiosity. But our own FBI-backed mind reading detected the another motive behind the censor's action: concern that one of the early commandments means what it says about not taking God's name in vain. The ACLU is now investigating who's been displaying the Ten Commandments at ABC's West Coast bureau. The separation of Church and Television has never seemed more urgent.
Meanwhile, enlightened Cambridge, Massachusetts, remains atwitter at a graduating Harvard student's premeditated use of another five-letter J-word in his commencement address. "American Jihad" is the title of his speech, and he assures would-be FBI informants that his understanding of the word excludes the possibility of holy war and a repeat of 9/11. Rather, properly understood, jihad is really "a struggle for the refinement of self, for perfecting one's own inner morality." For instance, when a suicide bomber straps explosives to his or her waist and sets them off, he (or she) has truly found a way to perfect his (or her) inner morality.
In other explosiveness, the Bush Brothers have cornered the market on Everglades environmentalism, effectively putting the kibosh on oil and gas exploration in the Gulf Coast area. The new policy "angers Californians," the trouble-making New York Times announced -- though no California paper made a big deal about it, despite widespread opposition in the gas-guzzling golden state to offshore drilling. Apparently it's true what they say about California: that no one there gives a hoot about what goes on elsewhere.
No one much cares what goes on in Chicago either, if the vote of 12 nominally GOP senators is any indication. Our agent Jack Hughes singles out solons Grassley, Lugar, McCain, Hutchinson, Burns, Inhofe, Roberts, Brownback, Allard, Crapo, Snowe, and Collins for joining with Democrats to award the Daley machine with $6 billion in ostensible airport improvement funds that will largely go to further corrupt local Democrats and defeat Republicans this fall. Other than that, it sounds like a smart investment.
Ironically, at least one Republican risked angering this public-service-performing column by holding money back. A Pentagon insider reminded Enemy Central late last week that Sen. Phil Gramm has once again killed legislation to create an education center at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial that would preach patriotism and service to one's country.
Forget the Florida recount. The real numbers controversy has shifted to the Internet, where various bloggers and cloggers are accusing rival sites of wildly inflating their traffic stats. Naturally, the worst offender appears to be the Democratic Party mouthpieces at the American Prospect Online, who record a "unique visitor hit" for every dollar raised by Terry McAuliffe and every shakedown of a dues-paying union worker by John Sweeney. They could teach Arthur Andersen a thing or two.
Happiness reigns at NBC, where the Tom Brokaw countdown has commenced. In 500 days or so he will retire from television's Holy Trinity and perhaps team up with Walter Cronkite on yachting outings with the Kennedys. Best of all, his chair will be filled by Brian Williams, about whom enough cannot be said. In brief, he's the ideal anchor: boyish and easily mistaken for the local affiliate's weekend weather man. The one concern is whether he knows enough French to understand David Gregory.
That could be a tall order. Thanks to simultaneous translation whiz Lucianne Goldberg, the queen of international protocol, we now know that Mr. Gregory's famous question to President Chirac was replete with faulty grammar. What a fiasco. Can any American again seriously show his face in France? Sad to say, the dommage has been done. Mr. Gregory comes away empty handed save for this week's EOW prize. Perhaps next time he feels a frog in his throat NBC will automatically activate its bleepers.
(Send your enemy nominations to editor@TheAmericanProwler.org.)