Thursday's Sketchiest moments
Updated 10:19 p.m.
Cable news engaged in some unexpected color commentary on Wednesday.
First came CNN, which ran a touching story of a 103-year-old African American, Gladys Flamer, who still drives. "Miss Flamer, this shout-out's for you," anchor Kyra Phillips said, before playing Coolio's "Fantastic Voyage" - specifically the line about the "punk-ass n-----s set trippin'. "
Phillips, as embarrassed as she's been since she went to the ladies room with her microphone on and accidentally broadcast complaints about her sister-in-law, returned later to apologize for the "terrible mistake" with the music.
The folks at Fox News had a good laugh about that - at least until prime time, when Bill O'Reilly hosted Marc Lamont Hill, a professor at Columbia. They were talking about the U.S.-Mexican border when O'Reilly proposed to Hill, who is African American, "Say you're a cocaine dealer - and you kind of look like one a little bit."
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid just might be the luckiest man alive. First one of his prospective Republican opponents in Nevada, Sue Lowden, floated the health-care proposal of bartering chickens for checkups. Now the local media has dug up a 2006 quotation from another would-be Republican opponent, Sharron Angle, arguing for Prohibition. She said she feels "the same about legalizing alcohol" as marijuana. "I'm just not a real opponent of legalizing any drug." Angle has ended her temperance movement of one -- a wise move in a state dependent on drunk tourists.
Angle might have better luck moving to Kentucky. There, state lawmakers have just voted down a bill that would have allowed Kentucky's bourbon distillers to set up sampling booths at conventions and special events. The booze bill was sponsored by - we kid you not - state Rep. Linda Belcher.
Also lucky in his choice of opponents: John McCain, being challenged in the Arizona Republican Senate primary by J.D. Hayworth.
Hayworth, who recently voiced his view that the United States didn't declare war on Nazi Germany, is sore that McCain reminded everybody Hayworth was judged one of the dumbest members of Congress. So he fired off a press release titled "SHAMEFUL McCAIL (sic) WEB BLASTED BY HAYWORTH CAMPAIGN." Seems history isn't the only subject that gave Hayworth trouble.
Some consolation to Hayworth: The folks at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee flunked poli sci. They posted on their Web site a story about Vice President Biden making fun of Connecticut Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal's Vietnam troubles. Apparently the DSCC folks then realized Blumenthal was one of their guys and took the story down.
Alec Baldwin doesn't know Jack about politics. He announced that he won't be running for governor of New York, for the principled reason that "I have two years remaining on a contract with NBC-Universal." Bad move. If Baldwin had threatened to run, the White House might have offered him the chairmanship of the National Endowment for the Arts to keep him from challenging Andrew Cuomo.
Still on the topic of dangling job offers, David Axelrod insists there is "no evidence" to support Joe Sestak's allegation that he was offered a prominent administration job if he wouldn't challenge Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter. So now the White House is calling the Democratic nominee in the Keystone State a liar. Is that better?
Here's a thoughtful new entry into the debate over the "don't ask don't tell" policy. Conservative activist Bryan Fisher of the American Family Association said in a radio broadcast that we can't have gays in the military because. ... Hitler did. "Hitler discovered that he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough to carry out his orders, but that homosexual solders basically had no limits," Fisher explained.
That's about as sensible as saying that Greece will be attacked by millions of frogs because its government debt is too high. Except that Greece actually was attacked by millions of frogs, shutting down a major highway for two hours. Authorities said the amphibians were looking for food. But they cannot rule out the possibility of a biblical plague.
Staff writers Matt DeLong and Felicia Sonmez contributed to this report.
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