Sunday, December 7, 2003

Hot corner: Nipping at the heels of the newsmakers

As seen on TV!

Most of America had the chance to see Democratic Presidential wannabe Al Sharpton on NBC's Saturday Night Live last night. But viewers of NBC affiliate KWWL in Waterloo, Iowa, were scheduled for a triple-feature infomercial hawking the Miracle Blade, Total Trolley and a self-help program entitled Attacking Anxiety.

The station worried that showing Sharpton's appearance as SNL's guest host would require it to offer equal time to the other eight candidates seeking the Democratic nomination. The selection process begins with the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 19. Other NBC affiliates in Iowa avoided the problem by broadcasting reruns of Saturday Night Live.

For the record, Miracle Blade offers lifetime guarantees, Total Trolley can pull 800 pounds and "Attacking Anxiety" claims to have improved thousands of lives. Voters in Waterloo can decide how Sharpton matches up to all of that.

Don't knock it

One of Sharpton's competitors, who did not get to host Saturday Night Live, is Sen. John Kerry. Kerry told Iowans this past week that if elected he will "end the era" of Attorney General John Ashcroft, who he says has undermined American liberties with the USA Patriot Act.

"We are a nation of laws and liberties, not of a knock in the night," Kerry said. He said the law can be used in secret ways to harass the innocent.

If elected, he said one of the first things he would do is replace the Patriot Act. He didn't say that when the Patriot Act was passed two years ago, he was among the senators who voted for it.

Yes: Pass the ban
No: Defeat ban
Small, mighty Madison worthy of more respect
Hot corner: Nipping at the heels of the newsmakers

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