Dispatches > The Buzz

Flash Traffic

Political buzz from Washington

Issue: "Balancing act," Sept. 8, 2001

Sean Hannity, co-host of Fox News Channel's Hannity & Colmes, has just signed a multimillion-dollar with ABC Radio Networks to syndicate his daily radio program ... the national show begins Sept. 10. Hannity was a popular radio host in Atlanta when he caught the eye of conservative TV executive Roger Ailes, who signed him up for Fox in 1996 ... Hannity's TV savvy led to Rush Limbaugh's naming him a regular guest host when Limbaugh is on vacation. That, in turn, led WABC New York's hiring Hannity to replace radio icon Bob Grant in 1997 ... Earlier this year, subscribers to the trade publication Radio & Records voted Hannity "Talk Personality of the Year." Zell Miller: Honorary Republican? The Georgia senator is still a Democrat, but he wrote a letter to The Washington Post blistering his own party chairman. In the Aug. 27 issue, he wrote: "More and more, our Democratic chairman, Terry McAuliffe, reminds me of a sub-par golfer desperately in need of a mulligan. The strength of our party has always been our big tent, but lately our chairman seems to be shrinking that tent to the size of one of those snow-cone cups turned upside down. Well, maybe a little bigger than that, say, a dunce cap. I'll skip over his naming as the 'rural' coordinator of our party a man from Massachusetts, but when he puts out statement after statement, TV ad after TV ad, railing against the tax cut, whom does he think he's hurting? Those 18 moderate Democrats who voted for the tax cut, that's who. In case he forgot, nine are up for reelection next year ... Why ridicule them and imply they are dumb and wrong?" As if that weren't enough, Miller then vigorously defended Elizabeth Dole: "And now he [McAuliffe] labels Liddy Dole a 'carpetbagger'? How Hillaryous can you get? Down South, even if we vote against them, we are gracious to women or we suffer the consequences ... Many people whom I respect tell me that Mr. McAuliffe is a good man. I'm sure he is. But every time he speaks, it still sounds to me like fingernails across a blackboard. And he's making more and more moderates see red-the color that dominated that 2000 election map." Gray storm clouds continue to gather over Rep. Gary Condit, the California Democrat who has admitted having an affair with missing Washington intern Chandra Levy. A recent high-profile TV interview by Condit did little to rehabilitate him ... Gov. Gray Davis, fellow Californian and Democrat, is the latest to criticize him. (His leader in the House, Dick Gephardt, hit him earlier.) "I'm disheartened that Congressman Condit did not speak out more quickly or more fully," Davis said at press conference near Sacramento. "While I get no joy out of this whatsoever, I just think it is important that Gary Condit be as forthcoming as possible, do everything humanly possible, to help law enforcement identify the location of Chandra Levy." Davis did not call for Condit's resignation, but by criticizing a fellow party member over a lack of candor and family values, Davis did seem to be positioning himself for a future on the national political stage, energy debacle notwithstanding. Just three books sit on the private Capitol Hill desk of House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas): the Bible, How Now Shall We Live? by Chuck Colson, and Red Sky in the Morning by Campus Crusade for Christ founder Bill Bright. In a city that loves movers and shakers, few reporters have ever heard of Bill Bright ... but privately, congressmen, senators, political staffers, military leaders, and businessmen-as well as regular, ordinary folks in Washington and beyond-say Bright has made more difference in their lives than any speech or legislation.

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Joel C. Rosenberg
Joel C. Rosenberg

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