Tales from the Trail

Stewart, Colbert rally gets ‘puzzling’ endorsement

TELEVISION-EMMYSFirst came celebrity endorsements from Oprah and Arianna. Now Jon Stewart’s Washington “Rally to Restore Sanity” has a more puzzling promoter.

Here’s a clue: German summer pants for little William? (10 letters) 

Stumped? The answer is ”Will Shortz“. He’s editor of the New York Times crossword puzzle, which today devotes no fewer than eight clues to the Daily Show host, his fellow satirist Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report and the joint rally they’re planning for Saturday on the National Mall.

For anyone flummoxed by the clues to 54 and 65 Across, Colbert’s version of the event is called the “March to Keep Fear Alive.”

The Stewart-Colbert gathering is a reaction to Fox News commentator Glenn Beck‘s “Restoring Honor” rally, which was held at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on this year’s anniversary of Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream” speech. BRITAIN-PANTO/
    
Stewart is also a big fan of Shortz and appeared in the 2006 documentary Wordplay, which focused on the Times crossword puzzle editor and the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament
    
Do Stewart and Colbert need the fiery presence of thousands of crossword puzzle enthusiasts? Now that’s a question. But the idea may be too inside the box for rally organizers.

“It’s great. But how does this help? That’s not something for us to answer because this is not something we solicited or planned on,” said Steve Albani, spokesman for Comedy Central, the cable TV channel that airs Stewart and Colbert. 
    
USA-POLITICS/RALLYFolks at the Times were not immediately available for comment. (If they intend to respond via their puzzle, they may miss our deadline.)
    
Meanwhile, Stewart and Colbert are expected to draw about 150,000 people to the National Mall. That’s a Wall Street Journal estimate based on the number of portable toilets ordered by Comedy Central.  No _____. (4 letters).

Washington Extra — Beck, Bernanke and baseball

An “American miracle” or an “exercise in self-aggrandizement on a Napoleonic scale”?

Reuters/Chris Keane (Beck at an NRA meeting in Charlotte May 15)

 No, I am not talking about Reuters Washington Extra, but Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor rally which is due to take place on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday. Beck, never one to hide his light under a bushel, has described tomorrow’s event as “a defibrillator to the heart of America”, “the Woodstock of the next generation”, and “the turning point” in American history. Eugene Robinson in today’s Washington Post was less optimistic about the rally and its “egomaniacal” host, who will be speaking a few steps down from where Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech on the same day in 1963. Washington Extra is not taking sides.

Ben Bernanke’s speech at the Federal Reserve conference in Jackson Hole was considerably less dramatic than Beck’s is likely to be, but does merit a quick mention too. The Fed chairman said the economic recovery had weakened more than expected but downplayed concerns that it might slip back into recession. The Fed, he said, was ready to act if needed to spur growth and said the central bank still had ammunition left. He at least is not reaching for the defibrillator yet.

Top Democrat dismisses Beck’s ‘non-political’ rally as blatant politics

A Washington rally that will be hosted by Fox TV’s Glenn Beck and feature conservative power broker Sarah Palin drew the wrath on Friday of the chairman of the House Democratic campaign committee.

USA/Chris Van Hollen rejected organizers’ assurances that the “Restoring Honor Rally” — expected to draw thousands of members of the conservative Tea Party movement — would be “non-political.”

In fact, Van Hollen predicted the rally would be partisan and could turn off many voters.

Massa: some tickling, nothing sexual, and it’s about healthcare vote

One day after resigning as a freshman congressman from Upstate New York, Eric Massa has found his 15 minutes of fame. USA-CONGRESS/MASSA

He landed on two major talk shows Tuesday — Fox News Channel’s Glenn Beck and CNN’s Larry King — and they both wanted to know about allegations of sexual harrassment against male staffers.

Larry King asked him outright if he was gay. Massa, who is married, said it was an insult to every gay American that such a question was being asked in this day and age, and he refused to answer it.

White House responds to naked House Democrat’s satanic tale

OBAMA/

Eric Massa was a little-known freshmen House Democrat only a month ago. Now he’s a political media sensation and a darling of Talk Radio/TV commentators capable of provoking the White House on healthcare reform.

Why the metamorphosis? Massa abruptly resigned from Congress, revealed he had an angry run-in with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel while the two were naked in a congressional gym shower, and now claims he was pushed out of office by the White House to keep him from voting against healthcare reform.

Oh, and he’s come to the conclusion that Emanuel is a “son of the devil’s spawn.”

The First Draft: Talk shows help drive Palin’s popularity

If Sarah Palin were elected president of the United States, would conservative talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck wind up in her cabinet?

That’s a toughie. But Palin already tops the list of Republican Party favorites and that fact is due in part to her popularity with Limbaugh’s and Beck’s audiences, according to a Washington Post poll.
USA-POLITICS/MCCAIN-PALIN
Seventeen percent of Republicans, including 23 percent of Republican women, say they would vote for Palin if their party’s 2012 state primary election or caucus were held today.

She out-guns Mike Huckabee who got 10 percent of the vote, Mitt Romney at 9 percent and John McCain with only 7.

Who is the racist, Obama or Murdoch?

So is U.S. President Barack Obama a racist? Or is Rupert Murdoch?

Well the Australian media mogul appears to think that the president made a “very racist comment” and agrees that he hates white people.MILKEN/

But that apparently doesn’t make him a racist.

Confused? Me too.

The News Corporation chairman, one of the most controversial figures in the media world, has never minded hitting the headlines in his own right and this week was no exception.

First, in an interview with Sky News in Australia, he chose to back conservative Fox News commentator Glenn Beck.