John McCaslin

We're not suggesting that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's ascension to the presidency would create a national "crisis," yet we can't help but notice that one of Washington's leading "crisis management" firms, Dezenhall Resources, is hosting a luncheon and book-signing tomorrow for the author of "Whitewash: What the Media Won't Tell You About Hillary Clinton."

As president of the Media Research Center, L. Brent Bozell III has been sharply critical of the Fourth Estate for "flagrantly" abandoning its duty by refusing to cover Mrs. Clinton "with the same bloodthirsty drive as other public officials."

Beyond the "shameless and ongoing fawning," the author says, an adoring press actually turned the former first lady into a presidential contender in the first place.

Fawn in headlights

Speaking of L. Brent Bozell III, nobody in Washington tracks what comes out of the mouths and laptops of reporters more closely than his watchdog team at the Media Research Center.

One intriguing example is courtesy of former ABC News anchor Carole Simpson, who was overheard gushing to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York at a recent campaign event: "I endorse you for president of the United States."

When asked for an explanation by the Boston Globe's Peter Schworm, the newswoman said: "I kept trying to get her attention. When I did, I realized I didn't have anything to say. I felt like a deer in headlights."

Where'd it start?

Local history buffs will be interested in knowing that the Ohio General Assembly is urging Congress to enact legislation recognizing the significance of the "Eastern states," especially Virginia, in the Lewis and Clark expedition by extending the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail "east to its origin at Monticello."

While Meriwether Lewis and William Clark did not physically start their expedition from Thomas Jefferson's prized estate in Virginia, it was Jefferson as president in 1803 who sent a secret letter to Congress requesting $2,500 to fund the unprecedented trek to the Pacific Ocean.

Jefferson also selected Lewis, a fellow native of Albemarle County, Va., to lead the party of explorers. Lewis then chose Clark, his former Army company commander, to assist him in the expedition.

On the other hand, Lewis' first "educational" stops in advance of the expedition were in the Pennsylvania cities of Philadelphia and Lancaster; he twice stopped at Harpers Ferry (now West Virginia) for weapons and other supplies; he conducted much research and secured his maps here in the nation's capital; and lastly he spent more than a month in Pittsburgh recruiting men and overseeing the construction of a 55-foot keelboat.

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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