John McCaslin

EYE FOR FASHION

"But who knows? He may land his own show on Bravo."

So surmises Joshua Green of the Atlantic, referring to veteran Republican political operative Jeff Larson, who is believed to have been Gov. Sarah Palin's personal wardrobe shopper to the tune of $150,000.

As Mr. Green points out, "even hateful liberals would have to admit that Mrs. Palin dresses awfully nicely."

YO, JOE

The John McCain-Sarah Palin campaign has just released its latest ad, entitled "I am Joe."

It features everyday Americans who submitted homemade videos to the campaign explaining how they are like "Joe the Plumber."

'FAIR' WARNING

Proposed legislation sure to get a heated airing in the upcoming 111th Congress will be a "Fairness Doctrine," which if enacted would require broadcasters to air both liberal and conservative commentators, conceivably sounding a death knell for popular ideological programs like those hosted by Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

A number of Democratic leaders, including 2008 presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, have said they would support such controls. Now Sen. Jeff Bingaman, New Mexico Democrat, is among lawmakers adding his voice to the demand for so-called "fairness."

"Radio and media generally have a higher calling than to just reflect a single point of view," Mr. Bingaman opined this week while being interviewed on Albuquerque's KKOB-AM.

But Chris Berry, president and general manager of WMAL-AM in Washington, KKOB's sister station, believes that if Democrats push for a Fairness Doctrine they could be surprised at the response from their constituencies.

"Millions of people listen and enjoy programs such as those hosted Rush Limbaugh and Chris Plante," says Mr. Berry, whose top-rated station features a heavy lineup of conservative voices (we reported last month that WMAL won the National Association of Broadcasters' [NAB's] Major Market Station of the Year award, beating out other stations around the country).

He predicts that, if engaged, radio listeners from coast-to-coast "will respond in a massive way if [House] Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi and other Democrats try to mandate content."

Otherwise, Mr. Berry informs Inside the Beltway that a "Fairness Doctrine" is anything but fair.

"Just the name 'Fairness Doctrine' is misleading," he says. "Let's call it what it is: it's an attack on the First Amendment and puts quotas on free speech. We don't need the government controlling our thought process and what we can say as Americans."

'THE RACE'


John McCaslin

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

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