FLASHES 8/24

In the Tradition of Eldon Rudd
Sportscaster-cum-lawmaker J.D. Hayworth has received lots of attention since his arrival in Washington, D.C. Last week, the Washington Post featured him in an article about freshmen members of the House who have unorthodox occupations. Hayworth told the Post, "Our founders didn't name this just the House of Career Politicians, the House of Former State Legislators or the House of Lawyers. They named it the House of Representatives.

". . . The only requirement the Constitution provides is that you be a citizen at least 25 years of age."
This fact is noted in a roundabout way by The Progressive--a monthly publication with a political philosophy left of Teddy Kennedy--in its September issue, which features a piece titled, "The Ten Dimmest Bulbs in Congress."

Number six? J.D. Hayworth. (He beat out California Representative Sonny Bono, who came in at number eight.)

The Progressive explains: "A former TV sportscaster and football player, Hayworth, like Gerald Ford, appears to have forgotten his helmet one too many times."

Hayworth's inclusion on a Top 10 list is quite appropriate, given that he is known on the Hill for his own Top 10 lists, which he presents on the floor of the House.

"His attempts at humor elicit groans, as when he suggested to the opposition party that it 'hire Freddy Krueger as the new liberal Democratic spokesman' and 'set up a new political-action committee, the 'Whine Producers,'" The Progressive reports.

Ken Silverstein, who sought out the dumbest members of Congress for The Progressive, tells The Flash, "[Hayworth's] really disliked intensely. He's not somebody who has any real profound political philosophy--it's just the right-wing mantra." Silverstein quotes one Democratic staffer who says, "You can't have a real debate with Hayworth. . . . He talks as passionately about his need to take a number one as he does about the need to cut government spending."

Merge Overkill
These are thrilling days for journalists at the Arizona Republicand Phoenix Gazette. The muckamucks managing the merger of the news staffs assured everyone that they will keep their jobs. Yet the merger monarchs are forcing the writers to reapply for their posts. Writers must list their top three job choices, then grovel for their favorite.

Several departments have already been fused. Reporters who had worked in those departments but were passed over have been cast into purgatory. At one point, the merger moguls proposed herding those unselected into one area of the newsroom, dubbed The Launching Pad--a happy-merger euphemism for the spot from which these fortunate chosen few could launch their rewarding careers. Of course, the only place they're likely to be launched is to one of the dreaded suburban bureaus. Apparently, this irony dawned on the merger meisters, and The Launching Pad died.

The prospect of covering the Governor's Office nearly did, too. When a list of reporting slots was distributed last week, the merger mavericks forgot to create such a position. An amended merger missive assured the staff that the paper(s) do, in fact, intend to assign someone to cover the governor. Won't that be refreshing?

 
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