“It’s all Bush’s fault.”
EW YORK (AP) – The new host of NBC's "Today" show, Sean Hannity, complained he still hasn't gotten his "morning TV legs" yet. A week after he took over the center couch following the brutal decapitations and posthumous mutilations of the show's former hosts in what Bush administration officials are now describing "a last-ditch terrorist counteroffensive," the 44-year-old Mr. Hannity says he wants to help "Today" maintain its number one position in the ratings.
"We listen to you. That's why we've added another photograph of Ronald Reagan behind our couch here," he told his television audience Monday. With the unavoidable cancellation of practically all previously booked guests, producers of "Today" have been scrambling to fill up its normal segments using a combination of "new media news" video clips and discussions between Mr. Hannity and various guest hosts. "This is just a temporary arrangement until we can get a consistent slate of authors, pundits, and others who might be of interest to our audience every week," said Ann Coulter, the "New York Times" best-selling author who became the show's interim co-producer last Wednesday.
Meanwhile, newspapers across the United States, including the "New York Times," have been coping with the loss of nearly their entire staffs of editors, reporters, and multi-layered fact checkers. At the "Times," for example, the paper has been publishing so-called "retrospective editions" that are merely reprinted articles and editorials culled from previous issues. "I know we're picking up the pieces here, but we're about to send to our newsstands a completely new edition with a completely different look," the new owner, chairman, and publisher of the "Times," Fred Barnes, announced during a recent press conference. Other newspapers are planning their own restructurings. The new owner of the "Los Angeles Times," Michael Reagan, son of the former president, wrote a front-page editorial in his paper yesterday outlining his vision for its future. "Respecting, not insulting, your intelligence will be the one change you'll notice most in these pages," he promised his readers.
In Washington, D.C., lawmakers on Capitol Hill have suspended the current session of Congress until the results of special elections, scheduled for as early as next month in hundreds of House districts to fill vacancies caused by the deadly terrorist counteroffensive, are certified. Almost all comparable vacancies in the U.S. Senate have already been filled with temporary appointments by either state governors or their recent successors. Before suspending the session, Congress passed several resolutions, including one renaming the Camp Delta detention facility at the U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba — where hundreds of high level al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees are being held — the "Richard Joseph Durbin Memorial Jihadist Research and Therapy Center."
Administration officials are trying to sort out any long-term effects on the country's political, social, and cultural landscapes resulting from the globally coordinated counteroffensive launched three weeks ago against all known liberals by al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. In addition, the U.S. State Department has been sorting out its international effects. "Since France is now populated solely by Muslims, we'll have to rethink our whole diplomatic strategy with respect to our dealings with that country," said Craig Roberts Stapleton, the U.S. ambassador to France.
At the "Today" show's studios, Mr. Hannity is preparing the material he plans to discuss with next week's guest hosts. "I'm looking forward to working with Rush (Limbaugh) on Tuesday," he said. "It will be the first time we've had a chance to work together like this, and I can't wait. He's a great American." On ABC's "Good Morning America," new cohosts Laura Ingraham and former Texas congressman Tom DeLay are planning to air a special segment about the alleged final words of a number of prominent liberals. Mr. DeLay thought it was "amazing that, according to first-hand witnesses, they all practically said the same thing: 'It's all Bush's fault.' What are the odds of that?"Associated Press' new Washington Bureau senior correspondent Paul Wizbang contributed to this report.
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