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week that she was
taking some time
away from the klieg
lights to enjoy life
caused massive lay-
offs at People maga-
zine and the E!
KI RS BAUM
Channel and forced
The Insider host Pat
O'Brien to ponder
It will not have an effect on the
Weekly World News
will continue to cover "Bat Boy," extra-
terrestrials and the 2004 Campaign.
It only seemed like I was reading a
tabloid — or a newspaper in a parallel
universe — when I happened upon the
Detroit Free Press opinion page on Oct.
Former New York mayor and lifetime
Democrat Ed Koch was supporting
President George W. Bush this year;
while former Republican Michigan
Gov. William Milliken listed the rea-
sons he's voting for John Kerry.
Koch believes security takes prece-
dence over any other issue and that
Dubya is the right man at the right
time, but you should vote Democratic
for every other position.
Milliken's moderate Republican party
has been overrun by right-wing ideo-
logues, he said, sounding almost like
John Kerry himself.
Everyone has an opinion this year,
and it's not always what you think. I've
covered enough local rallies in the past
few months to know how ugly and
divisive both sides have become. I've sat
in coffeehouses on a Saturday night and
seen intense political shouting matches
break out between tables of people who
didn't know each other.
The divide is taking root at all levels
and in all forms.
Politics isn't funny and comedy isn't
pretty: Just ask Jon Stewart, host of The
Daily Show, who spent 30 minutes
"talking" with Paul Begala and Tucker
Carlson on CNN's Crossfire on Oct. 15.
Stewart was there to promote his
book, America (The Book): A Citizen's
Harry Kirsbaum's e-mail address is
Guide to Democracy Inaction, but the
discussion quickly dissolved into a
name-calling feud between Stewart,
who privately supports Kerry, and con-
servative mouthpiece Carlson.
You can see for yourself, the tran-
scripts can easily be found on the Web.
This story is just heating up and is
headed into Bill O'Reilly and Al
While some polls show enough unde-
cided voters to make a difference in the
election results, I think there are
enough people with Caller ID to make
the pollsters meaningless.
Call it a hunch, but I believe every-
one knows whom they're voting for,
and their minds were made up a long
The choices are so clear and the can-
didates so divisive, it's tough to find any
It's the "flip-flopper" against the man
whose "steadfastness" translates into
I can understand a voter using a
newspaper's endorsements of lesser-
known local and state proposals and
candidates as a quick guide about an
issue, but what difference should a pres-
idential endorsement make in the
minds of a voter?
The undecideds come in two groups:
the truly hopeless and the liars.
If you're a voter who's still undecided
after all these months and after all these
debates; if you're waiting to read or hear
who your favorite columnist, or celebri-
ty or pundit has endorsed, then we
don't want you to vote.
You're as deluded as that columnist or
celebrity or pundit who thinks his
endorsement has that kind of muscle.
The other group — the liars — say
they're undecided just to be on televi-
sion, or on a pollster's or reporter's
phone list because they can pontificate
in the rarefied air of the "deciding vote"
— and people will hang on their every
They sit in the glare of the media
klieg lights and save themselves the
indignity of playing The Apprentice,
playing up to The Benfactor or eating
spiders on Fear Factor.
They are the scum who will cost
thousands of pollsters their jobs, and
send former Clinton pollster and cur-
rent talking head Dick Morris to divini-
ty school. ❑