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Selling America's Heritage (Oliver North)
GOPUSA ^ | February 9, 2007 | Oliver North

Posted on 02/08/2007 8:12:23 PM PST by jazusamo

For more than 160 years the Smithsonian Institution made America's remarkable history available to one and all. In keeping with founder James Smithson's benevolent vision of "an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men," the institution's taxpayer-subsidized museums, exhibits and archives used to be open to the general public, students and legitimate researchers. But not anymore -- and it's an outrage that I'm taking personally.

My "War Stories" producers and I asked for access to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington's Dulles International Airport. We were commencing production of a documentary on nuclear weapons tentatively titled, "From the Manhattan Project to Tehran" and wanted to shoot a few minutes of videotape of the Enola Gay, the B-29 bomber that dropped the first atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945. Our requests fell into a bureaucratic black hole. Now we know why.

We were initially told that our application was being processed by the Smithsonian bureaucracy. In a series of written, e-mail, telephone and personal exchanges with Smithsonian officials we explained what we wanted to do, how we would do it and offered to compensate the museum for any expenses incurred. What we didn't know was that the institution's management had concocted a secret, backroom deal with Showtime -- granting the premium cable TV channel, owned by media giant Viacom, exclusive rights to control all but "incidental usage" of all video footage shot at the Smithsonian.

Two weeks ago the Smithsonian's brass handed down their verdict. Claire Brown, the National Air and Space Museum's director of communications, informed us that our award-winning "War Stories" documentary unit would not be permitted to videotape in this public facility. According to her, the four minutes of the Enola Gay that we would air violates an exclusive contract between Showtime and Smithsonian Networks.

When we protested this "final decision," the Air and Space Museum's director of communications rebutted: "How do (you people) make money?" A far more relevant question is, "how does the Smithsonian make its money?"

I work for a publicly traded corporation. Its financial statements are disclosed according to federal regulations. And because much of the corporation's business is broadcasting, its practices are subject to regulation and scrutiny by the U.S. government, and therefore the public. Finally, the shareholders of the corporation have a right to vote on how the company does business. Not so with the Smithsonian, where "We the People" are supposed to be the shareholders.

Though the institution purports to operate as a "public trust," it's clear that the public can't be trusted to know the terms of the cozy deal cooked up with Showtime. Apparently the Smithsonian's management is free to make deals cloaked in secrecy with outfits like Showtime, without disclosing the terms of their arrangement or even defining what "incidental use" might mean for documentary filmmakers like those at "War Stories." When I asked a museum official just which broadcasters would have access to the museum's collections and exhibits, I was told, "Applications will be reviewed on a case by case basis." Evidently that doesn't include "War Stories" on FOX News.

What little transparency exists in how the Smithsonian operates is revealed in hearings and reports prepared for the House Committee on Administration and the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, the two Congressional entities that theoretically exercise oversight over the institution. That's how we know that Lawrence M. Small, the Smithsonian's top executive, was paid $884,733 last year -- more than twice the compensation of the president of the United States.

We also know that last year American taxpayers forked over $615 million to the Smithsonian, and that the institution's management wants more this year because it is losing money.

Since the new leaders in Congress claim that they intend to "root out waste, fraud and abuse," they ought to inquire just why the Smithsonian is in the hole. While they are at it, here are a few other questions:

How much did Viacom pay for their exclusive rights to America's treasures? Was this contract put out to bid so that others could compete for the privilege of broadcasting our nation's heritage? Were brokers involved? If so, what were they paid? How long will this arrangement remain in effect?

Every American ought to know the answers to these questions. After all, it's our history. But if America's heritage is going on the block, it would be nice to know where to start the bidding for the Library of Congress or the National Archives.

-------

Oliver North is the host of "War Stories" on the FOX News Channel.


TOPICS: Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: corruption; feds; fox; fraud; governmentwaste; olivernorth; secrecy; showtime; smithsonian; viacom
Lawrence M. Small, the Smithsonian's top executive, was paid $884,733 last year --

We also know that last year American taxpayers forked over $615 million to the Smithsonian,

Interesting read about the Smithsonian.

1 posted on 02/08/2007 8:12:25 PM PST by jazusamo
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To: cgk

Ollie North Ping.


2 posted on 02/08/2007 8:15:07 PM PST by jazusamo (http://warchronicle.com/TheyAreNotKillers/DefendOurMarines.htm)
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To: jazusamo

Outrageous! Perhaps O'Reilly can put in his two cents and get the ball rolling on accountability.


3 posted on 02/08/2007 8:18:30 PM PST by maxter
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To: jazusamo

WOW! Of course, there will not be any congressional investigations...the dimoRATS are in power.


4 posted on 02/08/2007 8:19:45 PM PST by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: maxter

"Perhaps O'Reilly can put in his two cents and get the ball rolling on accountability."

Excellent idea. Contacting a few others probably would be a good idea too.

Special@foxnews.com (Brit Hume)
e.d.hill@foxnews.com Hannity@foxnews.com
Oreilly@foxnews.com
Studiob@foxnews.com (Shep Smith)
Myword@foxnews.com (John Gibson)
Drudge@drudgereport.com
writemalkin@gmail.com
hhewitt@hughhewitt.com
rush@eibnet.com


5 posted on 02/08/2007 8:24:15 PM PST by jazusamo (http://warchronicle.com/TheyAreNotKillers/DefendOurMarines.htm)
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To: jazusamo

Sorry Ollie, welcome to the new Public-Private Partnerships of America.


6 posted on 02/08/2007 8:28:08 PM PST by FLOutdoorsman (The Man who says it can't be done should not interrupt the man doing it!)
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To: jazusamo

How is the Smithsonian chartered? It may get public money, but is it directly an agency of the government? If so, this is almost certainly illegal. The director of that facility does not have the right or the power to sell exclusive access to any private corporation, any more than he has a right to sell the museum's artifacts at a garage sale. Who does he think he is, Bill Clinton? Bill Richardson?


7 posted on 02/08/2007 8:32:29 PM PST by IronJack (=)
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To: FLOutdoorsman
Sounds like you've already dropped your rifle and ran from the battlefield...

IOW, you seem to accept too readily the authority of corrupt governemnt officials.

8 posted on 02/08/2007 8:35:42 PM PST by ExcursionGuy84 ("Jesus, Your Love takes my breath away.")
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To: StarFan; Dutchy; Timesink; VPMWife78; phantomworker; ajolympian2004; Gracey; Alamo-Girl; ...
FoxFan ping!

FReeper FRiends: It is my understanding that Fox News is moving Oliver North's wonderful "War Stories" from 8pm ET to 10pm ET on Sunday nights in order to allow that idiot Geraldo Riviera to run his failed show "Geraldo At Large" at 8pm ET instead. (Sean Hannity's new show runs at 9pm ET on Sundays)

My mother - and many other World War II veterans who enjoy "War Stories" - are elderly and cannot make it up until 10-11pm ET. "War Stories" is one of her all-time favorite shows on FNC. I think it is a shame that FNC is favoring sleaze (Geraldo) during the 8pm family prime time slot over a substantive, family-oriented program like "War Stories with Oliver North".

If you agree, please address your comments to: Warstories@foxnews.com and/or Viewerservices@foxnews.com and/or Feedback@foxnews.com or call 1-888-369-4762.

Please FReepmail me if you want on or off my FoxFan list. *Warning: This can be a high-volume ping list at times.

9 posted on 02/08/2007 8:37:13 PM PST by nutmeg (National Security trumps everything else.)
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To: IronJack

I have no idea, this is the first I've ever given it any thought. I thought the exhibits were there for anyone to film. But the top executive puts Clinton and Richardson to shame as far as their salary goes.


10 posted on 02/08/2007 8:39:02 PM PST by jazusamo (http://warchronicle.com/TheyAreNotKillers/DefendOurMarines.htm)
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To: jazusamo

Here's an interesting link about Mr. Small and the Smithsonian.

http://archaeology.org/online/features/smithsonian/small.html


11 posted on 02/08/2007 8:41:54 PM PST by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists...call 'em what you will...They ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: nutmeg

Thanks for posting that, nutmeg. Too bad Geraldo isn't working at MSNBC, nobody watches them anyway.


12 posted on 02/08/2007 8:43:47 PM PST by jazusamo (http://warchronicle.com/TheyAreNotKillers/DefendOurMarines.htm)
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To: rockinqsranch

Wow...This Lawrence Small sounds like a real loser.


13 posted on 02/08/2007 8:48:04 PM PST by jazusamo (http://warchronicle.com/TheyAreNotKillers/DefendOurMarines.htm)
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To: nutmeg

Thanks for the Ping, Nut,I'll write about both issues mentioned on the Thread. And if worse comes to worst, I'll record "War Stories".

In spite of being a retired military guy, I learn an enormous amount from Ollie North's show. [That I probably should have known but didn't.] The quality of the show almost makes up for many of the other less than sterling programs.


14 posted on 02/08/2007 8:52:22 PM PST by FOXFANVOX (God Bless the Military!)
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To: jazusamo
Guess he was destined to be a Small minded person!

8 )

15 posted on 02/08/2007 8:54:21 PM PST by FOXFANVOX (God Bless the Military!)
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To: nutmeg

Thanks for the ping!


16 posted on 02/08/2007 9:05:20 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: jazusamo

bttt


17 posted on 02/08/2007 9:06:50 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: jazusamo

(Indiana Jones) "It belongs in a museum!"


18 posted on 02/08/2007 9:11:09 PM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist (Good night Chesty, wherever you are!)
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To: FOXFANVOX; RaceBannon
And if worse comes to worst, I'll record "War Stories".

I record War Stories all the time, but my mother (who was a WAVE in WWII) is in a situation now where she cannot use a VCR. It just breaks my heart that she will not be able to tune in as usual at 8pm Sunday nights to see "War Stories"... one of her favorite shows.

In spite of being a retired military guy, I learn an enormous amount from Ollie North's show. [That I probably should have known but didn't.] The quality of the show almost makes up for many of the other less than sterling programs.

My husband, mother and I also learn a tremendous amount from Ollie North's War Stories. He packs more substance into that show than in most History Channel shows we've seen. It is truly a gem at FNC. I cannot believe they are shoving such a fine family-oriented show to such a late time slot (in the eastern time zone anyway).

I'm writing to FNC now, and will call them tomorrow...

I really despise Whorealdo... I'm ready to drive down to NYC and stand outside of the FNC windows with a "FIRE GERALDO!" sign. I just may do it. ;-)

19 posted on 02/08/2007 9:16:47 PM PST by nutmeg (National Security trumps everything else.)
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To: IronJack
"... any more than he has a right to sell the museum's artifacts at a garage sale."

Hehe, actually it sorta does. I bought a saber from the Smithsonian collection at a private auction (Butterfield) a few years back. They were offing some of their surplus.

20 posted on 02/08/2007 9:25:24 PM PST by Bonaparte
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To: ExcursionGuy84

Hardly, just pointing out what has been going on for years. It appears that Ollie is just now catching on.


21 posted on 02/08/2007 9:37:26 PM PST by FLOutdoorsman (The Man who says it can't be done should not interrupt the man doing it!)
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To: jazusamo

If I were him I's sue, I'm sure there is some kind of law that this vioates as Viacom is a privite enterpise, and "America's Treasures" that theoretically belong to all of us piddly citizens; technically I don't think they can do this (though I am not a lawyer). Anyone that is want to shed a little legal light on this?

(I'd love very much to take down Viacom) they are an immoral, media giant!>?


22 posted on 02/08/2007 9:52:12 PM PST by JSDude1 (www.pence08.com.)
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To: jazusamo
Too bad Geraldo isn't working at MSNBC, nobody watches them anyway.

As I mentioned in #19, I'm ready to drive down to NYC and stand in front of FNC's windows with a giant "FIRE GERALDO!" sign. If you ever see one thru the windows, it'll probably be me out there... ;-)

23 posted on 02/08/2007 10:18:18 PM PST by nutmeg (National Security trumps everything else.)
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To: jazusamo

Culture of corruption ping.


24 posted on 02/08/2007 10:32:26 PM PST by TigersEye (Ego chatters endlessly on. Mind speaks in great silence.)
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To: alisasny; BobFromNJ; BUNNY2003; Cacique; Clemenza; Coleus; cyborg; DKNY; Doctor Raoul; ELS; ...
For more than 160 years the Smithsonian Institution made America's remarkable history available to one and all. In keeping with founder James Smithson's benevolent vision of "an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men," the institution's taxpayer-subsidized museums, exhibits and archives used to be open to the general public, students and legitimate researchers. But not anymore -- and it's an outrage that I'm taking personally...

Please FReepmail me if you want on or off my ‘miscellaneous’ ping list.

25 posted on 02/08/2007 10:37:01 PM PST by nutmeg (National Security trumps everything else.)
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To: jazusamo
Nothing new
Smithsonian Hands Over TV Contract
May 26, 2006

Smithsonian’s Showtime Controversy
On May 10, the House Appropriations Committee voted to cut $15 million from the museum’s proposed 2007 budget...

26 posted on 02/09/2007 1:13:52 AM PST by philman_36
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To: jazusamo
"Lawrence M. Small, the Smithsonian's top executive, was paid $884,733 last year --"

Our government bureaucracy is a hog that need to be taken to slaughter, but it appears that everyone in DC is out of knifes.
27 posted on 02/09/2007 1:58:53 AM PST by Herakles (Diversity is code word for anti-white racism)
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To: maxter

When you talk to Bill,

See if he can shed some light on the "Pacific Ocean Biological Survey Program" and it's connection to Project SHAD, between 1963 and 1970...???

http://projectshad.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=1034

"Strictly for the Birds": Science, the Military and the ...
Strictly for the Birds": Science, the Military and the Smithsonian's Pacific Ocean Biological Survey Program, 1963-1970 (2001) (Make Corrections) ...
citeseer.ist.psu.edu/macleod01strictly.html - 17k - Cached - Similar pages

[PDF]
“Strictly for the Birds”: Science, the Military and the ...
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
STRICTLY FOR THE BIRDS. 321. generously lent its facilities. 13. Nonetheless, all Smithsonian personnel were. required to have security clearances. ...
www.springerlink.com/index/H588777732N24311.pdf - Similar pages

IngentaConnect "Strictly for the Birds": Science, the Military and ...
“Strictly for the Birds”: Science, the Military and the Smithsonian's Pacific Ocean Biological Survey Program, 1963–1970. Author: MacLeod R.1 ...
www.ingentaconnect.com/.../hist/2001/00000034/00000002/00274095;jsessionid=4msbcog16na50.alice?format=print - Similar pages

CAT.INIST.FR
"Strictly for the birds": Science, the military and the Smithsonian's ... Between 1963 and 1970, the Smithsonian Institution held a grant from the US Army ...
cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=13599902 - Similar pages

Talk about your "Public-Private Partnership"...!!!

~~~~~~~~~

"Between 1963 and 1970, the Smithsonian Institution held a grant from the US Army to observe migratory patterns of pelagic birds in the Central Pacific. For six years, the Pacific Ocean Biological Survey Program (POBSP) collected a vast amount of data from a quarter of the globe little known to science, and difficult for civilians to access.

Its reports were (and remain) of great value to science. In 1969, however, the Program became embroiled in controversy. Some alleged that the Smithsonian, by accepting the military's coin, had violated its own rules governing the receipt of government funds and the publication of research.

Recent investigations have pointed to a number of unexplained relationships between the POBSP and the Army,
during a period of intense activity in chemical and biological weapons testing. The controversy marked a watershed in Smithsonian-military relations. As yet, its history is incomplete.

What is known, however, suggests that the POBSP involved a highly problematic msalliance between science and secrecy during the height of the Cold War. Its gradual unfolding prompts questions of contemporary relevance that await contemporary answers."


28 posted on 02/09/2007 5:24:13 AM PST by JB in Whitefish
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To: Bonaparte

Even then, I assume the offerings have to be scrutinized carefully. I somehow doubt he's going to get away with putting the Hope Diamond under the gavel.


29 posted on 02/09/2007 6:05:07 AM PST by IronJack (=)
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To: jazusamo

Surprise, surprise. NOT!

Let's storm the Smithsonian!


30 posted on 02/09/2007 6:57:06 AM PST by Monkey Face (Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is quite as satisfying as an income tax refund.)
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To: Monkey Face
The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is hands down the most awesome museum I have ever set foot in. To deny anyone access is a crime.

I put my hand on the a Space Shuttle AND a Concorde there!

31 posted on 02/09/2007 8:06:00 AM PST by -=SoylentSquirrel=- (Gosh, some people are SOOOO insensitive. Me, for example.)
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To: nutmeg

I had no idea.
We're supposed to visit the Air and Space Museum next month.


32 posted on 02/09/2007 8:10:49 AM PST by stanz (Those who don't believe in evolution should go jump off the flat edge of the Earth.)
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To: -=SoylentSquirrel=-
As an aside, I served coffee to Mr. North, when he was on a speaking tour, in Redwood City, Ca. He was very polite to a mere server, and I thought that was very classy. Probably around 1990. Even then I knew I was in the presence of greatness.

Sadly, at the same hotel, I later served Roseanne Barr and her then-husband Tom. The inside of their room was in such disarray from their antics it was reminiscent of a post-tornado trailer park.

33 posted on 02/09/2007 8:11:06 AM PST by -=SoylentSquirrel=- (Gosh, some people are SOOOO insensitive. Me, for example.)
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To: IronJack
"... the offerings have to be scrutinized carefully."

This took place 9 years ago, when Butterfield & Butterfield was still one of the premier auction houses in the US. The saber/scabbard had documentation from the well-known Pennsylvania collector/authority who originally donated it to the Smithsonian and also from the Smithsonian's chief expert on Napoleonic edged weapons. It also passed muster with me, having all the right hallmarks, dimensions, etc. Happily, it's quadrupled in value since then -- not that I have any intention of peddling it. ;-)

That was a memorable auction, btw. The largest auction to date of Napoleonic militaria, combined with an excellent Old West offering. I got to hold in my hands the sterling compass/sundial that Napoleon carried in his pocket through most of his campaigns (originally made for Louis XIV by Butterfield Jewelers, Paris, he found it among the Bourbon effects when he briefly lived in Palais Royale). I also viewed the actual slug that was taken out of John Wesley Hardin's brain. Each of these auctioned in the $30K+ range!

34 posted on 02/09/2007 12:48:41 PM PST by Bonaparte
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To: Bonaparte
I got to hold in my hands the sterling compass/sundial that Napoleon carried in his pocket through most of his campaigns

Including the Battle of Borodin?

I also viewed the actual slug that was taken out of John Wesley Hardin's brain.

Morbid, but fascinating.

Are you an expert on edged weapons? Your purchase sounds intriguing.

35 posted on 02/09/2007 1:54:11 PM PST by IronJack (=)
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To: IronJack
No expert here. I just know enough to get in trouble. :-)

The saber is an 1803 pattern light cavalry, almost identical to this one, but in better shape. It too, was made for the French by German slave labor.

You never know what will appear on some of these auction blocks. I once saw a man's heart auctioned. When a French field grade officer fell in battle, it was not unusual for his heart to be removed from his remains, placed in a jar of preservative and sent back to his widow with a letter of commendation, usually dictated to a secretary but sometimes written by Napoleon himself, such as the one that contained these phrases -- "Your husband despised comfort and convenience. He loved only war and glory. I regret that death was not more discriminating." I'm sure she was charmed, hehe.

36 posted on 02/11/2007 4:12:44 PM PST by Bonaparte
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To: ExcursionGuy84

When the going gets tough . . . [chuckle].


37 posted on 02/11/2007 4:21:34 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: nutmeg

"FReeper FRiends: It is my understanding that Fox News is moving Oliver North's wonderful "War Stories" from 8pm ET to 10pm ET on Sunday nights in order to allow that idiot Geraldo Riviera to run his failed show "Geraldo At Large" at 8pm ET instead."

ugh! I must write FOX at least once a week about Geraldo. I really cannot stand the man. (He's going to Iraq again) I'm watching Ollie North as I type this. But I almost missed it because when Geraldo came on, I switched channels.


38 posted on 02/11/2007 7:39:36 PM PST by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: sageb1
ugh! I must write FOX at least once a week about Geraldo. I really cannot stand the man. (He's going to Iraq again) I'm watching Ollie North as I type this. But I almost missed it because when Geraldo came on, I switched channels.

PLEASE do! I've already written twice to FNC and my husband sent an e-mail yesterday.

We've got to mount some kind of crusade against FNC to get them to dump Geraldo. I've had enough of the despicable tabloid crap creeping into the Fox News Channel in general. Geraldo isn't fit to shine Ollie's boots IMHO, yet FNC shoves Ollie's excellent show "War Stories" into the late time slot (10pm ET), while Whorealdo gets the prime time spot, blabbering on and on about such "substantive" topics like Anna Nicole Smith and missing college co-eds.

/rant

39 posted on 02/11/2007 9:52:10 PM PST by nutmeg (National Security trumps everything else.)
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To: jazusamo; 2Jedismom; 2rightsleftcoast; abner; ACAC; Arkinsaw; aumrl; bboop; Beck_isright; ...
Thank you SO MUCH for the ping, jaz! (I think I'm blind, I missed it again!)


OLLIE PING!

Photo credit: FReeper Jen's Mom's daughter with Ollie!

Please FReepmail me if you would like to be added to, or removed from, the Oliver North ping list...

40 posted on 02/13/2007 3:13:00 PM PST by cgk (Republicanism didn't make Conservatives a majority. Conservatism made Republicans a majority. [NEWT])
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To: jazusamo

I sure hope he mentions this in the War Stories episode that was supposed to include pics of the Enola Gay. That way all his viewers will know about this arrangement.


41 posted on 02/13/2007 11:12:01 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: cgk; Jen's Mom

You didn't miss it, you were just waiting for a more opportune time to ping. :-)

Thank you, Jen's Mom and thank your daughter for her service for me, great pic!


42 posted on 02/14/2007 4:57:42 PM PST by jazusamo (http://warchronicle.com/TheyAreNotKillers/DefendOurMarines.htm)
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To: SuziQ

I hope he mentions that in the episode also, SuziQ.


43 posted on 02/14/2007 4:58:59 PM PST by jazusamo (http://warchronicle.com/TheyAreNotKillers/DefendOurMarines.htm)
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