Jewish World Review June 19, 2003 / 19 Sivan, 5763

Lloyd Grove

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Consumer Reports

Tony Snow, rocker?; that won't be crow on Mr. Carlson's plate | WASHINGTON It's hard to see how Tucker Carlson can get out of it.

On repeated occasions in the past six weeks, the CNN "Crossfire" host has vowed on the air to eat his shoes if Hillary Rodham Clinton's book sells a million copies. He has also pledged to eat his shoes if Simon & Schuster recoups its $8 million advance. Sometimes he has promised to eat his bowtie, too, and to buy co-host Paul Begala dinners for a month.

"If they make $8 million on that book, I will eat my shoes," Carlson declared on April 28 about "Living History," the New York junior senator's memoirs. "I promise that right here." The next night, Carlson vowed: "If this woman sells a million copies, I'll eat my shoes and my tie."

On May 16, Carlson reaffirmed that pledge to Begala, and added: "Literally, I will pay for your dinner for a month if she makes $8 million." On June 5, Carlson insisted that if Clinton's book "does sell more than a million copies, I'll eat my shoes here on 'Crossfire.' "

On June 11, Carlson declared: "If she sells a million copies of this book, I'll eat my shoes and my tie. I will." On June 12, Carlson repeated: "If she sells a million copies, I will eat them."

But after Clinton's book sold 600,000 copies in its first week, Carlson told us in a self-pitying tone: "I feel a little sick to my stomach just thinking about it. I am probably going to end up being punished for attempting to be honorable. I'm still betting on America, but I'm probably going to end up like Al Gore. I'm going to contest the results and demand recounts, but ultimately I'm going to give in and do the right thing."

Simon & Schuster spokeswoman Victoria Meyer told us: "When the time comes, we'll be only too happy to send Tucker a bottle of steak sauce."


Church of Scientology cause celeb Tom Cruise slipped into town last week for private meetings with senior Bush administration officials at the Department of Education and the White House. Last Thursday, Education Secretary Rod Paige hosted a lunch for Cruise -- a conspicuous supporter of Bill Clinton before President Bush took office -- so the actor could gab with education officials in the secretary's dining room.

"He wanted to learn more about the president's 'no child left behind' program," Education Undersecretary Eugene Hickok told us. "He was impressed at how serious it is, and said that anything he could do to help he would do. He also talked about his own challenges as a child trying to learn to read." Hickock added: "We're willing to talk to anyone interested in the issue. I don't think I'm star-struck."

But we hear that on Friday at the White House, where Cruise lobbied officials on Scientology-related issues, there were plenty of young female staffers standing around, hoping to bump into him in the corridors of power.


-- "FOX News Sunday" anchor Tony Snow is a 48-year-old father of three who wears a suit and tie to work. But this week he's sporting bluejeans at Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp in New York City, under the supervision of such camp counselors as Roger Daltrey of The Who, Ace Frehley of KISS and Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad. "No leather," Snow told us. "No spandex. No girdles. No bandana. Well, maybe I'll end up shopping for something in synch with the dress code. I will be bringing my saxes and my flutes." Snow, who performs in the D.C. band Beats Workin', will also be bringing a camera crew.

-- Are House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Philip Morris lobbyist Abigail Perlman headed for the altar? Word around town is that the two lovebirds -- whose romance has been giving fits to the self-appointed ethics cops -- are planning to announce their engagement soon. Perlman didn't return our phone calls, and Philip Morris spokesman Dave Tovar dismissed concerns that the relationship might bend House rules governing personal transactions between members of Congress and lobbyists with legislative business before Congress. "We have a very strict compliance and integrity program," Tovar said. Burson Taylor, press secretary for the recently divorced Blunt, told us: "I have a policy of never commenting on Congressman Blunt's personal life."

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06/16/03: Missing dog, ransom demand, Hollywood ending
06/12/03: Giving both parties the needle
06/05/03: Incoming from Barbara Bush?
06/02/03: Bob Dole's plan for fighting unemployment
05/29/03: Newt's new novel
05/27/03: Hitchens & Blumenthal, together again; He still believes in a man called Hope
05/09/03: Close, but no cigar; Romeo & Juliet with a happy ending?; Geraldo to help Heebs?
05/05/03: So Bill Gates and Tom Brokaw walk into a coffee bar . . .; hotel hell; more

© 2003, Creators Syndicate