Jewish World Review June 23, 2003 / 23 Sivan, 5763

Lloyd Grove

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Consumer Reports

Another Watergate scandal?; AL GORE TV! | WASHINGTON When we were allowed briefly to sit next to Bill Clinton at D.C.'s Cafe Milano a couple of weeks ago, the former president responded to one of our questions by stuffing a forkful of salmon into his mouth and chewing thoughtfully.

"Salmon is very good," Florida cardiologist Arthur Agatston told us. "It not only helps to prevent heart disease, it helps with losing weight."

The reason we consulted the good doctor is that New York magazine reveals in its upcoming issue that Clinton and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., are both on the latest weight loss craze, Agatston's "South Beach Diet," also the title of a best-selling book.

The diet is big on veggies, fish and lean meat, downed with a nice glass of wine. But forget bread, white rice and pasta -- none of which Bill Clinton seemed to be eating that night. The mag reports: "One of our spies overheard Bill crediting the diet when someone complimented him on looking so good at Hillary's book party at The Four Seasons." Sen. Clinton's office directed us to seek comment from the former president's spokesman, Jim Kennedy. "I only comment on weighty matters," Kennedy parried.


Democratic presidential candidate Bob Graham shouldn't expect ringing endorsements from some of the wealthy residents of the Watergate South apartment building.

We hear that on Wednesday night several owners of luxury co-ops in the building -- including business type Wyatt Dickerson, Prime Rib restaurant owner C. Peter "Buzz" Beler and commercial construction mogul Jim Clark -- were unhappy to find a garish red-white-and-blue "Graham for President" display in their tasteful lobby.

The huge sign, draped over a table, touted a fundraiser for the Florida senator on the 15th floor.

Counterterrorism expert Neil Livingstone, president of the Watergate South co-op board, was said to be fielding complaints about what one wag described as "aesthetic terrorism."

Livingstone didn't return our phone calls, but Beler told us: "I don't think we should have political displays in the lobby. I don't know how they got that one by." Dickerson, meanwhile, said: "It just looked really schlocky."


A couple of weeks ago, former vice president Al Gore, winner of the popular vote in the 2000 election, had dinner with NBC Entertainment President Jeff Zucker at the Italian restaurant Toscana in Brentwood, Calif. This week, Time magazine reported that Gore is trying to launch his own cable network to compete with conservative-dominated television outlets. Somehow we managed to secure this schedule of proposed "Gore TV" programming:

Good Morning Blue States -- News & Talk
Lock Box -- Market News
Earth Tones in the Balance -- Fashion
Karenna Says the Darndest Things -- After School
Who's (Not) the Boss? -- Situation Comedy
Recount! -- News & Debate
Countdown to Recount! -- Debate
Recount Showdown! -- Breaking News
Gore Dance Fever -- Medical
Tipper's Banned-Record Party -- Variety
Politically Correct -- Labored Humor
Miami Fraud -- Political Crime Drama
America's Least Wanted -- Political Crime Docudrama


All Politics Is Local Department: That was Laura Bush phoning in Thursday morning to Nantucket Television -- that is, NTV Channel 22 -- to talk up the glories of the Massachusetts island and endorse a fundraising drive for the Nantucket High School yearbook. The first lady dialed up the tiny cable outlet -- which programs "community television" for the tiny resort -- after NTV General Manager David Kuhn spotted her Monday night at Nantucket's pricey 21 Federal restaurant and scribbled a note asking her to be a call-in guest on the first morning show of the summer season. "She came on for about two minutes, and she was very charming," Kuhn told us.


"Make no mistake: Operation Iraqi Tray Freedom was a complete success." -- The Washington Post's Richard Leiby this week after the Department of Homeland Security returned a copper tray -- a cheap-looking object resembling a damaged hubcap -- given to him by retired Baghdad police lieutenant Sabih Jassim Azzawe during Leiby's recent visit to Iraq. Federal officials also returned 5,125 Iraqi dinars that had been confiscated, along with the tray, by U.S. Customs agents when Leiby landed at Dulles International Airport in Virginia last month. Leiby remitted to his attorney, Matthew J. McConkey, 1,000 dinars (about 67 cents), to be shared with co-counsel John M. Gurley.

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06/19/03: Tony Snow, rocker?; that won't be crow on Mr. Carlson's plate
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