Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Bush camp solicits race of Star staffer
By C.J. Karamargin

President Bush's re-election campaign insisted on knowing the race of an Arizona Daily Star journalist assigned to photograph Vice President Dick Cheney.

The Star refused to provide the information.

Cheney is scheduled to appear at a rally this afternoon at the Pima County Fairgrounds.

A rally organizer for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign asked Teri Hayt, the Star's managing editor, to disclose the journalist's race on Friday. After Hayt refused, the organizer called back and said the journalist probably would be allowed to photograph the vice president.

"It was such an outrageous request, I was personally insulted," Hayt said later.

Danny Diaz, a spokesman for the president's re-election campaign, said the information was needed for security purposes.

"All the information requested of staff, volunteers and participants for the event has been done so to ensure the safety of all those involved, including the vice president of the United States," he said.

Diaz repeated that answer when asked if it is the practice of the White House to ask for racial information or if the photographer, Mamta Popat, was singled out because of her name. He referred those questions to the U.S. Secret Service, which did not respond to a call from the Star Friday afternoon.

Hayt declined to speculate on whether Popat was racially profiled, but said she is deeply concerned.

"One has to wonder what they were going to do with that information," Hayt said. "Because she has Indian ancestry, were they going to deny her access? I don't know."

Journalists covering the president or vice president must undergo a background check and are required to provide their name, date of birth and Social Security number. The Star provided that information Thursday for Popat and this reporter.


Organizer Christine Walton asked for Popat's race in telephone conversations with two other Star editors before she spoke to Hayt. They also refused to provide the information. Walton told Hayt that Popat's race was necessary to allow the Secret Service to distinguish her from someone else who might have the same name....

Right; there are so many Mamta Popats in Arizona...
Bush is mindful that that the Kerry campaign appears to have won a large part of the once-silent rodent vote after the candidate’s speech Thursday evening. A tracking poll that follows the furry mammals shows some hamsters are literally dancing in the streets — not to mention cyberspace .

The Bush-Cheney ticket, however, belittles the power of rodents in swing states like Ohio, where hamsters and gerbils are looked upon as a “coastal” phenomena. The GOP admits, however, it is looking at the snake-in-the-grass vote to push itself over the top in reptile habitats such as California and Arizona.

Within hours of the younger Kerry’s disclosure of its near-death experience, Licorice, the hamster in question, gave a personal account of the incident in the New York Times, despite admitting that “privacy is all that we hamsters have.”
Pinochet son charged in Santiago
The eldest son of former Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet is charged with receiving stolen goods.
[Not on the Spanish edition of Google News, but googling for "Augusto Pinochet Hiriart" brings up news stories. Googling from the US edition brings up a smaller number of news stories -- none from the US, one from Canada, more from Australia than from anywhere else.]
From the UK edition of Google News:
Hackers will settle your scores online (prices start at '50)
Independent - Jul 30, 2004
Organised criminals have drawn up a price list for internet attacks ranging from raids on betting websites to sending e-mails for spammers.
Of Google, sewers and English ale ZDNet.co.uk
New virus packs malicious features London Free Press
WebProNews - and 6 related
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A passionate fan for years so I started my own blog :-)
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