Some Tidbits That Passed under the Media Radar Last Week
Byline: Chuck Goudie
WASHINGTON - It is difficult to believe, but some interesting items went unreported during the wall-to-wall coverage of Ronald Reagan's death:
- In Washington, D.C., not everything shut down on the national day of mourning for the former president Friday.
Federal and local government offices were closed. So were the public schools and libraries. Even the parking meters were free.
But two regulated entities stayed open: the lotteries and liquor stores.
- A small, expensive, private school in Washington didn't cancel its long-planned graduation ceremony even though it coincided with President Reagan's funeral.
I'll bet school officials wished they had changed the day.
The school stands in the sizable shadow of Washington National Cathedral, where the Reagan funeral was held.
Because of its proximity, the building had to undergo Secret Service security sweeps, and attendees were made to walk quite a distance to get there.
"We were worried about competing with the cicada infestation," the woman who coordinated the graduation told me, "not a presidential funeral."
- The invited guests to the funeral in Washington included all the names you would expect. There was one name that didn't seem to fit with the assembly of illustrious world leaders.
Who invited Joan Rivers? And why?
- Politicos in town for Reagan's funeral seemed to enjoy the news that Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry had asked Sen. John McCain, a Republican, to be his running mate. Then when they heard that Kerry had called McCain eight times, basically begging him to switch sides, the bar conversations really went wild.
"Since McCain turned him down, will Kerry set up a table outside the funeral to sign up VP candidates?" one observer wondered.
Of course, Mr. Kerry did no such thing.
- Another favorite subject of speculation all week was how the government will permanently honor Ronald Reagan.
Some people believe the 62 things already named for Reagan across the country are adequate. …