Out-Foxed: Liasson Won't Quit TV Role NPR Dislikes

Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 13, 2009 | Go to article overview

Out-Foxed: Liasson Won't Quit TV Role NPR Dislikes


The White House vendetta against Fox News seems to have ensnared National Public Radio's top political correspondent.

The Politico Web site reported that NPR executives recently asked Mara Liasson to reconsider appearing on Fox because of the cable network's perceived conservative bent.

The request apparently came shortly after the Obama administration launched claims in September that Fox was an arm of the Republican Party.

It also seemed to coincide with an October piece in Newsweek by Jacob Weisberg, the editor of the liberal Web site Slate, castigating reporters from other networks who guest on Fox.

"Respectable journalists -- I'm talking to you, Mara Liasson -- should stop appearing on its programs," he wrote.

Liasson declined comment, but Politico reports that she intends to continue her Fox work. A Fox spokesperson had this to say about NPR's internal flap: "With the ratings we have, NPR should be paying us to even be mentioned on our air."

WILLIE FAST BEHIND WHEEL, TOO. The Steelers' "Fast" Willie Parker almost let his need for speed land him in hot water with Pittsburgh police following last Sunday's 27-24 loss to the Oakland Raiders.

Parker was driving a black SUV near Heinz Field about 5:20 p.m. Sunday and came close to hitting Officer Daniel O'Hara -- president of the police union -- who was directing traffic out of a parking garage.

O'Hara, who estimated Parker was going about 10 mph over the speed limit, yelled at the running back to slow down, but Parker kept on going. The officer got the SUV's license plate number and planned to send Parker a citation by mail.

But a few moments later, a contrite Parker returned to the scene and apologized. "So I used my discretion to let him off with a warning, which I would do for anybody," O'Hara said.

As poorly as the Steelers played against the Raiders, we can certainly understand Fast Willie's desire to put Heinz Field in his rearview mirror. Parker and the rest of the Steelers probably can't wait to put this entire season in their rearview mirror after following up the Raiders defeat with Thursday's dreadful 13-6 loss in Cleveland.

ONE COY BOY. Rick Santorum isn't running for president. Then again, he's not not running.

So concluded The Washington Post, which attempted to ascertain whether the former Republican senator from Pennsylvania is interested in being a 2012 contender for the White House.

Santorum, who was defeated by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. in 2006, won't answer the question definitively. But as The Post noted, that could be because it remains to be seen whether he can raise the millions needed to mount a serious candidacy.

"I have no great burning desire to be president," Santorum told the newspaper, "but I have a burning desire to have a different president of the United States."

ERUDITE, THEY AIN'T. Tonya Payne hasn't enjoyed a reputation for being the most well-spoken member of Pittsburgh City Council. So it probably shouldn't be a huge surprise that her release announcing she will challenge state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Hill District, contained some serious spelling and grammatical errors.

Several highlights: The self-congratulatory release detailing Payne's intent to "spread her wings and fly to a higher branch of government" described her as a "forerunner" in the legislative race. …

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