The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

some slith­er­ing go­ing on.

“Over the years, there have been many sus­pected man­u­fac­tured re­leases of an­i­mals at cru­cial turn­ing points in rep­tile-re­lated leg­is­la­tion,” says Michael Cole, a rep­tile han­dler in Tampa who cited a 2008 in­ci­dent in North Carolina’s Onslow County.

A pair of co­bras were re­leased in the county, he says, re­port­edly by the An­i­mal Pro­tec­tion In­sti­tute to draw at­ten­tion to the woes of ex­otic an­i­mals.

“Florida rep­tile pro­fes­sion­als, the rep­tile in­dus­try and the U.S. As­so­ci­a­tion of Rep­tile Keep­ers have of­fered a re­ward of $18,000 for in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to the ar­rest and con­vic­tion of any­one in­volved with the il­le­gal release of this Burmese python,” Mr. Cole said. com­plex? Yes. It can be politi­cized.

“If only Tiger were a so­cial­ist,” pon­ders Daily Beast colum­nist Lee Siegel. “When some­one hoards hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars paid to him for sell­ing shoes and watches, while at the same time leg­is­la­tors are tear­ing their hair out over how to find money to make health­care uni­ver­sally af­ford­able, it’s not a ques­tion of Tiger’s fi­delity. It’s a mat­ter of our na­tional san­ity. Maybe when Tiger’s good so­cial­ist wife al­legedly sent him to the hospi­tal, she was try­ing to tell us some­thing.” Yes, he has a mel­liflu­ous voice and ap­plauds the charm of small-town din­ers and com­mu­nity sup­pers. But Gar­ri­son Keil­lor, the pon­tiff of NPR’s “Prairie Home Com­pan­ion” va­ri­ety hour, is not so friendly when it comes to cer­tain ide­o­log­i­cal per­sua­sion. What is the func­tion of pub­lic ra­dio in Amer­ica to­day?

“Its role is to talk to peo­ple who are stuck in traf­fic. And con­ser­va­tives be­come in­censed enough lis­ten­ing to pub­lic ra­dio that it keeps them awake so they don’t drive into a fire hy­drant. That’s what we do: we save the lives of thou­sands of rightwingers ev­ery year. And they never thank us for it,” Mr. Keiller tells Time mag­a­zine. Oh. So that’s it. Mr. Keiller’s rea­son­ing is just an­other case of “lib­eral pom­pos­ity,” says Tim Gra­ham of the Me­dia Re­search Cen­ter.

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