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THE NEWS AGENDA

As we have learned over the past 24 hours, former Presidents can control the news agenda depending on what they say... and how they say it. While we will reprise some of President Clinton's comments on FOX this weekend, we'll also add analysis as to the back story... and what might become the story from here. There's a lot of other news out there, including homeland security, housing prices and air travel. This was a good day for the manufacturers of 3 oz. sizes of moisturizers, shampoos, conditioners and hairspray. The folks who govern what we are allowed to carry (or not) on board airplanes have decided that the nation's need for gels outweighs the risk that several terrorists would pool their liquid resources while an aircraft is aloft. All of this leads me to ask again how inspections and detection would differ today if senior government officials flew commercial aircraft.  We will report this new TSA development tonight.


We will close the broadcast tonight... with a re-opening. The Superdome in New Orleans is hosting Monday Night Football this evening, and I must say that when I walked out of that structure after Katrina blew over, I assumed it would have to be torn down. It was the scene of great sadness, suffering and death. Now, it has become emblematic of rebirth -- a friend of mine in New Orleans, a police officer -- told me he was going to the game five hours early just to sample the flavor. He reports the city streets are full of people and businesses are closing early. The city (those who could not get tickets in the sold-out dome) will be watching tonight as President Bush (41) tosses the coin and the game gets underway. It will be about a whole lot more than beating the Falcons.

Tonight we gather as an industry here in New York for the Emmy Awards. While it is keeping me from being in New Orleans, I do want to represent and be with our great team if indeed our work is singled out for recognition. We will all be thinking of New Orleans.

RANDOM NOTES
Those in the literary/book world who enjoy an occasional filleting have probably by now already noted Jennifer Senior's review of the new books by Lewis Lapham and Sidney Blumenthal in Sunday's New York Times [registration required for link]. Both men are formidable figures -- big-name writers with big brains -- and both were dealt with in their own way by Ms. Senior's keyboard. While I take no ideological side in the authors' shared topic, I have enjoyed her writing in the past, and it is an object lesson in the balance of power. For the moment, at least, it's in the reviewer's hands.

For admirers of the outsized personalities that often take the world's best photographs, the special section in this week's Newsweek on Annie Leibovitz's new book is extraordinary. As the magazine correctly points out, she really is our most famous photographer. She creates icons, and has become iconic herself.

We hope you can join us for tonight's broadcast.