Flame-throwing syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin, whose latest book supports the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, was all set to appear at American University tomorrow as the year's kickoff speaker for the College Republicans. But her topic proved too hot for them to handle.
Abruptly canceling her speech last week, Mike Inganamort, president of the campus Republicans, told Malkin in an e-mail: "Our first priority for the next two months is ensuring President Bush be re-elected. Staff members for the Bush campaign have frowned on us for having an event centered on the internment of Japanese Americans." He also cited possible protests over "an issue we frankly cannot defend at our heart of hearts."
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Malkin, who has also generated controversy for suggesting that one of John Kerry's war wounds was "self-inflicted," told us: "I'm disappointed but not surprised. I feel sorry for the AU students who got bullied by the Bush campaign's control freaks. . . . GOP operatives leaned on the kids to put the election over their education. Pathetic."
The daughter of Filipino immigrants, Malkin has drawn criticism from historians and Japanese Americans for her book "In Defense of Internment: The Case for 'Racial Profiling' in World War II and the War on Terror." She agreed to speak to the students for free. By e-mail, she gave us a sample of what she wanted to say:
"I would have pointed out that Bush continues to employ the P.C.-addled [Transportation Secretary] Norm Mineta, whose misunderstanding of WWII history is the reason why grandmas and infants get groped at the airport under the guise of fighting terror. . . . I would have assailed both Teddy Kennedy and Karl Rove for coddling the illegal alien lobby and the anti-profiling activists at the expense of national security."
Inganamort, 20, told us his note to Malkin about the Bush campaign's discomfort was based on "just a friend who interns over at the campaign" and not a directive from higher-ups. "We're not trying to shift blame. . . . I take full responsibility for the decision to cancel Ms. Malkin's speech."
The AU poli sci major said he didn't know Malkin intended to talk about internment. He also expressed surprise that she released his e-mails. Clearly the lad has learned a lesson about the real world of politics and book promotion.
The Face of Election-Year Washington
When we heard the October issue of Esquire would feature a photo spread called "Serious People Making Funny Faces" and that it would showcase three Washington power people, we couldn't pass that up. Since when do Washington types make fun of themselves?
Behold the noble miens of Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren, CBS News's Bob Schieffer and Mayor-for-Life Marion Barry.
Our captions: Greta's latest eyejob. Bob's presidential debate poker face. Marion takes a big sniff . . . of something.
Annals of Puffery
An Occasional Verbatim Press Release
"Entertainers For Bush Urges Hollywood Celebrities To 'Come Out Of The Closet' In Support Of President Bush"
"Many conservative and/or Republican stars are less visible in their support for the President than their Democrat counterparts. Stars such as Dennis Miller, Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis, Pat Boone, Angie Harmon and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger are notable exceptions. Entertainers For Bush representatives have contacted many celebrities to invite them to join their coalition. Legendary singer Pat Boone was the first to join. . . . 'The Entertainers For Bush coalition is not just for entertainers or the famous, but it is for anyone involved in the entertainment community, full- or part-time, or those that volunteer,' says [founder] Wayne Alan, a world-champion illusionist."
Remembering Barbara Olson: For the third year in a row, booth No. 14 at Morton's steakhouse downtown sat empty last night, with just a vase of yellow roses on the table -- a tribute to former Solicitor General Ted Olson's late wife, who died on board the hijacked American Airlines jet that crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11. For years, Olson and his wife shared the table four nights a week.
A sign spotted Friday at a campaign rally for President Bush in Chillicothe, Ohio: "If Jesus weren't a Jew he'd be an American." We could not immediately reach Him for comment.
With Anne Schroeder