Brock's Democratic Seal of Approval
When David Brock published his memoirs last year, the right-wing "hit man" turned liberal apologist provoked strong emotions ranging from admiration to disdain.
"Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative" was Brock's personal mea culpa, a catalogue of sins that included lying and intimidation in the service of ideology. Many of Brock's former allies disputed his stories, and Brock grudgingly acknowledged that he spent several days in a psychiatric ward as he was struggling to finish the tell-all. Reviewer Christopher Hitchens called it "flimsy and self-worshiping," writing in The Nation that Brock "is a phony . . . incapable of recognizing the truth, let alone telling it."
But at Tuesday night's packed party celebrating the book's new paperback edition, the sting of those insults was replaced by glowing words from the top two Democrats in the nation's capital. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), who co-hosted the party at 201 Lounge on Capitol Hill, declared: "To any Republicans out there: If you are willing to disavow your past and change your ways we'll throw a party for you as well!"
The likes of James Carville, Sidney Blumenthal, Paul Begala and Pat Schroeder clapped and cheered. "I really admire David Brock," said Daschle, who befriended Brock months ago after taking him to lunch. "His book was given to me by President Clinton. He gave me his own copy -- which was underlined, circled, and dog-eared -- and told me 'You have to read this book!' And it was the best advice he's given me in at least a couple of years. We thank David for his contribution and hope to see more from him."
Senate Minority Whip Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said: "David, you've given us inspiration to fight -- and fighting we are. And I think you'll see a new Democratic Party in the future."
Brock -- who declined to speak to us -- effusively thanked the partygoers, "particularly those who had the misfortune of being characters in my first book," a best-selling hatchet job on liberal icon Anita Hill. "You've opened your hearts and I especially thank you. I also want to thank my boyfriend" -- James Alefantis -- "who is here and far better at this than myself . . . . He truly is wonderful."
Annie Get Your Cigar!
* Human Uzi Ann Coulter, who left Washington for New York because of the disappointing dating scene, has left New York for Miami.
"YES -- I HAVE MOVED TO THE CITY OF INTERNATIONAL INTRIGUE!!!!" the tall blond bestselling author e-mailed us yesterday. "Many reasons. Among them: The tax rate is a lot better for my business. The weather is better for my business. The real estate prices are better for my business. Moreover, that Democrat Michael Bloomberg is a latter-day John Lindsay -- he's wrecking New York City and I didn't want to pay for his fascist smoking police." Never mind that Bloomberg ran for mayor as a Republican.
"Soon he'll be mandating that New Yorkers have a glass of milk and engage in calisthenics every day. He seems to imagine that New Yorkers were drawn to that city for the clean living. It's literally mind-boggling that the mayor's response to a disastrous NYC economy is to crush the restaurant and bar business. I'm not sure even Lindsay could have come up with something so breathtakingly stupid. Reduced bar business means reduced tax revenues means Ann-Pays-More. So I'm gone.
"Also, I'm sick of working all the time and I need to sit on the beach and drink pina coladas with little umbrellas for a while to recuperate. Perhaps I will have a cigar with my pina colada -- which is still legal in Florida. And of course, Matt Drudge is in Miami -- as well as lots of swarthy, patriotic Cubans: the nation's best Americans. Having felt the lash of Democratic 'patriotism' at the Bay of Pigs, I believe they will like my next book."
Coulter's next right-wing polemic is titled "Treason."
THIS JUST IN...
* Why is "Prince of Darkness" Richard Perle svelter than ever? The New York Observer credits Perle's conservative publicist, Manhattan-based Eleana Benador, who "wants right-wing hawks to look nice on television." The fortyish Benador tells the weekly: "I'm very meticulous. Clothing. Attitude. Hairstyle. I'm always fussy about it. Some of them, if they're putting on weight, very gently I will go to them and say, 'You have two choices: You go to my doctor who makes you lose weight, or you buy a new suit.' Very gently." Yesterday right-wing hawk Michael Leeden, another of Benador's wards, told us: "So that's why Richard went on the Atkins diet!"
* Journeys with Alexandra: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), along with NBC White House correspondent Campbell Brown and research scientist Paula Cuello, hosts Monday's benefit screening of "Journeys With George," an HBO movie about presidential candidate Bush by the lawmaker's daughter, documentarian Alexandra Pelosi. The event at Sewall-Belmont House will raise money for the Metro TeenAIDS project to educate Washington youths on ways to avoid the virus.