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Vote for Me: The only election that really matters in D.C. municipal affairs, the Democratic Party primary, is under way. Mayor Adrian Fenty and D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray both scour the District for votes. For a clue as to which candidate feels more confident, check the locations of their evening parties—Fenty will be at his Georgia Avenue headquarters, Gray booked a downtown hotel ballroom. And remember, whoever loses has until Oct. 14 to take down the old signs, or face the wrath of the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics! +4
Shut Up, Clinton: Wading into a controversy he admitted he knew nothing about, Redskins running back Clinton Portis demonstrates why his earlier decision to stay out of the media this year may have been a good one. The NFL looking into whether New York Jets players harassed TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz in the locker room recently; on the radio today, Portis made it sound like Sainz was trying to hit on the players. Which amounts to a five-yard penalty for unnecessary dumbness. -3
This is Only a Test: Reagan National Airport officials announce plans for a simulated plane crash into the Potomac River Saturday morning, complete with victims being pulled out of the water into boats. This is good news for anyone who worries their plane might one day crash into the Potomac, and bad news for any survivors, relatives of victims, or witnesses of the 1982 Air Florida crash into the Potomac, who will probably want to spend the day avoiding TV news images. Fortunately, the advance notice should mean no one panics when the “rescue” gets underway—unlike a Coast Guard training exercise last year, which cable news mistook for a real-life attack on President Barack Obama’s motorcade. -2
Oprah’s Hostage Club: Being held captive by a gunman at your workplace is traumatizing enough. Now the two Discovery Channel employees and one security guard taken hostage by James Lee in Silver Spring two weeks ago will have to suffer anew, as they troop off to the Oprah Winfrey Show for the first interview since the incident. No word on whether they’ll all get cars afterwards. -2
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 57 Today’s score: -3 Today’s Needle rating: 54