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Leave Doug McKelway Aloooone!:The banjo-playing WJLA-TV anchor has been suspended “indefinitely” following a run-in with station management. The cause: A fight over a McKelway report that “may have lapsed into partisan territory.” Within hours, McKelway was cast as a martyr by the tortured conservative minds behind Newsbusters, which speculated as to whether the firing was more evidence of liberal bias at Allbritton Communications, which owns WJLA as well as TBD and the notoriously Pravda-esque Politico. Poor McKelway has a way of getting himself tormented by the lefty cabal: Last year, they raised a ruckus just because the anchor threatened to punch a gay blogger in the face during an interview about the ethics of outing anti-gay pols. And back in 1994, they forced him to apologize after innocently using the word “pansy” on air. What’s a local TV anchor gotta do to catch a break? -3
If You Build It, They Will Come: In the first week the new Watha T. Daniel-Shaw Library was open, D.C. Public Libraries officials say it issued 374 new cards. That’s up from about 70 a week the last two years—when the library operated out of a temporary trailer during construction. Look out, Baltimore; soon the District will be angling for that coveted title, “The City That Reads.” +3
Terrorists Take Aim At Metro: When the Department of Homeland Security warned Metro officials that “someone” had traveled to Turkey last summer to get a U.S. visa as part of a terrorist plot aimed at an unspecified station, it’s not entirely clear what the feds expected the transit agency to do with the information. Search all Turkish-looking passengers? Send bomb-sniffing dogs through the system? Raise fares while simultaneously lowering the quality of service, sending would-be riders to some other mode of transportation where they’re safe from terrorist strikes? (We’ll take option 3, please!) Fortunately, nothing exploded today at any stations after news of the warning came out. Unfortunately, Metro continued its own terror campaign against area residents; a bus apparently rear-ended a car in Ballston, then fled the scene by making an illegal turn. -4
Congress Returns To Torment Us Anew: Living in D.C. in August isn’t easy. It’s hot. It’s humid. NFL preseason reminds you that Dan Snyder still owns the Redskins. Usually, though, one big benefit offsets all the crap: Congress has cleared out of the District for the entire month, and members go home to bother their own constituents instead of us. Alas, there’s an election in November, and that means layabout lawmakers can’t afford to let people realize they ordinarily take off that much time, lest voters wonder why we need them the rest of the year. So the House returned to town today, adding a bit more hot air to the atmosphere. At least they made themselves useful during their brief visit, approving $26.1 billion to help cities and states keep the lights on this fall. See you in September! -2
Yes, Actually, It Is Hot Enough For Me: Back in February, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., sent his grandchildren out to the Mall to build an igloo out of the snow, because it proved there was no such thing as global warming. Today, after careful review of the evidence since then, Washington City Paper can report that James Inhofe is an idiot. The temperature soared above 90 degrees for the 50th time this year; that’s already the most ever recorded in the region’s history. The spring was also the warmest one on record. Someday, future generations may look back at Inhofe’s family prank and ask, “What was snow?” -5
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 42 Today’s score: -11 Today’s Needle rating: 31