That, and other news, in today's Roundup and Recap.
A first look at "The Lost Symbol," Dan Brown's highly anticipated, D.C. based followup to "The Da Vinci Code," appears in the New York Times today. Janet Maslin gives it a positive review, even if it follows a familiar formula. It's what the public wants, isn't it?
Key locations: The Capitol's National Statuary Hall and the Smithsonian Museum Support Center in Maryland, plus some other spots that she does not reveal in the review.
Left unaddressed is whether the new book provides fodder for conspiracy theorists — I can name a few who command national attention right now — worried about the infiltration of Freemasonry. Like Opus Dei, it is at the center of this book. Which is fiction, by the way.
Beck Busts Out: Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post writes of Glenn Beck's reach — unassisted by any mainstream media picking up his stories. He cites the lack of coverage of the Van Jones story, which eventually ended when Jones resigned from his White House post. But Kurtz adds, As a provocateur, Beck sometimes seems to revel in going too far. He accused the communications director of the National Endowment for the Arts, Yosi Sargent, of wanting to steer federal aid to "a bunch of hippie starving artists, dope-smoking progressives" as "blatant propaganda" for Obama. (The agency reassigned Sargent.) And Beck relentlessly promoted the conservative "9/12" demonstrations in Washington and across the country, and broadcast live Saturday, interviewing Republican lawmakers and others at the protests. "I know the mainstream media, everyone, will make fun of me . . . but I have wept for my children's future," he said."
How does Beck get away with it? Kurtz writes, "He regularly tries to deflect criticism by describing himself as a recovering alcoholic and "rodeo clown.""
Fiorina Flame-Out?: Over the weekend I wrote about Vice President Joseph Biden's fund-raising efforts on behalf of Barbara Boxer, a big gun brought in with the prospect that she will face a serious challenge from Carly Fiorina. RedState.com reports that perhaps Fiorina will not self-fund her bid, which is what has Democrats so concerned in the first place.
Oprah on Obama: Oprah Winfrey says she's not ready to get into the political fray when it comes to healthcare, etc. In Toronto at the premiere of her movie "Precious," she said, "I have not said one thing about this political situation and don't intend to. Everybody knows that I was a big campaigner for Obama and I still am. I think he's doing a great job. I think that it's the toughest job in the world with the economy and health care and all of that."
Busting Some Moves: "For the first time ever, the Republican Hammer is moving to the left," scream the promos for ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," a first glimpse of Tom DeLay's dance moves in his full get-up. DeLay has been spreading the word of the new footage via Twitter.