Dateline: Week Of February 22, 2004 In News, Pop Culture, Tech News & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
President Bush calls for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. He’s not happy about the recent same-sex weddings in places such as San Francisco.
Fed chief Alan Greenspan tells Congress that Social Security benefits must be reduced “as soon as possible” to address deficits and more recipients.
John Kerry accuses President Bush of overextending forces in Iraq and that he sent troops to war unprepared. “… George Bush has in fact weakened that military by overextending it.”
John Kerry, campaigning in Ohio, calls President Bush’s optimistic outlook on the economy a fantasy speech.
Ralph Nader enters the presidential race as an independent. It’s a second time around for Nader and the Democrats are not happy – because his numbers could throw things off balance, as they did in 2000. He decried “a democracy gap” which has left “too much power and wealth in too few hands.”
A secret plan by the U.S. to “reform” the Middle East has been leaked out a few months before it was to be revealed – and that has ticked off some Arab leaders. The Bush Administration had wanted to enlist Europe as a partner in a joint effort to democratize the Mideast.
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti appeals for foreign intervention to save his government. Dozens of U.S. Marines are arriving to secure the U.S. Embassy and Secretary of State Colin Powell is seeking to head off a bloody clash for control of Port-Au-Prince by rebels.
Though his popularity has been battered because of his decision to lead Britain to war in Iraq, Prime Minister Tony Blair says he will seek reelection.
Encouraging – Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says Iraqis continue to join police and army forces, despite a rash of violent attack linked to Al Qaeda.
Health authorities in Houston close four poultry establishments after a virulent strain of avian flu is discovered at a supplier’s farm in southeast Texas.
John Kerry and John Edwards conduct a debate at USC in Los Angeles. Larry King was the moderator.
A federal judge throws-out Martha Stewart’s “most serious” charge – saying there was no evidence she intended to commit securities fraud.
Some 21 gay couples exchange wedding vows on the steps of Village Hall at New Paltz, NY.
“Spot” – the first family dog is euthanized at the age of 14. Spot was the daughter of Millie – the first family dog on father Bush’s watch.
Passing – bandleader Alvino Rey (95).
Fascinating Facts - February 22, 2004 -
Someone in Stephens City, Virginia purchased a $230 million mega lottery ticket – a lottery record.
Radio news – February 22, 2004 -
Under scrutiny - The heads of six broadcasting companies defend their radio programs – appearing before a House subcommittee that wants to increase fines for indecency violations. This week – Clear Channel dropped Howard Stern’s show from the six stations that carried it. Also – Clear Channel fires shock jock “Bubba the Love Sponge” from his morning show at WXTB-FM in Tampa. This after the FCC proposed a $755,000 fine. Clear Channel now says “Bubba” does not fit their standards. It’s not a good time for any shock personality – not at all.
Sports News – February 22, 2004 –
NBA referee Michael Henderson gets suspended for three games because he made a wrong call – the first such penalty in NBA history. He called a shot clock violation against the Denver Nuggets, but the LA Lakers won the game 112-111 with about 3 seconds left – and a 3-pointer by Kareem Rush.
NFL rushing leader Jamal Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens is indicted on a charge that he conspired to help a friend purchase cocaine.
Entertainment News – February 22, 2004 -
“The Passion of the Christ” opens to jammed theaters across the country.
Ticked-off at Janet Jackson’s breast-baring stunt – Lena Horne says Ms. Jackson will not play her in “Stormy Weather” – a planned TV movie about legendary songstress.
Music News – February 22, 2004 -
Passing – Estelle Axton – co-founder of legendary “Stax” Records out of Memphis. She was 85.
Rapper Eminem sues Apple, because it used his “Lose Yourself” in an iTunes ad.
More breast-bearing fallout as Justin Timberlake is now out as cohost of ABC’s upcoming “Motown 45’ special.
Television News – February 22, 2004 -
On Saturday Night Live – Jennifer Aniston with musical guests Black Eyed Peas.
On “Whoopi” – Ms. Goldberg and Patrick Swayze reunite as he plays a choreographer who used to work with Whoopi’s character in the old days.
Top TV Shows/Ratings/TV Guide – February 22, 2004
CSI – 30.87 million viewers
American Idol on Tuesday – 25.17
Friends – 24.27
ER – 22.83
Survivor: All-Stars – 22.80
American Idol on Wednesday – 22.09
Without a Trace – 20.12
The Apprentice – 19.82
Everybody Loves Raymond – 19.80
CSI: Miami – 19.62
Will & Grace – 1891
Fear Factor – 18.80
Law and Order – 18.04
Super Millionaire – 17.46
Town and a Half Men – 17.39
Top Movies – February 22, 2004 –
50 First Dates
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
Welcome to Mooseport
Against the Ropes
The Butterfly Effect
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.