Mary Lynn Jones

Mary Lynn F. Jones is a Washington-based writer. Her work has also appeared in The Chicago Tribune, National
Journal
, the Washington Business Journal and Barron's Guide to the Most
Competitive Colleges
. A native Washingtonian, Jones has been a regular
political commentator for WMAL-AM and has made numerous radio and television
appearances, including on National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation"
and Fox
News Channel. Mary Lynn received her master's degree in journalism from
Columbia University and her bachelor's degree from Wellesley College.

Recent Articles

Summer School

Summer has arrived -- finally. And everyone seems to be getting into a summertime frame of mind. That includes reporters, who aren't just covering former Gov. Howard Dean's (D-Vt.) announcement today that he's running for president -- they're also talking about his 17-year-old son's arrest after attempting to steal beer from a local country club. "He is going to have to pay the price," Dean said yesterday on Meet the Press . Covering a story about a kid getting in trouble is much more interesting for the media than covering a staged event we knew was months in the making. It also fits the media's summer attitude: We prefer stories that aren't serious, and tend to look for ones that will hold the public's more fickle summertime attention span. Just as with most network sitcoms and dramas, members of the news media go on hiatus during the summer (barring a war or other major crisis). In the last few years, they've brought us great drama that made for fascinating television, but nothing...

Public Affairs

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-N.Y.) big media day has arrived. After months of speculation, a week of leaks and last night's interview with Barbara Walters on ABC, her memoir, Living History , appears in bookstores today. I bought a copy this morning and quickly flipped through the pages. But because I haven't yet had time to read it fully -- and comment on it intelligently -- I want to address Clinton's interview with Walters. In his review of it this morning, Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales attacked Clinton for being "chillingly chilly. She may have emotions like normal people, but she doesn't like to admit it and she's scarily proficient at suppressing them," he adds. I don't know what Shales was expecting -- perhaps that Clinton would tell Walters that there were days when she was so upset during the Monica Lewinsky mess that she could hardly get out of bed. Or maybe she would announce, on national television, that she and Bill are getting a divorce. Perhaps she would cry...

Biden Time

Keep holding your breath, everyone. Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) has said he'll decide by September -- at the earliest -- whether or not to run for president. Already there are nine Democrats seeking the White House, so why, you might ask, do we need another? We already have at least one candidate, Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who has made national security and terrorism the centerpiece of his campaign. We already have one candidate, Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.), who ran for president in 1988. And we already have one candidate, former Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.), from a tiny state. Biden -- who is anything but media shy and probably enjoys the extra attention he can get by keeping the political press guessing -- told The News Journal of Wilmington that the reason he hasn't entered the race yet is because he wants to do it on his own timetable. "If it's too late, it's too late. So be it," he said, adding, "My reason for not doing it now is: I don't know how you can go out and do all the things...

Inert Alert

The next time the terror-alert level is raised to "orange," you may want to avoid being in Arizona. That's because the state is considering staying at "yellow" in order to avoid extra financial costs, according to a recent story in The Arizona Republic . In the article, Arizona's homeland-security director, Frank Navarrete, says, "It creates incredible problems: overtime, financial, functional. It's not quite to the point where it creates havoc, but it's quite disruptive." Next time the federal government goes to orange, he says, "I believe that, based upon our own intelligence, I'm of the mind-set that we don't have to follow suit." Of course, Arizona hasn't been the center so far in terms of terrorism concerns; much more attention has focused on the coasts, particularly cities such as New York, Washington, Boston and Los Angeles. But the reason for Arizona's decision is particularly troubling. We just spent billions of dollars fighting a war with the stated goal of removing a...

Cut Out

Well, it's complete: The last member of President Bush's original economic team is set to leave the White House. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mitch Daniels has announced that he will vacate his post within the next month to run for governor of Indiana in 2004. Daniels' decision is hardly a surprise. For months he's been expected to seek the seat, now held by Democrat Frank O'Bannon. And with former Democratic National Committee chairman Joe Andrew set to kick off his campaign on May 19, it should be one of the more interesting races of the year. With the prospect that Daniels could move the governor's seat back into the GOP column, Karl Rove is no doubt glad to see him go. But Daniels' announcement comes at an odd time: right as Congress debates whether to give President Bush a $726 billion, $550 billion, $430 billion or $350 billion tax cut. This is a time when the White House needs maximum political leverage, and having the OMB director essentially announce that's...

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