Feb. 9, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

There Goes the Coalition of the Willing

Cooper said that he wanted to send a message to Ros-Lehtinen and her husband, Dexter, who won a Purple Heart as an Army Ranger in Vietnam.

“They are probably the main reason I’m in the Army Reserves,” he said. “I want to tell them ‘thank you very much’ — they helped lay a great foundation for what I’m doing right now.”

Then Cooper had to end the interview. “We’re going back to convoy ops,” he said.

Duty calls.

Life in Neverland. On April Fool’s Day, it was hard to separate the real press releases from the fake ones being churned out by Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.).

First there was the one HOH received asserting that Cox had breakfast that morning with pop star Michael Jackson and that the two had forged a “groundbreaking agreement on a new bill to curb indecency on the public airwaves.”

That was followed shortly thereafter by a press release claiming that the cautious Cox had hired hard-charging GOP aide Ken Johnson to serve as a senior adviser.

Johnson himself admitted to HOH, “I was afraid people wouldn’t know which one was the April Fool’s press release.”

It turns out that Johnson, known for getting just about as much press attention for himself as for his former boss, Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), really is joining Cox’s staff.

“I’m convinced that my stately, laid-back, low-key style will mesh perfectly with Chairman Cox’s,” cracked Johnson. “It’s my job to tone down his act a little bit.”

He got off to a bit of a shaky start — and sparked plenty of private back-biting among Johnson’s colleagues — when the press release on his job change lasted two full pages.

It included such gems as the fact that the longtime spokesman “played a key role in the passage” of five major pieces of legislation, and “won more than 50 local, state and national awards for journalistic excellence” during his time as a TV reporter in Louisiana.

“Everything is historically accurate, but I absolutely, positively did not write it,” insisted Johnson.

All of that was almost as shocking as Cox’s fake press release about how the Congressman had gotten a call from the gloved-one himself asking for a meeting: “At first I thought it was Mike Tyson, or maybe Bob Novak disguising his voice, having a little fun with me.”

But there were some dead giveaways, such as Cox saying, “You could tell he was paying attention. He asked me to spell ‘rebarbative.’”

Or there was Cox insisting that Jackson had agreed to market the new legislation with this slogan: “Indecency: Beat It!”

It’s Hard to Say Good-Bye. Before turning the reins over to take a new job, HOH will be doing a retrospective on the past seven years in next Monday’s farewell column.

After seven years of having fun at other people’s expense, it’s time for HOH to get shoved under the microscope: What have been the highlights and lowlights?

One reader has already suggested there should be a list of the Top Ten items submitted by readers, as well as a Top Ten from yours truly. Of course, there could also be the Ten Worst.

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