When G. Gordon Liddy was a puny lad in Hoboken, N.J., he roasted and ate a rat -- "to demonstrate to myself my lack of fear," the convicted Watergate burglar explained in his 1980 autobiography, "Will." These days Liddy -- a novelist, sometime actor and the host of a syndicated radio show -- is an old softie when it comes to rats, as well as other deserving nonhumans.
Yesterday, the G-Man taped a denunciation of medical charities -- the March of Dimes in particular -- that fund animal testing for research. And today the hard-core People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals -- whose president, Ingrid Newkirk, has been a Liddy pal since meeting him on the book tour circuit years ago -- is urging callers to dial a toll-free number (1-866-TESTKIND) to hear the G- Man's incendiary message and obtain a list of charities that don't underwrite this commonly accepted scientific procedure.
Meanwhile, a hand-lettered sign welcomed "President [Bush]" and "Senator Domenici," as in Republican Pete Domenici, but not New Mexico's junior senator, Democrat Jeff Bingaman, who was nevertheless present. Investigative reporting revealed that an "s" had been papered over at the end of "Senator" and another line of the sign, presumably the one saying "Bingaman," had been scissored off. Bingaman spokesman Felipe Mendoza said: "By the time Senator Bingaman confirmed he would be at the event it was too late to get the sign changed. . . . I'm not aware of any signs that were taped over."
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