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Will Private Fortunes & Incumbents Be Big Winners In Midterms?

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On today's Wilshire & Washington, we discuss the Helen Thomas resignation, as well as the politics of the BP oil spill and how Hollywood might help. But first, we tackle the midterm primaries this week. In California, Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina both spent a fortune of their own on their respective races, and won their primaries (Governor and Senator, respectively); traditionally that has backfired for politicians, but will such tactics hurt them in the November election? Does this mean they're any more independent from special interests, or does their wealth make them special interests themselves?

In Arkansas, the unions poured millions in trying to unseat conservative Democrat Blanche Lincoln, but failed, even though the media had been pushing the anti-incumbent narrative. With so many incumbents winning on Tuesday night, did the media read the voters all wrong? Yes, there's a lot of anger toward Washington and politicians in general; with all that's going wrong in America, that's no surprise. But with low turnout in nearly all races, are voters actually just tired of politics? We also talk the controversial campaign of Alvin Greene in South Carolina, accused of being a Republican plant in the Democratic primary. Is he just crazy?

With Helen Thomas' resignation from the White House Correspondents' ranks, we have the end of an era, and a sad one at that: She said a lot of insightful things about the Palestinian territories, but then went off the rails. What Thomas said was anti-Semitic, but shouldn't she be entitled to have that opinion? (It's not like Pat Buchanan has ever been without a job for long...) Should opinion-makers have a seat in the White House Press Room? Is it impossible to criticize Israel without being accused of being anti-Semitic or a self-hating Jew? Can you really separate valid criticism of Israel the country from anti-Semitic statements?

With the BP oil spill continuing unabated, why not turn to Hollywood for help? That's the question that was raised when Kevin Costner visited the Hill to testify about a water-purification device he had invested in (possibly invented while he worked on the infamous flop, Waterworld). Actors, directors, and other entertainment types are obviously the lowest scum of the earth (or at least that's what Sarah Palin's FB status told us), but shouldn't a good idea be a good idea, even if it's coming from Hollywood?

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