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Thursday, Aug. 19, 2004 12:13 am

quick takes 8-19-04

THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD

Cool weather wasn't the only thing different about this year's Illinois State Fair.

Did anybody notice that for the first time ever, the annual Twilight Parade included a float officially sponsored by a gay and lesbian group? Dubbed the Diversity Express, the blue locomotive festooned with rainbow balloons and flashing lights and blaring the tunes "Come On, Ride the Train" and "Peace Train" won the grand marshal's award in the noncommercial-float category. It was sponsored by the Station House bar, the "outandabout DJs," and Phoenix Center, which provides HIV testing and counseling.

"Hopefully our little train has opened some minds and hearts," says Doug McCulley, an outandabout DJ.


FOX HUNT COMES TO SPRINGFIELD

Filmmaker Robert Greenwald contends that the Fox News Network is neither fair nor balanced. His new documentary, Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, makes the case with clips of Fox broadcasts, interviews with former Fox employees, and interoffice memos that show how network executives pushed for conservative, pro-Bush administration slant. Springfield's Middle East Peace Project sponsors a screening of the film at noon Wednesday, Aug. 25, in the Carnegie Room North of the Lincoln Library. For information, call 217-787-3354.


MORE TROUBLE WITH "B" AND "S"

The Virginian-Pilot had to cough up an apology this week for botching the name of the Illinois Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate. The Norfolk-based daily referred to Barack Obama as "Osama" -- as in Osama bin Laden -- in a commentary.

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