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And They Both Have Famous Buses!

C-SPAN's Brian Lamb is considered America's most famous political centrist, neither Republican nor Democrat. Last Tuesday, appearing with Lamb on C-SPAN's Washington Journal, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he's been trying for years to figure out Lamb's political leanings, but to no avail. "Actually, I think he's a vegetarian," McCain quipped. Typically, Lamb offered no reaction. He simply hit the button to dial in the next caller. Because they are both bald on top and gray at the temples, McCain and Lamb are often confused by people they see in airports. McCain made light of the confusion, ending his C-SPAN session by saying to Lamb: "Thanks for having me, my brother."

- - - NUE-TV will join CNN, Fox News Channel, CNBC and a hoard of other cable and broadcast shows in providing extensive coverage of the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. Very quietly last week, the minority-targeted service uplinked its signal, offering 24 hours of news and entertainment. While the service is currently negotiating carriage deals with several MSOs, executives said it would offer extensive coverage of the convention, as well as coverage of the Democratic National Convention from Los Angeles later in the month. More information on the network's programming, as well as on systems that will offer the service, is expected in the near future, executives said.

- - - The Hot Network parent Vivid Video is seeking to gain more exposure for its adult-oriented video and Internet products by introducing a line Vivid will team up with "cutting-edge" apparel designers Porn Star to develop Vivid Gear, a line of T-shirts, hats and other street wear that will feature mega-popular adult stars the Vivid Girls, company executives said. The specially designed clothing will carry logos and the likeness of film stars including Janine, Raylene, Cassidey and other famous contract Vivid Girls in an effort to appeal to the "burgeoning young market." In a goodwill gesture, The Wire believes Vivid should give some complementary shirts to some of AT & T's institutional investors.

- - - Keeping tabs on.Lela Cocoros and LaRae Marsik. The former PR aces at Tele-Communications Inc. and then AT & T Broadband are hatching plans to form their own flack shop in Denver. Few details have been disclosed so far, but look for the dynamic duo at the Western Show, for sure.

- - - They just wanted some technical help, but what they got was an offer of "dirty girl fun." Some Cablevision Systems Corp. customers in New Jersey found recently that the 800 number listed on their remote controls as a technical-support number for their General Instrument hardware is now a national phone-sex line. The number was released by the former GI (now Motorola Broadband), and it has been reassigned by the telephone company. The operator got a few calls from puzzled consumers, and it is trying to resolve the issue. Such mix-ups may become more common in the future: Regulators in many states are considering shortening the time during which numbers are out of service between users as a short-term remedy for area-code exhaustion. In the meantime, if you have older GI stock out there, check to see if it bears this outdated number: 800-395-1010. And don't call to check out this item on company time.

- - - Most conference speakers dislike the sound of cell phones ringing in the audience, but not Jack Myers. During his two-day interactive forum last week, The Myers Group CEO said, "I like hearing the different keep the cell phones on." He even tried to arrange for a symphony of different-sounding cell-phone rings by urging his 1,000 attendees to have friends phone them at 10 a.m. last Tuesday, but apparently, only a few took him up on it. Still, at one point, even he observed, "That was a particularly loud one."