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Sell him a bridge

At least WCBS-TV New York's Marcia Kramer was in distinguished company. Republican New York Senate candidate Rick Lazio also bought into the notion of Federal 602P, the fictional legislation that would force e-mailers to pay 5 cents to the Post Office for every e-mail they send. Kramer, who moderated the Oct. 9 debate, did not write the question but received it via a still-tax-free e-mail as part of an effort to include the public in the debate.

Lazio's Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, said she had no idea about the allegedly proposed law-an uncharactistic admission of ignorance for a politician, particularly in the face of Lazio's apparently already set opposition to the "government's greedy hand."

But the 602P is a nonexistent bill from a nonexistent congressman, a hoax that apparently made the rounds last year and prompted the Post Office to issue a statement of denial in May 1999.