MIKE CARLTON, joke, blunders again in the Sydney Morning Herald:

Only last week George W. Bush was boasting that al-Qaeda was on the run, "not a problem any more".

Only he wasn't. Here are Bush's words in their proper context:

So far, more than 3,000 suspected terrorists have been arrested in many countries. Just about that number met a different kind of fate. They're not a problem anymore.

Maureen Dowd made the same stupid mistake. As Andrew Sullivan wrote:

It's perfectly clear that the president is referring, sardonically, only to those members of al Qaeda who are "either jailed or dead," not to the group as a whole.

Carlton continues:

Colin Powell and Tony Blair, and I think Lord Downer of Baghdad, condemned the attacks [in Saudi Arabia last week] as "cowardly", which also missed the point. Evil and murderous, yes, but no more cowardly than dropping bombs on unseen Iraqi civilians from B-52s at 35,000 feet.

For one thing, the purpose of the air attacks was not - unlike the Riyadh bombings - to kill civilians. And for another, the war in Iraq was largely fought on the ground, where many US soldiers died. Were they "cowards", Mike?

Meanwhile, one expert thinks Bush is right:

An Australian expert on terrorism in South-East Asia has raised doubts about the prospect of fresh terror attacks in the region, saying extremist groups have been beaten back.

Carl Thayer, a political science professor with the Australian Defence College, said while an attack could not be completely ruled out, the ability of such groups to carry out large-scale attacks was "extraordinarily limited".

Professor Thayer also doubts the extent of al-Qaeda's influence in the region.

"I think the organisation has been rolled back," he said.

UPDATE. Carlton's error - he presumably read Dowd's account of Bush's remarks rather than an original source - is similar to Robert Manne's mistake of last year, in which he fell for the NY Times' line that Henry Kissinger opposed a war against Irag. No correction was ever published.

UPDATE UPDATE. Bargarz has more.

THE AUSTRALIAN'S Susan Maushart doesn't know much about cars, or research, or spelling:

It is a truism that you can tell a lot about people by the cars they drive. So why have I always resisted the idea? Maybe it's because my first car was a doggy doo-doo brown 1972 Ford Pinto - the model US consumer advocate Ralph Nader infamously dubbed "unsafe at any speed".

Wrong. As Tram Town points out - and as most everyone knows - Nader's line referred to Chevrolet's Corvair. More from autophobic Susan:

It was the day we got into the car and heard a sound like a twig breaking. "That's the last straw," he told me. Well, he was close. It was actually the front axle.

It couldn't have been; Pintos don't have front axles. They have independent A-arms. A little later Susan mentions her dream vehicle, a "vintage Karmen Ghia". She means "Karmann". It's written right there on the damn car.

UPDATE. Ha! Tram Town discovers that Maushart claims to have a "genetic predisposition for intellectual nitpicking".

AUSTRALIAN ARTIST George Gittoes was against the war, as this ABC report reminds us. That was before he went to Iraq. Gittoes has returned with a different view:

For Gittoes, Iraq was a watershed. He says he has always been "anti war and pro humanity." But the events he witnessed in Iraq have led Gittoes down a path of self-discovery and emotional reassessment to a point where he now believes the US-led war in Iraq was humane and justifiable.

"It has always been easy to oppose a war, but this time I realised that people were really suffering under [Saddam].

"I've been in the German prison camps, and you could fit all of the combined concentration camps just into Abu Ghraib."

There's no link available to the Gittoes piece, from today's Daily Telegraph. And there's no chance he'll ever appear on the ABC now that he's learned something and switched sides.

ANGRY-MAKING news in the SMH:

Australians donated $14.5 million to the Bali bombing victims, but only about $4 million has reached them so far.

Well, it wasn't just Australians who donated to the Red Cross's Bali appeal. Many of this site's US readers sent cash. As for the Red Cross, it seems to be in some sort of quagmire.

LOTS OF people are idiots, a new survey has found:

The majority of people around the world think the US is too keen to use military force against other countries, a new international survey has found.

The Gallup International survey, conducted among almost 32,000 people in 41 countries, asked a series of questions related to post-war Iraq.

The poll found that in two-thirds of countries surveyed, the majority of people believed military action against Iraq had not been justified.

Australia, the US, the UK and Israel were the minority countries where the majority of people believed military action had been justified.

Australia, the US, the UK and Israel. The Axis of Intelligence.

JONAH GOLDBERG on those elusive neocons:

Conservatives are accustomed to liberals not understanding the zoology of our movement. But the use and abuse of the term "neoconservative" has exceeded even the high allowance for cliché and ignorance generally afforded to those who write or talk about conservatism from outside the conservative ant farm. In fact, neoconservative has become a Trojan Horse for vast arsenal of ideological attacks and insinuations. For some it means Jewish conservative. For others it means hawk. A few still think it means squishy conservative or ex-liberal. And a few don't even know what the word means, they just think it makes them sound knowledgeable when they use it.


VICTORIA'S war against cars continues.


PLACE YOUR BETS! How many days can I hold out?

KEN LAYNE on the newspaper of record:

The people who run the New York Times are insane. Really insane, like those bums who stagger down the street making chicken noises while their filthy pants slide ever downwards.

The Times should hire one of those chicken guys. You know, diversity.

MOORE MAKES mistakes, tries to cover them up. Stephen Moore, that is. At NRO.

SCIENTISTS KEEP discovering bad things about Teflon, but somehow their criticism never sticks.

WHOA! You want your brutal reviews? Check out this, from Andrew Sullivan on Clinton supplicant Sid Blumenthal's new book:

There's no one like Sid. Not even in Washington. I'm still immensely fond of him, although it's quite clear by now that, in some respects, he is completely out of his mind. Those jokes that no one else in the universe got; those pauses at the end of anecdotes, while he grinned and puffed and waited for you to assent to his latest impenetrable concoction; the sweet-natured way in which he assassinated characters who violated his sense of manifest destiny and the tenets of his secular religion: Nope, there is no one quite like Sid.

And I bet no one really wants to be Sid after that. He sounds like a DC David Brent.

PRIME MINISTER JOHN HOWARD has welcomed troops returning to Australia from the Middle East. The ABC provides a transcript of the Prime Minister chatting - slightly awkwardly, a little embarrassed at the emotion expressed - with relatives of those who served:

[ABC reporter] ANNE BARKER: ... It was an emotional Prime Minister John Howard who took the initial applause, when he arrived on his own Air Force jet with a roll call of dignitaries to welcome the troops home.

JOHN HOWARD: Are you waiting on your dad to come home?


WOMAN: I'm waiting on my son.

JOHN HOWARD: How long's he been away? How long's your son been away?

WOMAN: February.

JOHN HOWARD: February! That's good. There, there. He'll be back and he's safe.

[Sound of woman sobbing]

JOHN HOWARD: It's wonderful and he did a fantastic job and it's just going to be nice to welcome them all home and they're all in one piece, which is very important.

CHILD: I've waited all my life for you.

[John Howard laughs]

SEVERAL BLOGS worthy of note that I have not thus far noted ... La Petite Claudine, of which I understand not a word, although the pictures rock; Rick's Miscellany, which features quality miscellany from, er, Rick; Electric Venom, which especially rewards the link-hitting, background-digging reader; and Bill Cimino's Bloviating Inanities, which shortly will be prosecuted for insufficient inanities under the trade protection act.

THE WASTE of our time has returned. Hail Margo, proclaimer of river visions!

I don't believe it! Simon Crean, back against the wall, announces an old-fashioned Labor nation building investment in our great Murray-Darling River. Wow!

Howard's done nothing, despite his commitment to act after he received the Wentworth report in November. I wrote back then that Labor had lost a marvellous chance to get on the front foot - to assert a positive role for government on an issue of the utmost importance to our nation's future. But Howard's subsequent inaction (the government has stood still for six months and there wasn't a cent in the budget to address the issue) gave Crean his chance. And he's taken it, and at a time when, after terrible drought and bush fires, Australians are ready to listen and to applaud. Granted the policy is not big bang, but it's a start.

It will put Howard on the back foot for a change and inject a bit of policy substance into Labor's leadership battle. At last!

Pathetic. And this is the last time I link to Crazy Margo, whose bosses are probably way too impressed with the hits she receives. I'm usually among her top five referrers; no more. Let her survive on hateclicks from the anti-Semite Michael Rivero.

USEFUL TIPS on efficient blogging from Kim Crawford. You will need the skull of a macaque monkey, and concrete.

MORE celebrity lies.


THIS SITE is powered by money, a renewable, ecologically-friendly energy source usually found in the common Western pocket. You can direct some of this energy my way via the PayPal on the left. Don't make me destroy the rain forests.


UPDATE. You people are generous beyond belief. Many thanks, although I still might 'doze those forests just for the hell of it.

CAN'T NEWSPAPERS get anything right? From the letters pages of the National Post:

Although your story on six monkeys who had access to a computer was entertaining, I would appreciate it if you were more vigilant in your fact checking. The excerpt, "llllllblbbbbnnfllmnmmjfgmnmmma" was, in fact written as, "llllllblbbbbnnfllmnmmjfgmnmmms" in the original manuscript.

The Post is obliged to conduct a full inquiry. Heads must rollllllblbbbbnnfllmnmmjfgmnmmms.

FINALLY, more than a decade on, at least some justice for the killer of Australian Jew Yankel Rosenbaum:

A US federal jury today convicted a black man in the stabbing death of an Australian Jewish scholar during a 1991 riot in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighbourhood that widened New York City's racial divide.

Yankel Rosenbaum, a visiting scholar from Melbourne, Australia, was stabbed as a gang of blacks yelled, "Get the Jew!"

Today, after three trials in 12 years, Lemrick Nelson, 27, was found guilty by a federal jury of violating the civil rights of Rosenbaum. Ruling on a separate question, the jury found that Nelson's actions did not result in Rosenbaum's death.

As a result he faces up to 10 years in prison, rather than a possible life sentence.

STEP UP to the Plate.

THE SENATE is complaining again, this time about Peter Hollingworth. "So what?" I hear you say. "Beats me," I answer. "Well, why the hell even mention it then?" you snap, advancing on me with fists raised. "Watch it, pal. Don't start something you can't finish," I counter. "Oh, yeah? Let's just see about that," you growl. "Hey, look!" I shout. "Two posts down! It's a joke about a tragic surgical error!" And amidst the ensuing confusion I make my escape.

DON'T EXPECT John Pilger or Robert Fisk to be overly outraged by this episode of looting.


AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE will help investigate the suicide bombings in Riyadh. The usual candidates will no doubt denounce this as something that will make Australia a greater target of terrorism.

RANDAL ROBINSON covers the latest corrections from the New York Times:

Palestine, the home of the Jessica Lynch family, is not "a hellish war-torn wasteland filled with a million stories of pain and suffering at the hands of murderous Zionists." It is a small farming community in West Virginia.

HAS DISNEY dumped Michael Moore?

PHILLIP ADAMS believes that Sir William Deane was subject to the same forces that are currently undermining Peter Hollingworth:

One of the silliest aspects of the recent brawl? The suggestion, by reactionary commentators, that Lefties have hounded a decent man from high office. When, of course, the Right kept hacking away at Deane.

Sure, Phil. We all remember Deane being smeared as a rapist. And those terrible lies about him burning down the orphanage, and his involvement in the My Lai massacre, and the way he invented earthquakes and cyclones. Meanwhile, Janet Albrechtsen examines the SMH:

The Sydney Morning Herald looks less like a journal of record than a journal of bits of the record - those bits that suit an anti-Howard agenda. With Tanner having led them to the juiciest of stories, they in return faithfully parroted the preferred theme of their new pin-up boy on the "potential for suppression orders to be used by the highest in the land to prevent scrutiny of their actions".

Readers of the Herald's front-page news story on Friday morning were not told the troubled woman first sought a suppression order. They were not told her family wanted the suppression order to remain in force following her suicide. That was relegated to the Herald's website.

There was more one-sided reporting when the Herald reported on Thursday that the Governor-General "was urged to resign" by Briggs, co-author of the Anglican Church inquiry. This was false. Briggs announced on ABC radio's AM later that morning: "I have never made any comment on this." Where is Media Watch when you need it?

Good question.

MIRANDA DEVINE attended an American J-school. She remembers:

At journalism school in America, we used to crowd hopefully around a notice- board that listed internships at the end of semester. The prized mastheads for starry-eyed graduates in that cutthroat job market were The New York Times and The Washington Post, but I knew there was no point even looking at their ads, because at the bottom, in fine print, were always the words: "Minorities need only apply." And I knew Australians didn't count.

UPDATE. Robert Blair (what is is it with all the Blairs these days?) writes:

I thought this bit of Ms. Devine’s article was the most interesting:

”But another reason for disillusionment of the public in journalism comes from the leakage of opinion and comment into news pages, and the kind of crusading journalism which used to be confined to editorials and opinion pages. While this may not be obvious to the journalistic or ‘chattering’ classes, it is obvious and repellent to the general public, who do not share their progressive views.”

The general public just doesn't take our broadsheet journos anywhere near as seriously as they think. If they did we would never have seen a Howard government, there would be no refugee detention centres, and the GG would be long Gone-Gone.

I think the net, and the explosion of alternative sources and views (which are now open to a significant percentage of people) is part of it. People are aware that there is a whole world of news and opinion that doesn't gel with their daily - they still read the daily, out of habit, it’s easier to access, and has the footy and cricket - but they simply don't believe the opinion articles, and increasingly not even the hard news stories.

WHAT KIND of idiot newspaper editor would fire Mark Steyn? Apparently the kind who now edits the National Post. Below, a series of answers from Steyn to readers asking if he has, in fact, been sacked:

Obviously it would be highly inappropriate for me to comment on internal matters at the National Post, but as a general observation I would say that the new owners' penchant for big dramatic public gestures has not served them well. There is no reason to believe this latest one will prove any more successful than their disastrous public downsizing of the Post's arts and sports coverage after 9/11.

Obviously it would be highly inappropriate for me to comment on internal matters at the National Post, but as a general observation let me observe that at the time Conrad Black sold a half-share in the Post to the Aspers the paper was neck and neck with The Globe And Mail in circulation - there was, as often happens in media markets that have been somnolent for years, a lag between sales and revenue: advertisers are often slower to pick up on things than readers. Making the product weaker editorially is unlikely to solve this problem.

Obviously it would be highly inappropriate for me to comment on internal matters at the National Post, but as a general observation I would note that in the first week of the new puppet regime there does seem to be a marked Paul Martinization of the paper. If that's what David Asper means by a "strong conservative voice", it would seem to me that that's highly unlikely to do anything for the Post's commercial viability, given the already crowded market of Liberal cheerleaders.

Obviously it would be highly inappropriate for me to comment on internal matters at the National Post, but as a general observation I would say papers should avoid relaunches that give the appearance that the pre-existing paper had got it all wrong. That tends to drive away old readers without attracting new ones. See The Independent.

Obviously it would be highly inappropriate for me to comment on internal matters at the National Post, but as a general observation I would say that that new editor's "letter to his readers" the Friday after the coup was laughably lame, and to avoid all mention of his predecessors looks not just graceless and petty but extremely insecure.

Obviously it would be highly ... aw, never mind.

UPDATE. Due to the usual tech troubles here the above post was originally published at Instapundit. Subsequently Mark Wickens in Toronto dashed off an e-mail to the Nat Post and received a reply claiming that Steyn hasn't quit or been fired. As Wickens writes: "How to account for Steyn's comments?" It's a media mystery! More comments on this at LGF and from Damian Penny, while Colby Cosh writes:

Mark Steyn cuts loose with a few snarky "general observations" about the National Post and immediately everybody is taking it for granted that Steyn has been fired.

Well, not quite. There's a big "apparently" in the original post, due to Steyn never stating outright that he is no longer with the Post. Damian Penny asks "if this is true". Instapundit leads his item with "MARK STEYN FIRED?" The overall tone is questioning. As it should be, given what we know at this point.

Another clue in this Beatles-like "Paul is dead" controversy: one of Steyn's replies refers to SARS as "Sudden Asper Random Sackings".


DEAL WITH trolls the Merv Griffin way:

Merv Griffin, who developed Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, had a great line once. I used to personally answer all the mail that came in to Jeopardy! whether it was favorable or unfavorable, and Merv said, "You know how I handle the nasty mail?" I said no. He just grabbed it and folded it up and crunched it up and threw it in the wastebasket. He said, "I don't bother with it."

THE RIYADH death toll may be as high as 90, including one Australian.

"I WANT A whale meat and pecan sandwich. Now!"

"But honey, you know what the doctor said ..."


JAMES LILEKS reports from the ruins of former Minneapolis:

The other day they burned a Walgreens Drug store because the candy aisle had Pixie Stix. Why, you ask? Because they rhyme with Dixie Chicks! That's how bad it's gotten!

BLAIRPOLL LATEST: with 362 votes cast, the National Corvette Museum holds a narrowing seven-point lead over the Louvre. Only five people long to loot Australia's National Museum - 13 fewer than would plunder the Canada Agricultural Museum's rich sheepy heritage.

UPDATE. Potential looter B.J. Bethel writes:

I can see myself now, peeling out in a Yenko Vette shouting "BUSH, BUSH, BUSH" to the cameras ...


SPOOKY NEWS, and excellent reporting, from Tim Dunlop:

I mentioned the other day being at a dinner with a Congressional chief-of-staff. One thing he said was this: our intelligence tells us that recruiting for terror organisations has gone up by 300% since the Iraq war. To which I replied, gee, that's one stat I haven't the Administration mention lately. To which he replied, placing his finger on his chin, um, maybe that was confidential.

It likely increased after the liberation of East Timor, too. Terrorists hate good things.

IF JAYSON BLAIR is charged with fraud, will Howell Raines be tried as an accessory?

MICHAEL DUFFY has the solution:

The Government should introduce programs to help all those unfortunate enough to possess arts degrees ... Re-education cafes could be set up with courses in basic psychology, science and economics. We need cheap, large-type anthologies of Adam Smith to show the baby boomers there is life after Noam Chomsky.

JOHN BIRMINGHAM in the Bulletin:

Of course, there's nothing the punters love more than a good literary stoush - and, until the lawyers got between us, I was kind of hoping to get into a punch-up with a former columnist on The Australian (now resident of The Bulletin), Tim Blair. It went back to comments I'd made about the politics of drug laws in Queensland under Bjelke-Petersen, and Blair's comments on those.

It was gratuitous to stir it up. But I figured he wouldn't be able to help him himself, and his vicious spit-flecked howl of protest would set off a minor ground war in the opinion pages and be worth elephant bucks in unpaid publicity - and a couple of thousand sales. But the defamation lawyers could not be convinced, so the offending section was pulled at the last minute.

I'd love to read it. E-mail me, John!

THE NEW York Times is correcting corrections.

THIS WEEK'S Continuing Crisis column in The Bulletin mentions Peter Hollingworth, Rosemarie Annie Jarmyn, Liz Mullinar, Hetty Johnson, Tim Costello, Lindsay Tanner, Kerry O'Brien, Moira Rayner, Cheryl Kernot, Gareth Evans, Natasha Stott Despoja, Sandy Killick, Luke Slattery, Phillip Adams, Bob Hope, Allan "Bunny" Wallace, Fred Plunkett, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Dan Shannon, the Australian Workers Union, my grandfather, Media Watch, and Saddam Hussein.

BEST BLOGGER excuse ever for failing to post:

I was involved in a massive all-in brawl at footy on Saturday, and have spent the rest of the weekend laying on the couch resting my bruises.

THE GUARDIAN, The Independent, and The SF Chronicle have decided that some people are terrorists after all.

OH NO! Australia is turning into a country of individuals!

Yesterday's budget continues the trend to turning Australia into a less caring and sharing society, into a country of individuals, some of whom are much better equipped than others to bear the new risks.

LIVE FROM the comments box at this Moxie post, we get the inside scoop on what Hollywood really thinks about Michael Moore:

For whatever reason i'm at entertainment weekly oscar party at elaine's here in new york. i'm no famous person, so i'm well into my ninth jack on the rocks by the time dinner rolls around and i'm sitting with tony bennett, candace bushnell, joan collins and their sig/o's. So I'm talking to charles askegard (bushnell's husband and a Merit-smoking ballet dancer) when Moore comes on and starts ranting.

Right leaning guy that I am, this is exactly what I'm afraid of. I'm not one to hold my tongue, especially when drinking, and my brother's in Iraq and this is the day, remember, when they'd started talking quagmire. Anyway, in Elaine's the boos start. Then Joan Collins starts.

"WHO the F-CK is that man? He's a f-cking traitor. Get his ass off the stage? Oh, F-CK him."

She looks around confused and I'm just staring at her by this point with this goofy grin on my face. And she looks at me and says "Who IS that fat f-ck anyway."

At which point I raised my glass and said, "Joan, I absolutely love you."

Joan rocks. Speaking of Moore, someone has finally found a use for that book of his.


HARVARD PROFESSOR Alex Jones, a former NY Times journalist, is shocked that some Americans had already written off the Times even before Jayson Blair was exposed:

"The thing that shocked me was the reaction of people when they read about [themselves] in the New York Times and knew it to be false. Their reaction seemed to be a kind of shrug - 'What do you expect?'" Not one person whom Blair claimed falsely to have interviewed contacted the paper to point it out.

Turns out their attitude was entirely justified. And why would they bother pointing out mistakes? Any paper that made such errors in the first place isn't likely to do any better with a correction.

Besides, we now know that the NY Times suffers from what the paper's executives call a communications problem, which for people in the communications business should pretty much be a deal-breaker, careerwise. Can't communicate? Got problems knowing stuff? No idea what the hell is going on? Send your resume to the New York Times.

UPDATE. The Australian connection: Jayson Blair was published several times by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. Both papers point this out to their readers.

UPDATE UPDATE. And Newsweek's Seth Mnookin points out that ... well, I don't really care what he points out. I just like to type "Mnookin". Saying it is fun, too: Mnookin. Try it!

SIMON CREAN - unilateralist!

A MUST-READ essay by Time's Steve Waterson on Hollingworth and the law:

It may be that Hollingworth should be ashamed of himself; so deeply ashamed, even, that he should resign. That is a matter for his conscience. As a priest he answers to God; as a man he answers to the law. Neither he, nor anyone else, should have to answer to the mob. And if he does eventually resign, some Australians may consider that Hollingworth's alleged misconduct has tainted the office of Governor-General far less than this hysterical and vicious pursuit has stained their nation.

It's a brilliant piece, as much for the writing as for the logic. Read it all.

FRANCE. Ha ha!

UPDATE. WWII researchmeister Antony Carr writes:

Great Britain, France and Australia all declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939: the British at 11am and the French six hours later at 5pm. Australia's declaration was announced one hour and 15 minutes after Britain's announcement, thus beating France to the punch by four hours.

Here's the sequence of events from an Australian perspective:

On the 24 August 1939, the Australian Government was informed officially that the British Government had written a letter dated 22 August to the German Chancellor informing him that Great Britain was determined to fulfill its obligations to Poland. The Australian Government's response was to set in train final preparations for war. A War Book was established, emergency regulations gazetted and steps taken to mobilise the armed forces.

On September 1 the German army crossed the Polish border and Britain issued an ultimatum to Hitler demanding that Germany withdraw. This ultimatum would expire at 11am, or 8pm Eastern Australian Time on September 3, 1939.

The Australian Prime Minister, Robert Menzies, and his ministers met at the government offices in Melbourne as the deadline approached. At 8pm, short-wave radio listeners throughout Australia heard the British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, announce that because Germany had persisted with its invasion of Poland, Great Britain had declared war upon her.

This wasn't quite as the War Book planners had envisaged. The official cable that was expected to set the machinery in motion had not been received and in fact did not arrive until 3am the following day, some seven hours after the event. However, a British Admiralty telegram announcing the commencement of hostilities against Germany was received by the Navy Office, Melbourne and was immediately passed on to the Prime Minister. The ministers decided this was confirmation enough. A prepared proclamation declaring a state of war to exist was approved immediately by the Executive Council and, at 9.15pm, just one hour and fifteen minutes after Chamberlain's broadcast began, the Australian Prime Minister announced in a broadcast carried by every national and commercial broadcasting station throughout the nation that Australia too was now at war.

Canada formally declared war on September 10, seven days later. The United States declared its neutrality on September 5 and did not formally enter the war until after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941.

This little bit of history illustrates the fact that once Australia has determined its national interest, it tends to act promptly. The next major war was the Korean War (1950-53) and 21 nations contributed armed forces to help the United States. Again Australia's response was prompt - indeed, it was the first nation in the world to announce its support for the USA, beating the UK by a few hours.

MEDIA WATCH is a left-wing attack machine, according to the program's viewer:

Media Watch is my favourite program, and I hope there are many others who like it and appreciate it as much. Media Watch's victory is a victory for the Left against the Right.

That explains a few things.

NO MORE BUSH! These protesters mean it, too. They'll stop at nothing.

SYDNEY MORNING Herald and Melbourne Age circulation isn't great. And now Australia's versions of The Guardian face a new threat - from The Guardian itself:

The Guardian Newspapers Group in London has today announced that it will start live production at its first digital production site in Australia in June as part of its international strategy. The Guardian and The Observer are respected UK broadsheets that will be printed on an Oce Digital Newspress 8000 by Security Mail Pty.Ltd, Oce's strategic print partner in Australia.

Oce, the recognised world leader in short-run digital print production, has provided The Guardian and The Observer with a new gateway to the Australian market, enabling them to be the only daily British newspapers on sale on the day of publication in Australia, providing a unique service to their readers.

Oce Digital Newspaper Network is using its high-speed digital machine to print The Guardian and The Observer international editions in Sydney seven days a week. Due to the nine-hour time difference, it will mean that the newspapers are on the streets of Sydney before the United Kingdom, and that The Guardian Newspaper Group will carry fresher news than Australian domestic publications. The papers will be available at lunchtime both to subscribers and newsstands.

(From a press release, no link available.) I'm betting that The Guardian is making this move partly because their site gets lots of Australian hits. Lunchtime delivery will be a problem, but if they added some local sports coverage and a local lefty columnist (Phillip Adams?), an Oz Guardian might work here. An immediate difficulty for the SMH and The Age, which both harvest The Guardian's news and comment pages, will be locating another source of commie Brit wank.

UPDATE. Is The Guardian embracing globalisation? South African reader Dave F. reports:

The Graun recently severed its longstanding arrangement with the South African national weekly "Mail and Guardian", which contained a complete Guardian section that helped sell a lot of M and Gs to "quality"-starved lefties.

In the light of this and the press release you quote, I wonder if Johannesburg and Cape Town will be the next to get a daily Graun and Sunday Observer.

UPDATE UPDATE. Michael Jennings points out that the SMH is already available in London:

Digital printing offered a complete new opportunity to this Fairfax title, The Sydney Morning Herald in London. Before the DNN digital service was available, this title had no representation in Europe. Today, it is available for its readers on the streets of London at the same time as it is in Sydney.

Launched in London to coincide with the Commonwealth Games, the digital copies were dashed to Manchester by the distributor IPn, allowing athletes from the Australian team to catch up on home news, and indeed their own exploits, in their favourite newspaper.

Haven't athletes heard about the Internet?

IT'S reader appreciation week over at Moxie's!

ANDREW BOLT believed that the Governor-General should resign. Now he's changed his mind:

It is sick, what we're doing to the Governor-General. For 18 months, I've argued in print and on television that Peter Hollingworth should resign, but now it's I who must resign.

I resign from the campaign to drive Hollingworth from office. I resign in disgust over the cruelty being done so gleefully to this desperately apologetic man.

UPDATE. Reader Sam writes:

Andrew Bolt's attitude to the G-G issue mirrors my stance on the gun issue.

I am extremely anti-Howard to the point that I am (nearly) pro-guns ... simply because he is anti-guns!

It appears Andrew Bolt has decided that because the anti-Howard mob is against the G-G, he will now oppose his removal, just so he can wipe the stain of being aligned with the "filthy left intelligentsia"

The difference is, my heart is overruled by the head on the gun issue and the banning of certain firearms remains correct, whereas Andrew has lost his usual cool head on this issue.

I suspect even you might agree Tim, if your lack of supporting commentary for Mr Bolt is any indication.

Actually, I've opposed Hollingworth's removal all along - despite opposing his appointment in the first place. Seems to me the report on Hollingworth identifies insufficient justification for his resignation or dismissal, although people whom I respect would disagree.


Perhaps you'd like to challenge to your readers to find the most inventive insertion of a gratuitous insult to a serving head of government.

This would be my entry from this week's Sydney Morning Herald Guide. Bernard Zuel in Monday's entry for King of the Hill:

"This clever adult animation pricks as many cultural truisms as The Simpsons though at a gentler pace. Here's a down-home Texas family not likely to have a brown-nosing Prime Minister around for a barbecue."

The SMH TV guide. It's where perspective lives.

UPDATE. James Baxter writes:

No SMH TV reviewer comes close in terms of gratuitous political comment than the long-haired dimwit lefty (excuse the tautology) Doug Anderson. Every day he tries to push Howard and Bush from office with his biting commentary when he should be actually reviewing the damn shows.

This is him from March, reviewing the film Enemy of the State (1998):

" ... All this before September 11 and the constrictions on democracy imposed by President Bush and his vicious gang of slew-footed desperates."

YET ANOTHER new Australian blog. Take a walk down George Street.

NO WMD? No big deal:

Even if Iraq proves utterly free of WMD - or if it merely possesses a paltry two or three bio-weapons vans - the coalition's military action was the most rational response to Saddam's long-term policy of strategic deception. Saddam Hussein bet that he could get away with playing a "does he or doesn't he?" shell game with a skeptical superpower. He bet wrong.

The real story here is less about the failure of intelligence, inspections or diplomacy than about the end of America's tolerance for state-sponsored ambiguities explicitly designed to threaten American lives. Does an American policy to deny unfriendly nation-states the policy option of creating ambiguity around WMD possession and the support of terrorism make the world a safer place? The Bush administration has made a game-theory-like calculation that it does. That's a calculation that could prove as important and enduring to global security as the Cold War's deterrence doctrine of "mutually assured destruction."

"HOW SWEET!" writes reader Don Burton. "J-Lo takes a developmentally-challenged young man to a basketball game."

FOLLOWING a suicide bombing in Chechnya that killed 40, an explosion in midcity Moscow. Casualties are reported.

AUSTRALIAN journalists are grimly provincial:

Sure, you can take the men and women of the Canberra press gallery from the national capital and send them to London, Washington or wherever. However, it is much more difficult to remove Australian national politics and all that from their journalistic focus. Even at a time of a genuine big story.

Last Wednesday, at a media conference at 10 Downing Street, Tony Blair and John Howard made comments about Iraq, Zimbabwe and the British-US relationship. But Canberra press gallery members were given a rare opportunity to quiz Britain's Prime Minister in the presence of Howard about some of the major issues of the day.

Did they take advantage of this opportunity? Of course not. Next time, send bloggers.

PADDY McGUINNESS argues that "Far from the creation of a new European super state, with a super bureaucracy, the expansion of the EU is likely to increase, rather than oppose, Europe's co-operation with the United States." Interesting thoughts on Vaclav Klaus, too.

THE ELITE Republican Guard has become unionised:

Just a month after their defeat at the Americans' hands, 300 Iraqi soldiers marched on the US Army's main Baghdad base yesterday to demand back pay and a future in the new Iraq.

There are millions out here waiting,

No one talking or debating -

We're hunkered down and cringing like a dog.

Trodden comment in the nation

Needs a spark for conflagration -

If only Timmy Robbins had a Blog.

POINT-COUNTERPOINT: I am cute and scare the hell out of people.

GODDAMN Matt Welch. Ever since I read his Worst Sports Lede of the Week - found, natch, at the cringemaking LA Times - these words have been hurting my head:

If the Beatles had written a song about the game between the Angels and Cleveland Indians on Thursday night at Edison Field, it might have gone something like this:

The Indians said goodbye, and Kevin Appier said hello.

When Garret Anderson swung, the Angels said, "Go, go, go!"

Your challenge, readers: using a similar structure and limiting yourself to Beatles tunes, come up with an even worse sports lede. You may select the sport of your choice. Here's an example:

If the Beatles had written a song about the game between Collingwood and Adelaide on Saturday night at Football Park, it might have gone something like this:

Anthony Rocca

Picks up the ball

in the square where a ball-up has been

Kicks to his team

All the Magpie forwards

Where do they all come from?

All the Magpie forwards

Where do they all belong?

The best entries will be published here then sent to the LA Times, so that they may learn.

THE REACTION to this German's protest rather proves his point, don't you think?


A JOURNALISM SCANDAL involving a black reporter. Controversy over whether he was hired because he was black, promoted ahead of schedule because he was black, and that his journalistic deceptions may have been overlooked because he was black. And what does his publisher say about it?

"It's a huge black eye," said Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman of The New York Times Company and publisher of the newspaper.

Arthur Sulzberger Jr., report to your racial sensitivity counsellor immediately!

MARK STEYN (and Ken Layne) on William Bennett:

His high-living Vegas lifestyle sounds pretty joyless to me. When it was first reported that he was a ''heavy gambler,'' I thought of Sky Masterson rolling the dice and singing ''Luck Be A Lady.'' Or James Bond in an immaculate tux sitting across the roulette table from an Italian contessa who's working for Blofeld as the croupier says ''les jeux sont faits.'' But instead of these games of skill Bill Bennett prefers slot machines: that's to say, one of the most successful men in America likes to stand by himself watching the pretty colors whir round hour after hour after hour. ''That ain't gambling, that's masturbation,'' says the Internet chappie and comic novelist Ken Layne. ''What sort of lame-ass anti-social creep would spend millions pushing buttons in the Lonely Department?''

CHURCH SHOCK! Priest has sex with adult woman!

Except he doesn't exactly admit it. Reverend Philip Gray claims church organist Belinda Denton-Cardew drugged him so she could score some wild Reverend action.

Nobody is falling for that old line, Reverend. Face it; you're only human, and everybody knows how hot those churchy organ chicks can be.

Who's the leader of the club

that screams hypocrisy?


Hey there! Hi there! Ho there!

He's as rich as rich can be!


Michael Moore! Get fucked!

Michael Moore! Get fucked!

Forever let him tell lie after lie! Lie! Lie!

Come along and get things wrong

In books and on TV!


M-I-C ... deceiving you real soon!

H-A-E-L ... why? Because he likes to!


FEMALE POLITICIANS endure terrible sexism, as Natasha Stott Despoja eternally complains:

My now famous [Doc Martens] shoes … generated more publicity than my policy comments ... [Female politicians are] still subject to greater levels of media scrutiny and are more commonly described in terms of their appearance and family status.

Hold on a second, little blonde politician girly. The WSJ's Lisa Schiffren has been doing some media scrutiny of her own:

I had the most astonishing thought last Thursday. After a long day of hauling the kids to playdates and ballet, I turned on the news. And there was the president, landing on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, stepping out of a fighter jet in that amazing uniform, looking - how to put it? - really hot. Also presidential, of course. Not to mention credible as commander in chief. But mostly "hot," as in virile, sexy and powerful.

For how long must we men tolerate this objectification?

UPDATE. The leering sexism continues!

THE DAILY MIRROR still hasn't published anything by John Pilger since April 5, and star pre-war recruit Pilger doesn't appear on the paper's list of columnists. Has he been ... silenced?

UPDATE. Ross Fitzgibbon writes:

Do a Google news search for John Pilger and you find that he is still being published ... in the Palestine Chronicle and some Indymedia site. But better than that, he has won an award for "his work in helping the public to examine the real causes of the war in Iraq."

Well I guess he did do that, after all 50,000 people stopped buying the Mirror and started reading halfway decent papers thanks to John Pilger.

JULIE BURCHILL in The Guardian:

Some folk like watching opera and some like watching sport, but my favourite spectator sport is watching people who should know better searching for something (and often claiming to find it) where it never could be. Women claiming to find feminism in Islam is a good one ...

BARBARA AMIEL ameliorates Margaret Drabble's drivel:

Countering the arguments Drabble advanced to justify her pathology is easy. The lady is a fine fiction writer, but when it comes to facts or ratiocination, she should be put in care ...

The key to understanding Drabble's lunatic rant is her reaction to what she says she saw on CNN celebrating the 25th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam war. She describes an old, shabbily dressed Vietnamese man bartering for dollars. The horror of this moment - an "elderly, impoverished" Vietnamese man wanting that terrible currency, American dollars, for heaven's sake - just put the lid on it for Drabble. She writes: "The Vietnamese had won the war, but had lost the peace."

Well no, Miss Drabble. The Vietnamese fought the war for communism and they won communism. That, indeed, is why the old man is impoverished, shabbily dressed and bartering for dollars. In your deliberate obtuseness, you become blind to the most self-evident conclusions and an apologist for the appalling regimes that are so far removed from your ostensible values.

MARK STEYN on writing:

In my small town in New Hampshire, most of the local history was compiled and written down by various octogenarian ladies. What I find interesting is how vividly these widows and spinsters write, even though most of them left school at 14, if that. But you read their accounts of their great-great-grandfather's adventures in the Revolutionary War and it's full of wit, insight, imagery. Anyone can write - anyone with an interest in words and an engagement with the world they live in. Writing isn't a profession like medicine or accountancy, and pretending it is - as North America's journalism-school culture does - is worse than a harmless affectation, it's actually an obstacle to good readable writing.

He's right, as usual. My grandmother - 92 in June - left school at about 14 and can write like a dream. Things would've turned out a lot worse if Jeparit had a journalism college back in 1923 ...

THE FRONT page of the Daily Telegraph. Top right corner. Need a new job?

MEET MIXY, the ABC children's rabbit. That's "Mixy" as in myxomatosis, which causes "swelling of the tissues of the head, eyelids and genitalia. An accompanying purulent discharge from the inflamed eyes is seen, which eventually causes blindness. The rabbits' appetite will often remain good up until shortly before they die, usually about two weeks after getting the disease."

Have fun with Mixy, kids! Mind the purulent discharge!

CENSORSHIP at the Sydney Morning Herald! Some babe-hating tool has removed shots of Sophie Monk and Annalise Braakensiek from this gallery taken at last night's Logies craziness. (Click on their images; they won't appear in enlarged form, unlike all the other shots). Luckily The Age is less PC. Here's Annalise and Sophie - in the scandalous pictures the SMH didn't want you to see!


Thieves stole the sculpture from its glass display case after smashing a window to get into the museum, police said.

"The thieves climbed up some scaffolding to the first floor of the building, broke a window and climbed in," a police spokesman said.

"They shattered the glass display case and took the sculpture."

"There were movement sensors all over the place - we are currently investigating why the alarm did not go off."

It should be obvious to any student of
museum criminology that this is the culprit. The pattern is identical.

PAUL SHEEHAN summarises the Hollingworth controversy. He's likely completely accurate, particularly on Lindsay Tanner:

Tanner has ensured that Hollingworth has become a victim of what may turn out to be a monumental abuse of due process and a reckless smear of historic proportion ...

If the rape accusation is found to be scurrilous, the chances of [Tanner] resigning as a point of honour are less than zero. He's a hardened factional warrior and a Tolerance Bigot who has learnt nothing from being actively on the losing side of every defining political battle of the past seven years: the federal elections of 1996, 1998 and 2001, the republic, genocide, asylum seekers, Iraq and now Hollingworth. In the latest Labor leadership national opinion poll, Tanner barely registered a pulse. Yet he is busy jockeying for position to eventually be leader of the Labor Party.

This is what Howard is up against. This is why he may stay on as Prime Minister.

GIANNA asks:

How many weeks can webdiary say "Margo Kingston will be back on deck next week". Should we send a search party?

The Bunyip also misses Margo. My theory: the tragically successful war in Iraq has destablised the batlike sonar Margo uses to make her way to the Sydney Morning Herald each morning. She's probably bouncing off parked cars in Lithgow or Bathurst. If you see her, contact a licensed journalist trapper.

"AUSTRALIANS, Americans, whatever ... ":

Three of the Bali bombers whose attack on a nightclub last October killed 202 people have boasted of the crime, dismissing their victims - including 26 from Britain - as sinners.

"The Sari club was a place of adultery," said Ali Imron, the bomb-maker, in an interview with The Sunday Times last week. "In short, it was a place of sin so it deserved to be demolished."

The club was chosen because the bombers thought it would be full of Americans, they said. In the event, seven Americans died while 89 victims were Australian. "Australians, Americans, whatever - they are all white people," Ali said.

No cultural relativism from our friend Ali. At least we now know why they hate us: We're white, and we sin.

UPCOMING in this week's Bulletin: a piece by John Birmingham in which he outlines his plan to create a literary feud with me in order to boost book sales. His publishers killed the ploy, but stupidly didn't consult me first. I would've proposed some kind of profit-sharing deal, and the feud would be on.

Get a blog, Birmingham! (A Birmingham blog would be terrific; politics aside, he sure can write). It's Feud Central here. No lawyers! Last man standing! Cage match! Loser leaves town! And you can bet it would boost your sales. Beats me why all writers don't have blogs.

Being generous, I'll feud with John anyway. You can find the post that started the trouble here (scroll down a little). Birmingham is apparently annoyed that I made fun of him and his hive-minded literature pals. But I'm told that privately Birmingham is equally dismissive of the lame crew he was surrounded by (as any sentient being would be). Why isn't he duking it out in public with the bookish commie set? Is big tough John scared of little Linda Jaivin?

ANDREW LLOYD reveals the grisly truth - I am a doomstruck communist. Andrew's Australian adventure was plenty adventuresome, what with visits to Cairns and Alice Springs and everywhere, after he and Karen had survived the gruelling Test of Liver Damage we set for them in their very first week here.

A personal highlight of that test: some time around 1am, Andrew stands up and yells, "To the Anglosphere!", and an ancient drunk behind me raises his glass and shouts: "Angles! Yes!"

We all need angles. Praise angles.

THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL has stepped down so that the ongoing witchhunt may be conducted without compromising his office.

Reporting on this case, in which Hollingworth has been accused of raping a woman some 40 years ago, has veered between shameful and criminal. In accordance with local witchhunting protocol, the torch-carrying mob is led by the ABC. This report, from the ABC's PM radio program last Friday, is an example:

When he made his extraordinary public statement last night the Governor-General drew attention to the way Annie Jarman had asked the court to keep her identity a secret ... But the reasons the two people wanted their identities protected differ in dramatic ways that were not alluded to by the Governor-General last night.

In the court documents revealed yesterday, an affidavit signed in February by Annie Jarman says:

"The severity of my psychiatric state is such that I am caused considerable anguish when I recall and am caused to focus upon the suffering that I endured. I have grave concerns that unless my anonymity is preserved in these proceedings, then I will suffer further damage to my psychiatric well-being which will be perilous to my health."

Imagine if Hollingworth had mentioned any of this. He'd have been accused of painting the woman as psychologically unstable in order to discredit her. Back to the ABC's report, which pretends to know the absolute truth behind Jarman's request, and seeks to establish a class dispute at the core of the case:

Her concern was obviously real and heart felt, and it was backed up by a medical report and the judge went along with her request, an increasingly regular thing for people claiming to be victims of abuse.

But it's a sign of the vast gulf in status between the two characters in this tragedy that the Governor-General's reasons for seeking the suppression of his identity differed so dramatically.

His lawyers argued that his identity should be kept a secret because publishing it in connection with the sex abuse allegations was likely to have a significant and far reaching consequence for Peter Hollingworth and his position as Governor-General of Australia, and that publishing his name would inevitably lead to substantial public comment and controversy in relation to the position Peter Hollingworth presently holds.

The world of difference between their two stations in life was even made stark in the very reasons each of these people sought to keep their names out of the headlines that now loom so large around the nation.

Memo to the ABC: one of the people in this case had a history of psychological problems (which, I add, do not in themselves diminish her claims). The other is the Governor-General. One is the accuser, the other the accused. Of course their reasons for requesting suppression will differ. Their reasons for doing anything will differ.

Maybe the ABC would have been happy if the Governor-General had cited a tragic childhood as the reason for requesting suppression. Never mind; Hollingworth should be comforted by the fact that the more the ABC pursues him, the more likely it will be that the public will support him. It'll be interesting to see the way this plays out.

UPDATE. Silent Running has much more.


IN THE comments following this Jane Galt post on Norman Mailer's unbelievably pissy response to Dennis Miller, Michael Ubaldi tells a story:

Dennis Miller is one hell of a man. My buddy, while working crew at an interview with Miller in LA was inspired by the last segment before a break; Miller was talking about his early days as a young comedian and looked back fondly at having the courage to walk up to Andrew Dice Clay and compliment him.

The first segment ended; my friend couldn't get his mind off of the words Miller said. Miller is, apparently, extremely intimidating in person. "Looks like he hasn't slept in days" and is so razor-sharp that "you know that if you say something he'll have a better comeback."

My friend is, as luck would have it, conservative (social libertarian bent, but hey). He likes Miller and wanted to let him know. Inevitably, a moment came where no one was around him.

My friend walked up to Miller.

"Dennis?" he asked. Miller gave him a weird look.

My friend continued. "I just wanted to say that I'm proud of your support for President Bush."

Miller stopped for a moment, then put his arm around my friend and said:

"Fuckin' no-brainer, kid."

more sense than most professional pundits, here's a roundup of Australian blogger opinion on the Hollingworth

I'll have something on this in the upcoming edition of The Bulletin. In the meantime, commentators crowing about the 75% percent of Australians who apparently want Hollingworth to resign ought to consider these words, among the more sensible written by Hugh Mackay:

You can always get people to answer questions, but that doesn't mean the questions are interesting or important to them.

THE TORONTO STAR'S Antonia Zerbisias isn't the only lefty journalist admired by Holocaust denier David Irving. The Irvmonster is also a huge fan of Robert Fisk, once declaring him the bravest journalist of the year. Fisk seems upset by the honour, but that hasn't stopped Irving constantly
to him. And to the likes of Australian lefty Scott Burchill. What a lovely bunch of people.

(All links via Warren Smith, who also points out that Tariq Aziz is an Irving reader.)

IF I hadn't already completely trashed the Blair reputation, I'd be really embarrassed by this Jayson Blair idiot. Or maybe he isn't so foolish; if I worked for the NY Times, I'd be tempted to destroy its credibility too. Here's to Jayson, the Evil Blair, bringing them down from the inside!

JOANNA MURRAY-SMITH was as against the war as it was possible to be. Today in her column for The Age she joins the tiny club of Australian lefties who admit they were wrong:

The World's Policeman did something no one else could or would do. It could have all gone horribly wrong, but it didn't. Civilians died, young men and women paid all kinds of prices and both Western and Iraqi children who lost fathers or homes have had their personal maps drastically redrawn by the hand of fate. But the fear and the torture is over. America, in all its infuriating arrogance, acted. Not so long ago, I dreaded this. And now, I have to admit, I was wrong.

Unable to cope with this, Age cartoonist Michael Leunig has retreated to fantasy. So has Phillip Adams. Murray-Smith should counsel them.

VICTORIA is besieged by speed cameras, which is why I never visit these days unless someone is paying my way. The state, which once sounded like
this, now sounds like this. It's become a gigantic retirement village for especially timid and fragile oldtimers.

USEFUL TIPS on how to beat that intervention. From Modern Drunkard magazine.

UPDATE. Wallace writes:

I used many of these on several occasions. However I found the best tactic was just to sit their stone-faced [no pun intended].

However after an alcohol induced seizure and five days in intensive care, my tacit arguments lost some of their validity ...

COLLINGWOOD was losing for the entire game. Sometimes they'd forge a string of goals against the flow of play, but Adelaide would always answer, usually loudly. Late in the first quarter they led by 31 points.

The second quarter was all Collingwood, four goals to one, but that first-quarter feast and a time-on goal to Carey allowed Adelaide to maintain a nine-point advantage at half-time. That extended to 28 points midway through the third, until another Pie rally (Didak running hard) reduced the margin to five.

A three-goal burst took Adelaide 22 points clear early in the final quarter. Match won? No; goals to Tarrant, Lonie (twice), O'Bree, and Scott Burns in the space of five or so minutes catapulted Collingwood to an improbable seven-point break with nine minutes remaining. Adelaide, urged on by 44,000 supporters, drew level via Mark Riccuito, then scrambled a point to again lead. That gap stood when the siren sounded. The game was done. Surely.

No. Pies are back.

UPDATE. Adelaide's Scott Wickstein, with whom a bet was made, pays up. Lookin' good, Eddie!

FAREWELL, Fashion Week.

MEAT really is murder.

HIS OPPONENTS would have a far easier time dealing with George W. Bush if they treated him as just another politician instead of some kind of monstrous superbeing:

With the 2004 presidential campaign now under way, it seems clear that as whacked out as George W. Bush may be, he's driving his opponents even crazier. Nothing short of some sort of mass hysteria has gripped everyone to the left of Condi Rice.

Within one 30-minute period during that book gathering, my friend and I logged the following revelations offered us by some of our fellow partygoers: Bush will steal the 2004 election because "It's all in the voting machines - keep your eye on those machines." There will be no next election because Bush will stage an auto-coup. Bush's 70 percent approval rating for the war isn't real - it's a made-up number. American, not Iraqi, troops set the oil wells on fire in 1991. U.S. Marines directed and orchestrated the looting of Baghdad. Fidel Castro didn't really want to lock up all those writers and execute those three hijackers without a proper trial, but the Bush administration forced him to do it. We've entered a period of cultural repression worse than McCarthyism. And, my current favorite, Michael Moore wasn't really booed at the Oscars - instead, the network ran an amplified and prerecorded loop to discredit him. (I know this one is crazy because I alone booed loudly enough from my Woodland Hills living room to be clearly heard in the Kodak's upper deck.)

And these people say Bush is dumb ...