"The spot is a direct hit on Mr. Giuliani and could severely undermine his argument that he is the best person to lead the nation in a time of war. It also fuels the escalating rancor between MoveOn.org and its Republican critics with its deliberate and repeated use of the inflammatory word 'betrayal.' It is a searing ad, especially when it shows the silhouetted image of the soldiers, with the voiceover: 'Where were you when it counted?' A possible beneficiary of the spot among his Republican primary opponents is Senator John McCain, whose military credentials are solidly intact. If Mr. Giuliani becomes the Republican nominee, this spot will no doubt re-emerge to the benefit of the Democratic nominee." - Katharine Seelye on a MoveOn.org ad criticizing Rudy Giuliani, September 18.
"The spot seeks to generate excitement among Republican primary voters who loathe Mrs. Clinton, while giving Mr. Giuliani the aura of a front-runner likely to challenge the senator, who remains atop many polls of Democrats. But is he also helping the campaigns of Senator Barack Obama and John Edwards by highlighting her perceived shifts on the war? The risk for Mr. Giuliani is that the advertisement exposes him to accusations that he does not talk about Iraq in a substantive way, and it highlights his support of an unpopular war, which could hurt him in a general election." - Marc Santora on a Giuliani ad criticizing MoveOn.org and Hillary Clinton, September 15.
Nutty Beirut Protest Kills Condi's Prez Prospects
"There was a time when, perhaps more than Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Obama, Condoleezza Rice seemed to have the best shot at becoming the first woman or the first African-American to be president. But that was before she sounded public alarms based on faulty intelligence to justify the Iraq war , telling CNN, 'We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.' It was before a former top Bush administration colleague, David Kay, charged with finding unconventional weapons after the Iraq invasion, referred to Ms. Rice in Bob Woodward's 'State of Denial' as 'probably the worst national security adviser since the office was created.' And it was before furious Lebanese hung a huge banner depicting Ms. Rice's face, with blood dripping from her lips, from a bridge in central Beirut." - Helene Cooper, September 1 .
Three Days After Pro-Gun Law, Kill-Crazy Texans Shooting Themselves
"A Texas rock musician was shot to death here early Monday by a neighbor who fired through a closed door, thinking he was scaring off a burglar. The incident occurred just three days after a new law took effect strengthening the right of Texans to use deadly force to protect themselves and their property." - Gretel Kovach, September 5.
The Times Stubbornly Refuses to Believe Terrorist Threat
"Although officials spoke with confidence of the attack's imminence and seriousness, they did not make fully clear the basis of their assertions. Europe has been the site of a number of devastating terrorist plots, but some have turned out later to be less than met the eye when announced." - Mark Landler and Katrin Bennhold on an imminent German terrorist plot, September 7.
Non-Ambiguously Gay Bias
Arts reporter George Gene Gustines, September 3.
Like the Way John Kerry Exploited Vietnam?
"As the anniversary of the attacks nears, Mr. Giuliani has been talking in more personal detail than usual about that day. In so doing, there have been renewed questions about the fuzzy line between somber remembrance and political exploitation, this time amplified by his presidential candidacy." - Marc Santora on GOP presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani talking about his 9-11 experiences, September 10.
Frank Rich Says CBS Anchor Katie Couric "Drank the Kool-Aid" in Iraq
"Anchoring the 'CBS Evening News' from Iraq last week, Katie Couric seemed to be drinking the same Kool-Aid (or eating the same lobster tortellini) as Mr. O'Hanlon. As 'a snapshot of what's going right,' she cited Falluja, a bombed-out city with 80 percent unemployment, and she repeatedly spoke of American victories against 'Al Qaeda.' Channeling the president's bait-and-switch, she never differentiated between that local group he calls 'Al Qaeda in Iraq' and the Qaeda that attacked America on 9/11." - Critic-turned-columnist Frank Rich in his September 9 column.
How Do Liberal, Democratic-Voting Places Put It?
"Some said they were aghast at the dimensions of the problem, some awed by General Petraeus's seeming grasp of the wildly irregular forces in play; but almost none seemed to foresee a happy result for 'our side,' as many in this conservative, Republican-voting place put it." - Paul Vitello, September 12.
Communist Dalton Trumbo, Blacklist "Hero"
"The propriety of giving Elia Kazan - one who 'named names' - an honorary Oscar in 1999 remains a contentious subject. And only five years ago Stanley Kramer's widow bitterly battled the makers of a television documentary that depicted her late husband using the blacklist to deny his former partner Carl Foreman a producer's credit on 'High Noon.' But on Monday night in Toronto, one of the era's acknowledged heroes, the jailed and blacklisted Dalton Trumbo , was expected to deliver some posthumous words that might finally put to rest the hunt for good guys and bad." - Michael Cieply on "Hollywood Ten" Communist Dalton Trumbo, September 11.
America at Last Losing "Romanticism" About Virtues of U.S. Health Care
"For its part, the public may also be sadder but wiser, some analysts say. Most Americans are now in some form of managed care, still a novel concept in the early 1990s. More say they know someone who is going without health insurance, working in jobs that do not provide it. Most people with coverage still say they are personally satisfied with the care they receive but they are worried about the system as a whole. Some of the romanticism about the virtues of the American health care system may be diminishing, and not just among the audiences who cheered Michael Moore's 'Sicko' this summer." - Robin Toner on the relaunch of a Hillary-care health plan, September 16.