February 20, 2004
Exactly What Do They Want From Bush?
"Friday night brought a final tidal wave of paper, much of it highly repetitive and already released in previous years, that once again offered no new proof that Mr. Bush had turned up for duty in Alabama." - Elisabeth Bumiller, February 16.
Balanced Al Jazeera?
"For Al Jazeera, Balanced Coverage Frequently Leaves No Side Happy." - headline to a February 16 story on the Arab television network.
Reality Check: "I will not be objective about this because we have been dragged into this conflict. We were targeted because the Americans don't want the world to see the crimes they are committing against the Iraqi people." -Al Jazeera Baghdad reporter Majed Abdel Hadi after the accidental death of a colleague in a U.S. air raid.
The Times Brecht Girl
"This play was first performed in 1941. The war that had begun with Hitler's rise to power had spread through Europe and beyond. In the opening scene an army officer complains, 'Peace is one big waste of equipment.' These words sound contemporary." - Theatre critic Margo Jefferson on "Mother Courage and Her Children," an antiwar play by communist Bertolt Brecht, February 18.
Intifada? What Intifada?
"Much of the debate focused on finding a definition for the new wave of anti-Semitic acts and statements that have swept through Europe since the Israeli crackdown on Palestinians in 2000." - Elaine Sciolino, February 20.
"Mounting Casualties" in Iraq Put Bush's Guard Record In Play
"Until this month, the Republican defense of Mr. Bush's military record, sticking to the bare essentials, had successfully neutralized a succession of newspaper articles that raised questions about Mr. Bush's service. But now, with Iraq casualties mounting, with angry Democrats coalescing behind a decorated Vietnam veteran and with credibility questions dogging Mr. Bush, the broad-brush defense has been abandoned." - David Barstow, February 15.
Those Bad Old Tax Cuts
"the workers who attended [a rally at a manufacturing plant] seemed impressed by Mr. Bush's call for making permanent the child tax credit, the reduction in inheritance taxes and other elements of the two tax-cut bills he has signed. Mr. Bush said nothing of the long-term cost of making those cuts permanent. Neither the White House nor many in Congress want to dwell on additions to a deficit projected to hit $500 billion this year. But the workers here seemed unconcerned about deficit numbers." - David Sanger, February 17.
Mommas, Don't Let Your BabiesWatch Football?
"What happened to individual responsibility in this country? Before the halftime show, there had been commercials with a kid using a four-letter word that was barely bleeped out, a flatulent horse, a dog biting somebody's crotch, not to mention the violence of football itself. If parents really cared, why wouldn't they just pull their kids away from the set?" - Former Times arts editor turned columnist Frank Rich on Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction," on the February 15 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources.
Seth in Stalinland, Again
"All this from the proud daughter of a Japanese Communist who fled to Russia during World War II and died disappointed in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed, still embracing his Stalinist ideals of strong government and social equality." - From Seth Mydans' profile of Russian presidential candidate Irina Khakamada, February 14.
More from Archibold on "Moderate" John Kerry
"Mr. Edwards and Mr. Kerry are moderates who have voted the same way on many hot button issues-for the war in Iraq, against an $87 billion appropriation for it last year, for the No Child Left Behind legislation." - Randal Archibold, February 15.
Fundamentalism On The Rise
"Yet at the moment Mr. Gibson is viewed not as an artist flouting convention and mainstream Hollywood orthodoxies, but as a lobbyist for the fundamentalist religious movement in the United States at a time when its clout is unmistakably on the rise. Under pressure from right-wing groups that threatened a boycott of advertisers, CBS last November was driven to cancel 'The Reagans,' a biographical mini-series about President Ronald Reagan and his first lady, Nancy." - Alessandra Stanley on the controversy over Mel Gibson's movie on Christ, February 20.
Oh No! Not Fox News!
"The station is being pilloried in the Arab press as a propaganda arm of the United States government, trying to gloss over America's anti-Arab bias. Analysts have labeled it 'Fox News in Arabic' and a spiritual descendant of TV Mart, the American government's anti-Castro broadcasts in Cuba." - Neil MacFarquhar, February 20.