- The Washington Times - Monday, October 21, 2002

Banana boat
"'There's an old saying,' says Harry Belafonte. 'In the days of slavery, there were those slaves who lived on the plantation and were those slaves that lived in the house. You got the privilege of living in the house if you served the master exactly the way the master intended to have you serve him. Colin Powell's permitted to come into the house of the master.' …
"I'll tell you, I've had just about all I can take from these entertainment industry prima donnas moonlighting as policymakers and political activists. What are their qualifications? Why do we give them the time of day? Why does our nation continue to honor them and reward them in the face of such arrogance and hypocrisy?
"It's time to stop running down your country, Mr. Belafonte. Our nation has been attacked. Our nation is at war. Honest debate and policy disagreements will always be welcome in America. But it's time to stop practicing, what was called just a few years ago by so many of your friends, 'the politics of personal destruction.'
"If you don't like it, Harry, get on the next banana boat and do us all a favor find a new home."
Joseph Farah, writing on "Belafonte the real house slave," Thursday in World Net Daily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Saddam's patsies
"CNN shares [a] building with the BBC, Associated Press, Reuters, and the handful of other news organizations that have a permanent presence in Baghdad. But there's an uncomfortable fact about this building to which these tenants don't often call attention: It's the Iraqi Ministry of Information.
"Like their Soviet-bloc predecessors, the Iraqis have become masters of the Orwellian pantomime the state-orchestrated anti-American rally, the state-led tours of alleged chemical weapons sites that turn out to be baby milk factories that promotes their distorted reality. And the Iraqi regime has found an audience for these displays in an unlikely place: the U.S. media.
"It's not because American reporters have an ideological sympathy for Saddam Hussein; broadcasting his propaganda is simply the only way they can continue to work in Iraq. 'There's a quid pro quo for being there,' says Peter Arnett, who worked the Iraq beat for CNN for a decade. 'You go in and they control what you do So you have no option other than to report the opinion of the government of Iraq.' In other words, the Western media's presence in the Ministry of Information describes more than just a physical reality."
Franklin Foer, writing on "Air War," in the Oct. 28 issue of the New Republic

Tips and stiffs
"In a wonderful scene in [the new book] 'Hey, Waitress!' a pleasant server asks her customer about his Galapagos Islands T-shirt. He can't contain his surprise that she's heard of the islands, let alone of Charles Darwin and the HMS Beagle. It seems that some customers feel better about themselves if they can believe that their waitress is bad or stupid or careless.
"What fuels this melodrama of power is the tip. 'There's something inherently honest about doing a job and going home with cash at the end of the day,' said one waitress. Yet, it's a bind: The waitress feels as though she can't say no. (One smart waitress observed: 'Even prostitutes, with whom some waitresses ruefully identify, get the money first.')
"It's always interesting when rich people tip badly, and they do it just as often as the poor. According to the ladies of 'Hey, Waitress!' Jesse Jackson had notably poor manners. Vernon Jordan and Yul Brynner were sweet as could be. Liza Minnelli stiffed one New York waitress. Arthur Miller left her only a quarter. Jimmy Carter tipped well and asked for a doggy bag. His waitress thought that was weirdly beneath a president."
Suzy Hansen, writing on "Sunnyside down," Oct. 14 in Salon at Salon.com

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