- The Washington Times - Monday, August 30, 2004

No joke

“When my boyfriend and I heard that John Kerry was slated to be the guest on ‘The Daily Show,’ we all but raced to the TiVo to set it on record. … What a ‘get’ for Jon Stewart, the court jester of the 2004 election! And finally Kerry would have the chance to step down from the campaign stump and show people who are desperate for a reason to vote for him what he’s really made of: his passion, his conviction, his much-vaunted (at least by his wife) sense of humor. Except, as Jon Stewart has been known to say: Eh, not so much. …

“Kerry’s charisma was less than zero: It was negative. He was a charm vacuum, forced to actually borrow mojo from audience members. He was a desiccated husk, a tin man who really didn’t have a heart. His lack of vibrancy, his utter dearth of sex appeal made Al Gore look like Charo.”

Dana Stevens, writing on “If He Only Had a Heart,” Aug. 25 in Slate at www.slate.com

Beijing gold

“‘I owe my Olympic gold medal to my parents, my coach and, above all, to the wise leadership of the Republican Party and President Bush.’ Can anybody imagine such a remark from an American athlete speaking to Fox News Network? Of course not. Not even the irreverent, wise-cracking talk show host Jay Leno has such a fertile imagination.

“But when it comes to Chinese athletes, this extravagant tribute to the political leadership of a country is anything but fictional in the 28th Olympic Games now under way in Athens. The minute a young Chinese girl bagged the gold medal in the women’s table-tennis singles final … a Beijing TV network reporter stuck a microphone under the nose of her parents. The father, without batting an eye, told the audience that his good daughter was a good Communist Party member and her success was a tribute to the party organization. We can only imagine the hyperbolic tributes, straining credulity, when Beijing hosts the 2008 Summer Olympics.

“For all intents and purposes, he is right: the government and the Communist Party own all the Chinese athletes. They are trained, funded, and sent to the Olympics in Greece and to other sporting events by the China Sports Bureau, a cabinet-level ministry in the government.”

Li Yong Yan, writing on “Chinese athlete: ‘I owe it to the party,’ ” Thursday in Asia Times Online at wwwatimes.com

Artistic ignorance

“A man from Detroit named John Sims, who now teaches art … in Sarasota, Fla., has created quite a controversy with his planned [Friday] opening of an exhibit at Gettysburg College where he will reportedly ‘lynch’ the Confederate Battle Flag by ‘hanging’ it from a gallows. (In another work of ‘art’ Sims has crudely insulted every Jew in the world by displaying the Israeli flag in the colors of the PLO). Gettysburg College’s museum director, Molly Hutton, reportedly jumped at the chance to display something as politically correct as the Israeli flag smear when Sims proposed his ‘lynching’ exhibit at the College. …

“John Sims is … obviously ignorant of the fact that the two most famous Confederate generals, Lee and Jackson, were not only opposed to slavery but, in Lee’s case, personally liberated hundreds of slaves. Lee inherited slaves from his father-in-law. … On Dec. 29, 1862, as executor of his father-in-law’s will, Robert E. Lee ‘did manumit, emancipate and forever set free from slavery’ over 170 people.”

Thomas J. DiLorenzo, on “Gettysburg College’s Hate Crime ‘Artist,’ ” Thursday at www.lewrockwell.com


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