Wednesday, May 12, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Outraged at the Outrage Over the Outrage.

Court Martial the Press! Last night's Daily Show had a funny commentary by Stephen Colbert where he jokingly indicted the real villains in the Abu Ghraib scandal - the American press. After all, Colbert mock-argued, would this even be a scandal if the press hadn't printed photos of the torture? Ha! Ha! How do those comedians come up with such far-out scenarios? Perhaps they know "Mickey" Kaus, Slate's resident right wing monkeyboy. In today's column, Kaus makes exactly the same argument that Colbert made, except that, unlike Colbert, Kaus is serious: the real culprits in Abu Ghraib are CBS, who first aired the photos. The Sikh Geek is right: Things like this help me understand Dante better, because people like this deserve their own special kind of punishment in Hell. Also in Slate today, Timothy Noah makes fun of the right suggesting that the outrage over Abu Ghraib is worse than the torture itself. Good column, Noah, but why don't you tell it to the dickhead you work with?

The Unlikeliest Heroes Just as the Likud Party did us all an unexpected favor recently by shooting down Sharon's West Bank-seizing plan, top Republicans in Congress are showing surprising signs of integrity by blocking George Bush's attempt to reauthorize the dread Patriot Act. Even Senator Larry Craig, who regularly dines with sinister Attorney General John "I'm Scared of Cats and Statue Tits" Ashcroft, has introduced legislation that would actually gut the provisions of the Patriot Act that don't expire under the sunset clause.

Has It Really Come to This? A Wisconsin newspaper is asking readers to send it pro-Bush letters. No, it's worse than you think: "We've been getting more letters critical of President Bush than those that support him. We're not sure why, nor do we want to guess. But in today's increasingly polarized political environment, we would prefer our offering to put forward a better sense of balance," the editors write. "Nor do we want to guess"?? Gee, do you think there might be a story there, geniuses? Do you think that the reason you're getting so many letters critical of Bush is because many of your readers are critical of him? Note to self: Find a way to make money off these idiots.

Our Semi-Regular "Holy Shit, What the Hell is Going on in Israel" Checkup Here's how the checkup works: "Israeli forces killed five Palestinians, three with a helicopter missile, in Gaza City on Wednesday as troops blasted their way into buildings in a search for the remains of six comrades blown up in an ambush"... Holy shit! Helicopter missiles? Frantic search for body parts? Six soldiers killed? What the hell is going on in Israel?

Grief is Anti-American The anti-war parents of Nicholas Berg, the American businessman who was beheaded in Iraq this week, blame the Bush administration for their son's death. But they have a more specific complaint than just, "No asshole President Bush, no war": Berg was held in Iraq by U.S. authorities without access to a phone or lawyer because he was suspected of being an insurgent. By the time they cut him loose, he had no way to get home, and he got picked up by the scum who killed him. In fact, on April 6, the family filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, claiming their son was being held unlawfully. The government admits that Berg was held by Iraqi occupation authorities and possibly interrogated by the FBI, but says that somehow this is a distinction that absolves them from blame.

-Consider Arms