Tuesday, January 18, 2005

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: America: The Country That Soft-Pedals Torture.

Iran Invasion Watch: The Return In the wake of Sy Hersh's piece exposing US recon operations in Iran, George W. Bush has refused to rule out the use of force in the process of coercing the Muslim nation to abandon its nuclear program. The Iranian defense minister had this ominous rejoinder: "We can claim that we have rapidly produced equipment that has resulted in the greatest deterrent," then adding, "[cough]nuclearweapons[cough]."

Martin Luther King is Alive! By now, you've probably heard about the Nevada TV weatherman fired over the weekend for accidentally saying "Martin Luther Coon" on the air. But if you read down, you'll see a much bigger fuck-up happening around the same time from a competing local station: A TV reporter erroneously said that a teenager caught in an avalanche was found alive; in fact, he had been killed. A reporter for a third Nevada station, meanwhile, brought obloquy on himself by asking a police chief how the family of the dead boy took the news. All in all, a stellar week for local news in Nevada.

False Messiah Watch When the news of the Washington Post's $100,000 bribe to the Bush inauguration broke last week, one of my first thoughts was, "I wonder how Sun Myung Moon is involved in the inauguration." One of my next thoughts was, "I bet John Gorenfeld knows." Lo and behold: the fearless reporter who has locked his teeth around the ankle of the arms magnate/self-proclaimed messiah has, of course, delivered the goods. Moon has donated a hearty $250,000 to the inauguration through the shell company known as the World Television Center, an entity which Moon boasts will help end public education. Give Gorenfeld a Pulitzer!

The Irony of the Flip-Flop Label Will Never End On Sunday, the Washington Post published an interview with George W. Bush (for which they paid the low, low price of just $100,000) in which the president said he didn't foresee any action on the proposed amendment to the constitution outlawing gay marriage. "Nothing will happen," were his exact words. As you can imagine, this upset the social conservatives who probably put Bush over the top, particularly in Ohio. Now, the White House has once again flip-flopped, with Bush vowing fast action on the amendment. "I don't think one interview is a turning point in his presidency," said U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Dogfucker). So you see, kids, it's okay to lie, but only if your lie doesn't constitute a "turning point" of some kind. That's what we call moral values!

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining When Ohio passed the most sweeping anti-civil union bill in America last November, it seemed like a defeat for gays and progressives. But it was a victory for at least one put-upon minority in society: dudes who beat up their girlfriends. The Cuyahoga County public defender's office has begun asking judges to dismiss domestic violence charges filed against accused batterers who aren't married to their alleged victims. Under the terms of the amendment, the lawyers have a case, because domestic violence laws illegally grant a marriage-like status to unmarried people who live together. Republicans: Hating Gays and Providing Loopholes for Batterers Since 2004.

-Consider Arms