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Thursday, November 18, 2004

Press Review

From today's edition of NORMAN'S SPECTATOR where the articles are hotlinked.

Most US papers lead with Kmart gobbling Sears. The Washington Post leads with Colin Powell--the white hat in the Wal-Mart nation--warning about Iran’s nukes.

In the UK, foxhunting and animal rights are high on the agenda, and Prince Charles has stepped into it again and that's about where the Tories are.

French president Jacques Chirac is coming to visit, the economy is "en mauvaise santé" and the Socialist Party is continuing to debate the EU constitution.

At home, speaking of visitors, George Bush is coming for confab and dinner, and everyone’s wondering where to hide Canada ’s crazy aunt. Understandably, Paul Martin is heading out of town again, leaving it to others to sort out.

Yesterday, the US ambassador became the latest foreigner to be muzzled in Montreal. In the Commons, Reg Alcock called Diane Ablonczy—who’s definitely nobody’s baby—“sweetheart.” The word "scumbag" was also heard in QP.

That came after the opening exchange, in which the PM quite properly stiffed Stephan Harper on appointing elected senators. When will my near-eastern neighbours figure out that the 3-E Senate is truly a whack-o idea?

Meanwhile, at the White House, they must think we’re all nuts. Here's my take today, in French, on Canada-US relations.

I must admit that, after reading the column heard all the way to the Potomac, I wondered why Tom Walkom hasn’t been advocating indicting Jean Chrétien, who took us to war in Kosovo without a UN resolution, is subject to Canadian law and is no longer in office.

Back in the US , the New York Times’ reports “news” that Republican faculty members are a scarce breed in US universities. The editorial board looks at the lame duck session, the CIA and trade protectionism.

Frank Rich reviews TV censorship, Tom Friedman the situation in Iraq. Maureen Dowd says Bush is appointing toadies. Canadian Irshad Manji reports on her speaking tour in Europe.

The Washington Post’s editorial board looks at ethical issues raised by the opening of Bill Clinton’s presidential library, and at Guantanamo.

David Broder reviews Ahh-nold’s first year, and Richard Cohen has a good, last word for John Ashcroft. Sort of.

The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board is onto the CIA, free trade and Vioxx. Margaret Carlson hopes to hear more from Colin Powell.

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board reviews the tape of the Marine killing an unarmed, wounded Iraqi.

Peggy Noonan looks at Condi and Arlen Specter. Canadian Anne Bayefsky looks at anti-Semitism at the UN. Max Boot says he was a lousy salesman.

The Globe and Mail fronts Fox News coming to Canada, Carolyn Parrish preparing for an American who’ll be crossing the border this month, mutual fund restitution, Paul Martin preparing for a chin-wag with Moammar Ghadaffi and Danny Williams outing Dalton McGuinty. Who says this is a boring country?

Inside, Geoffrey York reports on the refugee stand-off at our embassy in Beijing, and Matthew Kalman has the latest from Ramallah.

John Ibbitson looks at recent federal spending and admits he erred in writing that Paul Martin’s leadership spelled the end of liberalism in the Liberal Party. What the heck, John—who knew he’d be returned with a minority government?

Lawrence Martin, having forgotten that we’ve not had a unilingual prime minister since Lester Pearson, predicts great things for Ken Dryden:

“The fates bestowed on him a sterling lifelong reputation for an unspectacular showing in the 1972 Canada-Soviet hockey series. With the Montreal Canadiens, he was good; but that team was such a powerhouse that many goalies could have won several Vezina trophies playing for them. The fates then handed Mr. Dryden the presidency of the Toronto Maple Leafs without any experience in coaching or hockey management.

And now the fates have elevated him to a leading cabinet role in the Liberal government without his ever having sat in a legislature. All that remains is for him to become Liberal Party leader, then prime minister. The fates will probably see to that as well.”

Yesterday, a front-page lead explained a murder in Iraq: “nothing could save Margaret Hassan from the violence sweeping through [ Iraq ].” Today, Margaret Wente says some Canadians may be confused about who actually murdered the aid-worker, but she has a pretty good idea:

“In the Netherlands, meanwhile, the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh has shocked an entire nation into confronting the truth about terror.

Mr. van Gogh also pleaded with his killer for his life. And then the killer, allegedly a Dutch-born dual Moroccan-Dutch citizen, repeatedly shot him, slit his throat and, finally, plunged a knife into his chest with a five-page letter threatening jihad against the West. “I surely know that you, Oh Europe, will be destroyed,” it read.

The Dutch know who did it. And it wasn't someone who was misinformed, or American foreign policy, or the new world order.”

The editorial board weighs in with its not dissimilar view:

“Despite Mr. Zarqawi's contrary claim (“In true Islam, they don't kill women and young children”), the logic of extremist Islam is inexorable. If pluralism is inherently evil and Westerners inherently unclean — Hitler would have used the expression “subhuman” — why should their women and children not be killed? No such fine distinctions were made on 9/11, after all.

Even so, with Ms. Hassan's murder, Islamist extremism has somehow plumbed a new depth of depravity. More than ever, it is in the world's interest that the extremists be defeated and Iraq stabilized. To do otherwise would be to abandon the country to fascism by another name.”

Another editorialist puts in a good word, sort of, for George Bush:

“Liberal Canadians may not like his take on gay marriage or Iraq , or find his swagger and his twang terribly sympathique, but last time we looked there were no horns under his Stetson. He is a conservative American president, not the reincarnation of Genghis Khan, and we have seen conservative American presidents before, from Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan. It is only right that he should visit, and quite fitting that he should address our parliamentarians. We are going to have to live with this man for the next four years. The least we can do is listen to what he has to say.”

A third editorialist writes:

“running permanent surpluses is no way to win the confidence of Canadians, who will rightly feel that they are still paying too much in taxes and are waiting for more of a return for their sacrifices of the 1990s, when Ottawa made heavy cutbacks to wrestle the deficit to the ground. Governments must be cautious when allocating windfall revenues. But there ought to be room in the current economic and fiscal environment for more tax cuts.”

The Toronto Star fronts raced-based school stats and the Globe-outed Premier Dalton McGuinty pleading for tolerance on gay-ed while his government is reducing wait-times.

Debra Black introduces us to a new generation of American “war resisters,” and we learn about a kidnapped Canadian journalist was honoured while another is being threatened with arrest for not revealing his sources.

The editorial board plumps for a Royal Commission on fiscal relations, and also wants more study of Tasers, though mercifully not by a Royal Commission. Jim Travers serves up Judy Sgro’s head.

The National Post fronts the right to die debate, which the Globe stuffs. Inside, Adam Radwanski reviews the populist turn in Ontario politics:

“Pit bull bans. Anti-smoking campaigns. Crackdowns on high school dropouts. Junk food prohibition. Not one will cause Finance Minister Greg Sorbara much grief as he tries to balance the books. But each has received ample coverage in recent weeks, because they're the sorts of hot-button issues that spawn debate.”

William Watson wades in with the Economics 101 lesson he gave a CBC reporter inquiring about the right value of the dollar. Bottom line?

“Maybe we're best off forgetting about the "right" value of the loonie and living with what an admittedly imperfect market gives us.”

The editorial board considers the case of Judy Sgro:

“Should Ms. Sgro be forced to give up her job, it will be a disappointing turn of events. Just last week, she was earning praise in this space and elsewhere for her tough-minded commitment to reforming Canada 's refugee system. But the allegations against her cannot be overlooked for that reason. Every year, thousands of migrants petition to be admitted to this country on compassionate grounds. If it is established that this country's highest immigration official has ever picked and chosen among them on the basis of willingness to pitch in with her partisan political activities, the disgrace will be long-lasting.”

Don Martin has his eyes on another weak link:

“This time, she's gotta go. After 18 months on probation for her initial hateful anti-American outburst, Liberal MP Carolyn Parrish has proven herself incapable of learning a lesson and unworthy of another chance to remain on the government side of the Commons.”

Elsewhere in CanWest land, the Vancouver Sun fronts flesh-eating disease again. The Ottawa Citizen fronts the right to die, new federal auditing procedures, and their take of the air security fee.

The Montréal Gazette stuffs mercy killing and fronts a show-biz bigwig who’s pleaded guilty to sexual molestation.

Inside the Citizen and the Gaz, the editorial boards contrast the two high-profile murders in Iraq.

In the Toronto Sun, Bob MacDonald says Canada should step up to the plate in Iraq. Christina Blizzard looks at school board politics.

In Calgary, Licia Corbella counts Paul Martin’s broken promises. In Edmonton, Neil Waugh wades in on BSE. In Ottawa, Greg Weston says Judy Sgro is dancing on thin ice.

Posted by Norman Spector on November 18, 2004 | Permalink


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Hasn't anyone seen this? NealeNews seems to be the only Canadian website running this story:

Posted by: A Sdfaski | 2004-11-18 7:47:57 AM

Notice how the Globe put the Fox News announcement in the Entertainment section.

As Jonah G would say...High-larious.

You literally can't make this stuff up.

Posted by: Matt Hillier | 2004-11-18 7:50:57 AM

Wow Sdfaski what a find.

Here is the difference between Americans and Canadians: when an American sees a guy walking down the street in a $3000 suit who is followed by a bunch of goons in sunglasses, and he's told that the guy's job mostly consists of playing golf and making a few phone calls, he says, "that guy's a mobster". When a Canadian sees the same thing, he says, "that's the Prime Minister".

Posted by: Justzumgai | 2004-11-18 8:31:55 AM

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