Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Whiter Shades of Beyond the Pale

Monday, November 5, 2007

Integrity on the Brink

Even after linking to Thomas Sowell's October 11, 2007 review of Stuart Taylor's and KC Johnson's Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case, a review which included Sowell's own mild self-correction, I see where Real Clear Politics -- a daily must -- is linking to a John Feinstein piece in the Washington Post today. Surely RCP can come up with a sports writer untainted by the facile template of the left-simpleton-American. This from the book:
On March 30, John Feinstein, Duke alumnus, bestselling author, and nationally prominent sportswriter, urged the administration to cancel the lacrosse season immediately and revoke the scholarships of every lacrosse player who would not speak with authorities. He imagined himself in the role of the Duke president, lecturing the players: “We know you had this party. We know it got out of hand. None of you is man enough to come forward and say what happened. You were witnesses to a crime. We’re shutting down the program and you’re all gone. (page 119)

After their innocence was proven and all charges dropped, Feinstein
...asserted that he saw nothing wrong with his prior comment that Evans, Seligmann, and Finnerty were “probably guilty of everything but rape.” He offered no evidence to corroborate his charge. (page 404)

Bestselling, nationally prominent, notional Feinstein refuses to see, but I don't. I find plenty wrong with his comments, making me distrust all of his writing.

So should RCP.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Guess Who?

She turns every dance into the polka. And it is that amazing thing, a grim polka.

That's the line of the day. It goes with this:

She has been accused of doubletalk and she has denied it. And she is right. It was triple talk, quadruple talk, Olympic level nonresponsiveness. And it was, even for her, rather heavy and smug. Her husband would have had the sense to look embarrassed as he bobbed and weaved. It was part of his charm. But he was light on his feet. She turns every dance into the polka. And it is that amazing thing, a grim polka.

Peggy Noonan, WSJ today

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Rosemary's Nephew

This from Leon Wieseltier in the new New Republic. Yeah, yeah, I know we're expected to ignore this lying rag for a while (can you say Scott Thomas Beauchamp?), but this Clooney bit is too good to pass up (images added by Contento):

"Speaking of smirking, I was watching "Charlie Rose" the other night and there was George Clooney. His fun-loving face has a certain vitiating effect upon his moments of solemnity. Even when it is not winking, it is winking. There he was peddling one of the great hoaxes of American life: the celebrity as moral leader. He reported on a recent mission to China, which he made to reverse Chinese support for the genocidal tyrant in Khartoum. "I took Don Cheadle and a couple of Olympic athletes. ... Our argument was to sit there and say, 'We need you, the world needs you.'" That ought to work. And if Beijing remains unmoved, it may be time to send in Bernie Mac. Clooney, Brad Pitt (who remarked last spring that sitting in a room with Angelina Jolie and Marianne Pearl is "like sitting down with Roosevelt and Churchill--only much better-looking"), Matt Damon, Cheadle and others have started an organization to help "stop and prevent mass atrocities," called Not On Our Watch. Their watch? They are mere movie stars. Just as philanthropy should not be regarded as sufficient for social policy, celebrity should not be regarded as sufficient for foreign policy. The attention that Clooney can focus on Darfur is certainly useful, though I suspect that it passes quickly, since fandom is not a form of political action. Clooney is plainly an intelligent person, even if he may not be, as one human rights activist described him, "smarter than any politician I've dealt with on this issue," which is anyway faint praise; and it is nice to see Danny Ocean giving back. But I must insist that one of the many wonderful things about Cary Grant was that he never believed he could get Mussolini out of Abyssinia."