Enemy of the Week

Trash Talk

Getting rid of our problems.

8.1.03

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It doesn't get any uglier, not when the man the New York Times famously characterized as the only adult in the current administration starts dissing like a Snoop Dog. "He's a piece of trash waiting to be collected," Secretary of Status Colin Powell rapped apropos the currently homeless, stateless and bodyguardless Saddam Hussein. It's the kind of statement that resonates in New York City, where trash collection is a sacred daily ritual subject to strict political scrutiny and environmental controls. The concern in NYC and the DNC alike is that under President Bush, Mr. Saddam will be collected by non-union sanitation engineers and disposed of without the requisite permits and environmental impact studies. And you can forget about recycling.

Not since the great people's democracies of the late Soviet bloc have we seen such a regime as the one recently installed at the marxy N.Y. Times. Its headline about a new ombudsman position said it all: "Times to Name 'Public Editor' to Be Readers' Representative." Such a happy day it'll be for your busy newspaper reader when knows he is being represented at the paper by someone he didn't even have to vote for. Elections are messy and unreliable, as we saw with G.W. Bush in the year 2000. Better that the people's representative be named by the vanguard of the people, which at the Times means the two-man politburo of publisher Punk Sulzberger and new editor Bill Keller.

Incidentally, Keller lists his religion as "Collapsed Catholic." Not to be too Coulterish, but for the record we should note that Joe Stalin was himself a Collapsed Seminarian. Rather ominously, Commissar Keller announced his intention also to appoint new editors "to monitor internal compliance with the paper's standards." In case you've purged it from your mind, "internal compliance" was first enforced by Bolshevik ombudsman Feliks Dzherzhinsky.

In another nice nostalgic touch, there's little chance that Jayson Blair, the man who sparked the recent storming of Times Square's winter palace, will be rehabilitated anytime soon or airbrushed back into the paper's picture. That's because "health reasons" are being cited as the reason for his current unavailability.

Most encouraging is the naming (i.e., via universal popular acclaim) of Jill Abramson as co-managing editor. Unlike the ousted Gerald Boyd, Abramson doesn't appear to be secure enough to work alone, a trait she notoriously displayed when teaming up with Jill Mayer to vilify Clarence Thomas in a book entitled "Strange Justice." After the book was re-reported in the January 1995 American Spectator, Ms. Abramson co-wrote in response that "The American Spectator has no intention of printing our rebuttal." That was a Big Lie, and she knew it, though we didn't know whether she was responsible for the "big" or the "lie" in that combination.

Before riding off into the sunset somewhere in the vicinity of Crawford, Texas, President Bush gave the pressies what they wanted, a news conference, whereupon they denounced him for holding it and saying many awful things. As President Lincoln once said, you can't please some of the people any of the time. President Bush's greatest sin? When he said, "We're all sinners." Some (in the New York Times, where else?) thought the remark homophobic. Others (in the N.Y. Times, where else?) thought it "objectionable" for "attempt[ing] to impose that belief on the rest of us." In other words, who made Bush God?

Faster than you could say recall, Larry Flynt announced he might run to succeed California's incumbent hustler governor. For all we know Larry is the people's choice, representing as well as anyone an industry and an art form that an approving New York Times last Sunday declared had gone mainstream in every discernible way. He may face not be home free, though, now that Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a Democrat with Playboy Mansion ties, has hinted she herself might run.

Sen. John Edwards' effort to curry favor with conservatives proved short-lived when he promptly ponied up $11,000 to cover a property tax delinquency exposed by the Washington Times. He's not home free, either.

Elsewhere, Democrats are finding it impossible to stay at home at all. Down New Mexico way, eleven Texas state senators have asked for asylum, which was immediately granted them by Gov. Bill Richardson, a former jobs counselor to Ms. Monica Lewinsky. The Texas Eleven fled to Albuquerque rather than risk defeat at the hands of Republican redistricters in Austin. Their cowardice makes them runaway Enemies of the Week, though if their pioneering spirit catches on they could come to be regarded as heroes. Imagine what the U.S. would be like if all elected Democrats headed for the hills and never came back.

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