The Spectacle Blog

Time to Burn the Egyptian Embassy?

By on 2.8.06 | 6:59PM

Cairo-based blogger "The Sandmonkey":

Freedom For Egyptians reminded me why the cartoons looked so familiar to me: they were actually printed in the Egyptian Newspaper Al Fagr back in October 2005. I repeat, October 2005, during Ramadan, for all the egyptian muslim population to see, and not a single squeak of outrage was present. Al Fagr isn't a small newspaper either: it has respectable circulation in Egypt, since it's helmed by known Journalist Adel Hamoudah. Looking around in my house I found the copy of the newspaper, so I decided to scan it and present to all of you to see.
Be sure to read his comments about how Arab leaders have used the Inkifada to draw attention away from more important issues.
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CAIRing for Cartoons?

By on 2.8.06 | 1:42PM

Ibrahim Hooper -- spokesman for the Council of American Muslim Relations -- may have made a big blooper on the Laura Ingraham show today.

Hooper's blooper was in agreeing with me that there should be no law to prevent publication of cartoons such as those of Mohammed that have stirred Muslims in Europe to protest and in SW Asia to riots and death. How much trouble will he be in with the radical Muslims who insist that freedom of the press doesn't go as far as that, and shouldn't. Hooper tried to make amends by insisting that the Iranian paper about to publish its "Holocaust" cartoon contest wasn't following government orders. He said he didn't know enough about the Iranian press to know if it was free or not. He's the only person I have spoken to who has that doubt.

Meanwhile, it's good to know Condi Rice reads John Batchelor. She came out today blaming Iran and Syria for the cartoon intifada riots.

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Re: King of Lear

By on 2.8.06 | 1:35PM

I agree with Paul. We should have some sort of award for Wlady for coining the phrase.

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Re: King of Leer

By on 2.8.06 | 12:56PM

Wlady: I'm almost glad now that Clinton spoke (almost), just for the opportunity of hearing you use the term "unscotchable hankering."

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Football, Shouted

By on 2.8.06 | 12:09PM

Kornheiser is headed to Monday Night Football. Yes, yes, it's hard to argue with success, it's good work if you can get it. I'm sure Kornheiser will boost MNF, attracting those who like a constantly high level of shouting about sports. Kornheiser The Brand is great for radio, a short sound-bite show on ESPN (PTI), and even a corner on page 2 of the Post sports section. But let's hope that the bar-argument style of sports broadcasting is the exception rather than the rule.

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King of Leer

By on 2.8.06 | 11:48AM

Never fear, James. Bill Clinton stole the show, his nodding Hillary doll smirking with approval at his every word. Most incredible was the following passage, which not only doubled as a plug for his wife's candidacy but reminded everyone of his unscotchable hankering for women of all ages:

We're here to honor a person.

Fifty-four years ago, her about-to-be husband said that he was looking for a woman with character, intelligence, personality and beauty, and she sure fit the bill.


And I have to say, when she was over 75, I thought she still fit the bill pretty good....

(Check his Oscar-worthy performance among the videos that accompany this Washington Post story.)

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Carter, For The Record

By on 2.8.06 | 10:30AM

Transcript courtesy of USA Today:

Years later in Oslo I said, The Nobel Prize profoundly magnified the inspiring global influence of Martin Luther King Jr., the greatest leader that my native state, and perhaps my native country, has ever produced.


And I was including George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and the others.


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On the Air

By on 2.8.06 | 8:13AM

I'm on again this morning for Laura Ingraham. Tune in. We'll be talking to Laura in Baghdad, to Sen. John Kyl on the NSA surveillance program and about the Corretta Scott King funeral. Heavy news day. See ya on the radio.

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Journalism Under Fire

By on 2.8.06 | 8:11AM

The Washington Post today commends Middle Eastern newspapers for "bravely" republishing the offending Muhammad cartoons, yet chides European newspaper for doing the same in journalistic solidarity. (The Post still hasn't published the cartoons for its readers, as a letter writer points out -- fortunately, there's the Internet.) The Post's reasoning is a bit silly: the freedom of the press isn't threatened in Europe, so newspapers should restrict themselves. Further, the Danish prime minister should have met with Muslim ambassadors to defuse the controversy, when he has no control over these free newspapers. In other words, by the Post's understanding of freedom of the press, freedom isn't free.

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Langley the Anti-24

By on 2.7.06 | 11:55PM

Report from most trusted intelligence source re the sudden removal, exit, hatcheting of veteran CIA officer Robert Grenier, chief of Clandestine Services the last year.

This is evidence of profound turmoil at a wounded enterprise. Grenier is said to be an accomplished secret war fighter, working in Pakistan in the early part of the war after 9-11, later working in the Iraq Issues Group. There is mention of poor relationship with superiors; there is mention of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center now rudderless, demoted, dejected.

Langley now qualifies as the Anti-24.

DCI Porter Goss is either cleaning house of institutional memory or is recruiting from an unknown deep bench that is not obvious. Morale, never strong since 9-11, since Tennant's unexplained departure, since the WMD story got lost in an Agency drawer, has now matched the ratings for the put-on-hiatus Commander-in-Chief.

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