The Spectacle Blog
The BBC sent a reviewer to the Tribeca film festival yesterday at which "United 93" debuted in the U.S. The reviewer, to the seeming surprise of the two radio anchors who set up his story, pronounced the film one of the best he had ever seen. For a habitual (if cynical) BBC listener, this was the purest sort of turnaround. From the Beeb, one expects at least a little supercilious irony, a little arch superiority. Not a speck of that in the reviewer's comments on "United 93."
Tony Snow, it was confirmed last night, will be the new White House press secretary. I've known him since he was a columnist for the Washington Times. He'll do a great job for the president and not just because he's a very skilled journalist with a good grip on what's happening around the world. Snow is a rarity in Washington: an A-level reporter who is also a very good person. Let's all wish him well in a terrifically hard job.
Larry, Were this the only bit I was behind the curve on!
You're behind the curve on this one, Shawn. That's Nina Burleigh writing, she of the offer, back in the Clinton years, to give Bubba "a b.j. myself for keeping abortion legal."
I came across a remarkable column on AlterNet today about a mother's revulsion at her five year-old boy's patriotism and her joy at his shedding of the lies his teacher told him. It's insanely long-winded, but worth checking out for a few choice bits. An electronic sample platter:
The Harlem unit of the National Guard was putting on a Christmas clothing drive for Iraqi children. On the way into the city, I tried to explain to my son what we were doing, and -- as best I could -- why. As we crossed the George Washington Bridge and the Manhattan skyline spread out below us, I began to give him a variation on the "Africans don't have any food, finish your dinner" talk. I wanted him to understand how privileged he was to live in a place where bombs don't rain from the sky. It was a talk I'd tried to have before, but not one he'd ever paid much attention to until that day, trapped in the backseat of our car.
You would think that a nation such as Russia, with a very large Islamic terrorism problem of its own, wouldn't be joining with Iran to fund the terrorist government of Hamas in the Palestinian territories. And you'd be wrong.
Putin's support for Hamas is gratuitous, but for one aspect. By joining with Iran, he's making it as clear as can humanly be that there will be no UN action against Iran. It would be nice to hear something from Foggy Bottom on this. Or even the White House. Don't hold your breath.
We're hearing a Snow announcement could be coming in the next day or so. The names aren't radically different from what other people have been saying, though there is talk that perhaps the President is going to look inside his current Cabinet for the new Treasury Secretary. Nothing like the famous switcheroo President Reagan pulled with his team, but still, a bit of a curve.
As for Tony Snow, you read between the lines and it is clear that a number of people appear to be setting up senior White House counselor Dan Bartlett as the fall guy. For example, stories this morning are reporting that Snow wants "access" to the President and a chunk of responsibility currently under Bartlett's control. If Snow for some reason chooses not to take the job (and very people have ever said "No" to the President), it will almost assuredly be spun as Bartlett's fault or the President's fault for supporting a long-time adviser over a smart hire.