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Tony and Tacky
February 4, 2005

Good taste or bad is revealed in everything we are, do, have. Emily Post


protesters Failing Grade
Hamilton College caused a national debate when it invited a guest speaker who suggests that people in the World Trade Centers on 9/11 were not innocent victims, but tools of capitalism. The school subsequently disinvited the speaker, Colorado University ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill. Right move, wrong reason, says Jason Riley, who gives Hamilton a tacky. "He's free to have those views, of course, and to express them," says Riley. "But Hamilton is under no obligation to give him a forum. That's the reason that the speech should have been cancelled. Instead Hamilton College said that the speech had to be cancelled for security reasons. I think that's an example of moral cowardice and a copout."

CEO Crime Festival scales of justice
Bernie Ebbers, Richard Scrushy and Dennis Kozlowski are all going on trial and "the great CEO crime festival is about to begin in courtrooms all over America," says Daniel Henninger. Tonies and tackies, he suggests, will likely be handed out on a sliding scale. Corporate evildoers can get a rough shake in the media which presumes them guilty until proven innocent, says Henninger. "I say thank heavens for defense lawyers and the American court system because everyone, no matter how big or small, gets a day in court," he says. "Juries in these cases have tended to take their jobs very seriously. At the end of the process, I think we are going to find some of these guys proven guilty and possibly one or two of them acquitted. This says that, bad as our legal system is, it still has a lot of toniness left in it."

State of the Union embrace Sacrifice Hits Home
Rhetoric aside for a moment, Peggy Noonan gives a tony to a "beautiful human moment" in the president's State of the Union address when the mother of Marine Sergeant Byron Norwood embraced Safia Taleb al-Suhail, an Iraqi woman who had voted on the previous Sunday. "When that American mother being applauded bent down and embraced the Iraqi woman, who had lost her father to Saddam, it just said so much more than any number of words could about courage and sacrifice and class and being about as tony as you can be in life."