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February 18, 2005



PAUL GIGOT: Winners and losers, picks and pans... we call it Tony & Tacky, our choices for the best and the worst of the week.

It became final this week; we will not be able to watch professional hockey players brawl with each other or take our minds off the absence of pro football and the frequent boredom of pro basketball. Dan, tony or tacky?

DAN HENNINGER: Pretty tacky, you've got to admit. You know actually I'm going to miss the end of the hockey season because the Stanley Cup Finals are the only thing I watch throughout the hockey season because it's so much more better hockey than the really tired thug-fest that occurs through most of the season. And you know it's ultimately about money. Money has pushed out the games and the competition and the professional athletes are by and large responsible for this.

The other thing that's going on right now is Major League Baseball, spring training has begun. Are we talking about baseball? No, we're talking about steroids and Jose Conseco's supposed revelation. I mean gosh, we're shocked to learn that these guys who look like the Incredible Hulk and second basemen who can hit 40 home runs didn't do it just by doing a lot of pushups? The problem is that the athletes have turned the fans into cynics and so when something like this hockey season comes people go so what? I've got other things to do with my time and money.

PAUL GIGOT: We got a great letter this week from a mother who said I'm watching a lot of great hockey. It's youth hockey. Kid's hockey. They love the game. They play it for the love of the game. It's fun to watch. Don't miss the NHL at all. Thanks Dan.

A more serious ending this week, a jury convicted attorney Lynn Stewart of conspiring to aid terrorism. She faces up to 30 years in jail. Bret how do you see this one?

BRET STEPHENS: Well, there's a saying in this country that even the worst criminal defendant deserves the best advocates. But there is not a saying that the worst criminals deserve the best accomplices. Lynn Stewart is a 65-year-old self described radical lawyer who was convicted by a New York jury for passing messages from a sheik, Sheik Abdel Rahman, in a U.S. prison to his followers in Egypt.

Now if you'll remember Sheik Rahman was the blind cleric who was behind the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center as well as the 1997 on the tourists in Luxor, Egypt in which 62 tourists were killed. Now not surprisingly a lot of groups like the National Lawyers Guild are saying this a blow to our civil liberties. But I think a tony is owed to 12 very brave jurors who understand that our civil liberties are best defended by putting terrorists and their helpers behind bars -- even when it means throwing grandma from the train.

PAUL GIGOT: Lynn Stewart, right to the end I thought she was going to get off. Thanks Bret.

And finally, if you haven't been able to see them for yourselves you have undoubtedly seen pictures of the Christo gates in New York's Central Park and you've heard about the opinions about whether they are in fact art. Dorothy has managed to find they provided an unexpected drama.

DOROTHY RABINOWITZ: Oh it's heroic stuff. Two, two and a half year old dogs break away from their owners walking in that park, head straight for a pond which is covered with thin ice and as usually these stories end up the ice breaks, the dogs go through it and there they are about to die surrounded by a wall of ice whereupon one of the monitors of the Gates takes a huge pole, the kind they use to unfurl those gates and wades deep in up to his shoulders, smashes through the ice and opens a gateway for the dogs to get out safely which they do.

Now a lot of people have argued that the Christo's Gates are nothing remotely worthy of the name of art. I'm not about to dispute this. I am here to say a tony to that marvelous monitor who ensured that at least there would be one worthwhile result of that Christo exhibit.

PAUL GIGOT: Alright Dorothy, thank you very much. That's it for this edition of THE JOURNAL EDITORIAL REPORT. Thank you from all of us. We hope you'll join us again next week.