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February 25, 2005

Transcript

TONY AND TACKY

PAUL GIGOT: Winners and losers, picks and pans. We call it Tony & Tacky, our choices for the best and the worst of the week. In England this week, the world's most famous bride-and-groom-to-be gave new meaning to the concept of star-crossed lovers -- with a little help from the extended family. Bret, tony or tacky?

BRET STEPHENS: Paul, it's so tacky. Look, I take no sides in the quarrel between the partisans of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana. And I take no sides on the legal question of whether the defender of the Anglican faith should be married in a civil ceremony. And I take no sides about whether Camilla is a long-suffering lover or an interloper and an adulteress. And I take no sides whether Queen Elizabeth should attend the ceremony or not. I don't even take sides on the most important subject, buffet or sit down.

However, I do think that if there's a point for Britain to have this class-based, class-obsessed society, it's so that the people at the top of that society can show some class. And so far they haven't. They get a big tacky.

PAUL GIGOT: All right. Thanks, Bret. In the latest In the latest skirmish between Wal-Mart and those who oppose its expansion, Wal-Mart lost. It happened in Queens, a borough of New York City which has no Wal-Marts. Melanie?

MELANIE KIRKPATRICK: This is emphatically a tacky too, Paul, which I award to the unions and to the union-backed politicians here in New York City who strong-armed the real estate developer into saying "no" to Wal-Mart. It was an entirely rational decision, but as a New Yorker, I think it's a real shame. There are many good reasons to live in this wonderful city, but discount shopping is not one of them. And I bother nobody in my appreciation of Tiffany's, but you know, if you're going to go buy clothes for the kids or stock up on the kitchen, you don't want to shop on Fifth Avenue.

But the people who live in Queens are mostly middle class and working class people, very heavily immigrant. And they're going to miss out on Wal-Mart's cheap prices, the convenience, and, dare I say, even a good job.

PAUL GIGOT: And one more reason that New York City is not like the rest of America. Thanks, Melanie.

A sad milestone in the 9/11 story this week: forensic scientists said they could do no more to identify the remains of the victims. The work has stopped. Dan?

DAN HENNINGER: Well, a really magnificent tony to these forensic scientists who have been working since September, 2001 to make positive identifications of these victims. Why is this important? Why wouldn't it have been better just to say, let's move on, let it go. I think there's an answer to that.

The attack on that building on September 11, 2001, was intended as an act of total destruction -- of the building, of the people in it, and of an American symbol. And the decision was quickly made, within a day of that, that we will say, "no." Starting with these forensic scientists, they would not allow that attack to obliterate us. We would not simply let them turn us into dust floating in the air. Those scientists, using very sophisticated DNA techniques, have been trying with excruciating effort ever since to match DNA to the families of the victims. And in that time, they've identified about 1500 of them. And so we've come to the point where their act of spiritual and human restoration has come to an end. And for that, I think we can just say, "Thanks a lot."

PAUL GIGOT: We sure can. Thanks, Dan. That's it for this edition of THE JOURNAL EDITORIAL REPORT. Thank you from all of us. Next week we plan to devote our entire program to Social Security, including a report from Chile, where they're trying the kind of plan that President Bush has proposed. We hope you'll join us then.