Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
The Journal Editorial Report
Front Page
Lead Story
Briefing & Opinion
Tony & Tacky
TV Schedule
For Teachers
About the Series

April 22, 2005



PAUL GIGOT: Winners and losers, picks and pans. Tony or Tacky, our way of calling attention to the best and worst of the week. We begin with John Fund, who wants us to take note that the state of Washington seems to be taking over from Florida as the best source of political humor. John?

JOHN FUND: Paul, you wouldn't think that six months after an election in Washington State for governor that's decided by 129 votes there would still be breaking news. But there is. This month, three King County election officials discovered new ballots, 111 of them. This is astonishing. Do you realize, King County is now being called Kiev County in Washington, after the Ukrainian elections. If King County had been running the Papal election in Rome, we'd be seeing smoke signals in different colors all the time, we'd be discovering new ballots 10 times, and we still wouldn't know who was Pope. The bottom line on this is, King County and Washington State are demonstrating that our election systems are so sloppy that you don't even know where the incompetence ends and where the fraud can begin. We need to clean up, not only in Washington State but around the country.

PAUL GIGOT: We sure do. Thanks, John. Bret Stephens has an award, sort of, for the champion cyclist Lance Armstrong, who has announced that he will retire after he tries for a record seventh win at the Tour de France. Bret?

BRET STEPHENS: Well, a probationary tony for Lance Armstrong. You know, we have a history of sports heroes retiring and then unretiring -- and one thinks immediately of Michael Jordan's career with the Washington Wizards. It's never a very edifying spectacle. And here you have Lance Armstrong, that rare champion who's decided to leave at the top of his game. He'll go for one last Tour de France, and then he says he's going home to Texas to take care of his kids.

Now, Lance Armstrong conquered cancer, he conquered the Pyrenees, and he conquered the Alps. If Lance Armstrong can conquer the challenge of just being an ordinary guy, he'll get my enduring tony.

PAUL GIGOT: All right, thanks, Bret. Finally, the vote on John Bolton's nomination to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations has been delayed, as one Republican Senator suffered a sudden attack of conscience. Or so he said. Dan, tony or tacky?

DAN HENNINGER: How about a wacky tacky to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Let's run through this. John Bolton has been nominated to be Ambassador to the United Nations. The United Nations is embroiled in an Oil for Food scandal because of poor oversight. Its peace keepers in the Congo have been accused of sexual crimes because of poor oversight. Kofi Annan's friends have told him to either shape up or someone's going to ship him out. So we have a hearing about this.

Have you heard about any of these issues, about reforming the United Nations? No, instead, what we've heard is that John Bolton is incapable of using a finger bowl or wearing a tux or bowing and kissing ladies' hands. And he's being sent up there to try to help reform a place that's being run like the Star Wars bar.

So, we now decide that the Senate is going to delay its hearings for three weeks so that Senator Voinovich can go off and commune with his conscience over John Bolton. You know, people sometimes call Congress a fudge factory. This nomination shows why.

PAUL GIGOT: If bad manners are disqualifying for government service, half the Senate's going to have to resign, Dan. Thanks.

That's it for this edition of THE JOURNAL EDITORIAL REPORT. Thank you from all of us. We'll be back next week, and we hope you'll join us then.