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Tony & Tacky
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May 20, 2005



PAUL GIGOT: Winner and losers, picks and pans. Tony or Tacky -- our way of calling attention to the best and worst of the week. We begin in Washington, where a Senate committee investigating the Oil-for-Food program allowed itself to be abused by a left-wing British politician.

SEN. NORM COLEMAN: We will be using a timing system today, Mr. Galloway.

Galloway: Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong. And 100 thousand people have paid with their lives, 16 hundred of them American soldiers, sent to their deaths on a pack of lies. Fifteen thousand of them wounded, many of them disabled forever, on a pack of lies.

PAUL GIGOT: Jason, tony, or is it a case of multiple tackies?

JASON RILEY: This is tacky and tackier. I'm almost glad I didn't witnessed this first hand. I would have felt obligated to do something, because these senators just sat there in silence and took it. This British politician flies in to appear, ostensibly to talk about his role in this Oil-for-Food scandal, and sits there and berates our politicians, insults our troops, insults our country, insults our president. And these guys just sit there in silence. I mean, this man has been an apologist for every dictator in the Middle East from Saddam to Yasser Arafat. He complained that the Soviet Union no longer exists, which he calls the greatest catastrophe of his lifetime. And these senators, it seems to me, had some patriotic duty to respond. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.

PAUL GIGOT: The American politicians, even senators -- maybe especially senators -- aren't used to the cut thrust of political debate. They're used to giving solo speeches.

JASON RILEY: Where's Jesse Helms when you need him?

PAUL GIGOT: Thanks, Jason. This was the big front page story in the HARVARD CRIMSON and some other papers this week, as Harvard University announced it was going to spend a lot of money to get more women on the faculty. Dan, tony or tacky?

DAN HENNINGER: Well, this is going to be a tacky for Harvard -- which, I'm going to say, has, by and large, never been a truly tacky place. As we know, this is an outgrowth of the bonfire that emerged out there. Harvard's president, Larry Summers, said something untoward about women in science, and now they announce they're going to spend 50 million dollars over 10 years to essentially buy diversity. I mean, that sounds as though you're going out to outfit your living room with a bunch of stuff. And Harvard, to its credit, has never really gone in for this sort of thing. They've actually resisted the worst aspects of PC.

I know it's a very liberal place, it's very hard on conservatives, tough on conservative faculty. But by and large they've kept their standards pretty high. And now what we're looking at here is something like a kind of paint by numbers way of filling out your faculty. So it's really kind of a -- this 50 million strikes me as a very cheesy thing that Harvard's doing, and they've finally succumbed to the flakier aspects of political correctness fantasy.

PAUL GIGOT: And Larry Summers buying his way back into the good graces of the faculty. Pretty steep price, 50 million. Thanks, Dan.

And finally, Jane Fonda's first movie in a long time doesn't seem destined to last a long time in the theaters, if at all. It got very bad reviews, and worse, in one place. Kim?

KIM STRASSEL: Yeah, I'm going to give a tony to the owner of two Kentucky movie theaters who has decided that he is not going to show Jane Fonda's new film. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who would say that there should be some limit on how many years you can punish Hanoi Jane for her terrible behavior 30 years ago. But I like to think of this more as a free market issue. This man -- he trained pilots in the Viet Nam war and he decided that he does not want to be party to collecting ticket money that's going to go to a studio and ultimately benefit Jane Fonda. And in the meantime, if you really want to see this movie -- which the reviews would suggest you wouldn't -- you can go to another theater. So everyone's happy.

PAUL GIGOT: All right, Kim. 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.