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Tony & Tacky
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July 8, 2005



PAUL GIGOT: Winners and losers, picks and pans. Tony or Tacky -- our way of calling attention to the best and the worst of the week. Watch LeBron James, one of the best players in the NBA. He was drafted right out of high school, at age 19. Now the NBA says: no more. Steve?

STEPHEN MOORE: My tacky this week goes to David Stern, the head of the NBA, commissioner, who basically along with the Players Union has basically decided that high school kids have to be one year out of high school before they can go in the NBA. This is an age barrier. It's age discrimination. Why shouldn't a superstar athlete like a LeBron James or a Kevin Garnett play, if they are world caliber, play in the NBA at the age of 17 or 18?

The other thing that's going on here is this is a barrier to entry that's being created by the older, established NBA players to keep the young players out. I think it's a travesty to keep a young black or foreign kid out of the NBA. If they have the talent they should play.

PAUL GIGOT: Yeah, but it is a private entity, the NBA. So they can set their own rules, can't they?

STEPHEN MOORE: Well, I think age discrimination is something that we should be against.

PAUL GIGOT: Okay, Steve, thanks. Kim Strassel wants us to take note of an act of kindness by Steve Jobs, the head of Apple, maker of the enormously popular I-POD, which has become a target of thieves and, sadly, even killers. Kim?

KIM STRASSEL: Yeah, this is a tony to Mr. Jobs, who not just for his humanity but also for reminding business leaders that they have an important role to play in society. The background here is a 15-year-old boy, Christopher Rose, was murdered last week for his I-POD by a gang of thugs, and as his father prepared to bury him Mr. Jobs called and offered his condolences, and offered to help. And it really touched this man, who was very grateful.

What's so special about this is it seems, in days when all we do is watch CEOs on trial for fraud, this was a sort of great reminder that there was a day when CEOs were considered role models. And they themselves felt that along with their power and their money came an obligation to their communities and to their customers that went beyond selling products. It's harder to do these days, and global companies, millions of customers. But Mr. Jobs showed that you still can.

PAUL GIGOT: Terrific point, Kim, thanks. And finally, there's France's president, Jacques Chirac, who may have learned that loose lips can cost you. In this case, cost Paris the role of hosting the Olympics in 2012. Dan?

DAN HENNINGER: This is really getting to be something. You know, as Jay Leno might say, "Jack Chirac was back in the news this week." This guy's getting to be almost as reliable as Michael Jackson. So what did he do? He's sitting around at the G8 meeting with his buddies Vladimir Putin and Gerhard Schroeder, and let go that you can't trust the people like England because their food is so bad. And then, as a footnote, he goes, well, actually, it's not the worst in Europe. Finland has the worst food in Europe.

So what happened? London got the Olympics, just beating out France. A little footnote to that decision: there were two Finnish members on the International Olympic Committee. The vote was 54 to 50. If they had voted for France, it would have been a tie. Hmm, I wonder what happened there? So we look forward to Jack's next visit to the news, but we'll have to leave him with a big, fat tony and no Olympics.

STEPHEN MOORE: Isn't he our first two-time winner?

PAUL GIGOT: I think three or four time winner, Steve, 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.