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August 19, 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. Meet Gifford Miller, a New York City councilman who wants to be mayor. Mr. Miller stumbled badly this week when he was asked whether he would be sending his young children to New York City public schools. Jason, tony or tacky?

JASON RILEY: Well, what struck me about this was the underlying hypocrisy of this entire exchange. And essentially what Miller was defending was his right as a parent to send his child to the best school possible.

PAUL GIGOT: His children?

JASON RILEY: His children, that's right. Yet he defends policies that only allow people of his income level and privilege to exercise such a right. There are millions of parents all over the country whose kids are in bad schools and they'd love to send them to somewhere else and it would not be difficult to come up with a system of doing this using the money we already spend on education, to give parents vouchers to use. But Miller defends policies that only allow people of -- and Miller, who attended boarding schools and Princeton -- only defends policies, education policies, that only allow parents like him to have this choice. And I found that a little strange, so I'd give this a tacky.

PAUL GIGOT: Even if he wins the Democratic nomination, he's not going to beat Mayor Mike Bloomberg, I don't think, Jason.


PAUL GIGOT: Thanks. The decision to remove Jewish settlers from the West Bank -- in hopes of making progress toward peace with the Palestinians -- produced wrenching scenes this week as Israeli soldiers were forced to act against their brothers. Bret?

BRET STEPHENS: Well, this is a tony for mainly 19-year-old Israeli soldiers who have been called upon to remove Jewish settlers, sometimes almost forcibly. And you know, for the last five years the Israeli army has been treated like Murder Inc. by most of the media. I lived in Israel for three of those years. I saw that the Army was in fact a model of restraint in the face of fire. But here they were called upon to perform probably the hardest task that any army can perform, and they did so with a great deal of dignity and patience, and they deserve Israel's respect and they deserve ours.

PAUL GIGOT: Okay, thanks, Bret. And finally, Phil Mickelson thrived again with the support of his New York area fans, winning the PGA championship. Then he did something not many professional athletes do. Dan?

DAN HENNINGER: Well, what he did was, he walked over and started signing 261 autographs for the folks there in New Jersey. You know, I recall years ago seeing Willy Nelson do the same thing after a concert in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he walked down into a concrete corridor and signed autographs till there was no one there. Now Phil Mickelson is not an old timer. He's a professional athlete. He makes a lot of money from endorsements. But you knew something had snapped in professional sports when these guys started sitting down at tables and charging people for their autographs. I mean, a lot of the pro athletes had turned themselves into products themselves, or commodities. And I think that's why a lot of them act like jerks. And Phil Mickelson was saying something simple. Hey guys, give the folks your autograph and thank them for showing up. Something pretty simple, and pretty admirable.

PAUL GIGOT: Thanks, Dan. 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.