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Tony & Tacky
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September 23, 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. Simon Wiesenthal died this week and Dan has some thoughts prompted by the way that Wiesenthal went about his work. Dan?

DAN HENNINGER: Well, I would like to give a tony to Wiesenthal for something specific and that was for his high standards of evidence and this relates to such standards in our time when largely because of the media, so many people get convicted in the court of public opinion. Now, there was a sense in which nobody was guiltier than the Nazis, but Wiesenthal refused to denounce former U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim because he thought there wasn't sufficient hard evidence. Now compare that to what's going on now when people such as those accused by Elliott Spitzer or many of these celebrities in criminal court cases get into a situation where we have essentially flipped the sacred standard. Now people are guilty until proven innocent and I think Simon Wiesenthal's legacy shows us that that is a mistake.

PAUL GIGOT: Great Dan, thanks. Here's a picture you cannot see often enough. What could have ended so badly, ended so beautifully. Rob has a bunch of tonys I think, don't you Rob?

ROB POLLOCK: Well, it's a tony obviously to the crew and it sure was nice this week of all weeks to see a human drama unfold where everyone performed competently and also had a happy ending. I think the crew did a lot of things right here. One of the things they did right is Jet Blue has TVs in the back of the seats and so the passengers were actually watching what was happening on their plane unfold and they were allowed to watch that. I think that was a good thing because I think the more information the people had the calmer they stayed. Also obviously the pilot has to get big kudos here because he brought the plane down safely and apparently perfectly and then afterward joked that he was sorry for having missed the center of the runway by six inches.

PAUL GIGOT: The right stuff all around. Thanks Rob. Finally, Steve Moore wonders whether former President Clinton realizes the consequences of what he's been saying about his personal tax bill. Steve?

STEVE MOORE: Bill Clinton has been going around the country, surprise surprise, saying that Americans should pay higher taxes because of Katrina. He wants shared sacrifice and he says people like him should pay higher taxes. Now some Republicans in the House want to pass a bill called the Bill Clinton Tax Increase. It would be a tax increase that would only apply to Bill Clinton, the rest of us would have low taxes.

Now here's the fun part of the story though; is that Bill Clinton back in the 1980s took a $2.00 dollar write-off on his taxes for donating underwear to the Salvation Army. This doesn't sound like a guy to me who wants less taxes.

PAUL GIGOT: You can always write a check Mr. President. Thanks Steve.

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.