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September 24, 2004



PAUL GIGOT: Tony and Tacky. That's how we refer to the winners and losers, the picks and pans, the best and worst of the week in the very personal views of our regular panelists. This week Dan brings us an appropriate bit of music.


PAUL GIGOT: Dan, Cat Stevens, Tony or Tacky?

DAN HENNINGER: Well I give half a tony to the authorities for trying to keep what they thought was a suspected terrorist out of the United States. Look, Cat Stevens, I loved the guy, this is my personal copy of "Tea for the Tillerman," the 1970s classic, we all remember it. But, the fact of the matter is we no longer live it the world of "Tea for the Tillerman," that sweet melancholy world of the 1970s. Times have changed.

Cat converted to Islam in 1977, he's been associated with Islamic charities identified by the 9/11 Commission as a source for terrorist funding. Somehow he ended up on this list and the authorities found out 15 minutes after he had taken off that he was on the plane. The mistake is they should see those things before people get onto the planes. All of this could have been resolved there at the gate rather than making the plane fly to Bangor, Maine. Now certainly I hope we can get back to the world of "Tea for the Tillerman" some day, but weren't not there yet. And until we are I'm glad the authorities are trying to check those planes flying to the United States.

PAUL GIGOT: Interesting, Dan. I still can't believe you have those LPs in that collection, that's something. Dorothy picked this piece of tape this week. It's Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, at the United Nations attacking the United States and getting a very warm reception. Dorothy, Tony or Tacky?

DOROTHY RABINOWITZ: A very tacky moment at the U.N. What does one have to do to get a warm reception at the U.N.? This is the same U.N. that treated George Bush in a rather cold way when he arrived this week. But here's Robert Mugabe, a president of a nation once thriving, which he managed in a few short years to turn into a desperate and impoverished and needy one. A place where the ambulances are drawn by oxen -- that's a fact -- and where the favorite joke among poor Zimbabweans is "What did we used to have before we had candles? It was electricity." He has visited mayhem on the democratic process, he has attacked and violated his political opponents. But what does this matter to the United Nations, where if you wish to get a warm ovation, you need only assault western imperialism, Tony Blair and George W. Bush. And you're ready to get a rousing welcome, which is exactly what Mugabe got.

PAUL GIGOT: And soon maybe he will be on the Human Rights Commission, the U.N. Human Rights Commission.

PAUL GIGOT: Thanks, Dorothy. And finally Susan Lee brings us this quote. It's from Paris Hilton, who, when told this week that her book was number five on THE WALL STREET JOURNAL Best Seller List, said, "What's THE WALL STREET JOURNAL? Is that good?" Susan, tony or tacky?

SUSAN LEE: Well, I think it's actually a tony, because if you fight the impulse to think of Paris Hilton as a ditzy blond and realize instead that she's a marketing genius, who is marketing herself as a ditzy blond, you will know that she had no other response. If she had said, "Oh, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, I read it every day," she would have totally blown her cover. So I'm going to give her a tony because she showed the self restraint necessary to preserve her own franchise.

PAUL GIGOT: Paris Hilton, secret reader of the stock table.