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Tony and Tacky
September 30, 2005

scene from after Katrina Hysteria, Hype, Unhelpful
Remember those horrific reports of rape and murder at the New Orleans Convention Center after Hurricane Katrina, to say nothing of predictions of 10,000 dead? Wrong and tackies all around, says Daniel Henninger. "Big tackies to everybody who made New Orleans under Katrina sound like the second coming of Sodom and Gomorrah. This week we had reports in both the TIMES-PICAYUNE newspaper of New Orleans and the LOS ANGELES TIMES, making it clear that a lot of the accounts of rape and anarchy were exaggerated or unsubstantiated. I think, by and large, it was the media, both print and T.V., that spewed this raw rumor into the world. It made me kind of long for the days of Walter Cronkite and David Brinkley, who saw themselves as a source of stability and calm during a national crisis. I think what too much of the T.V. newspeople did these days, or in this particular instance, was act as ringmasters and ringmistresses to what seemed to be a Roman circus."

Hurricane Politics Gov. Kathleen Blanco
The governor of Louisiana was in Washington this week, testifying about jobs. Remarkably, she got a pass on answering any questions about her contribution to the hurricane disaster in her state. "When critics attacked Governor Blanco for being dysfunctional in her response to Hurricane Katrina, she said she couldn't wait to get to Washington to answer those charges," says John Fund. "When she got to the Senate committee this week, it turned out that she asked the senators, 'Please don't ask me any questions about Katrina. I'm here to talk about job creation.' Amazingly, the senators gave her a pass. Now her appearance was one day after the ABC drama, COMMANDER IN CHIEF -- the first T.V. series about a woman president premiered to very good ratings. I just think this juxtaposition of a governor avoiding accountability with the rise of women in politics is unfortunate. When you have a double standard like that, it doesn't do the worthy goal of full participation of women in politics any good."

Anna Nicole Smith USSC and the Widow XXX
And finally, enter former Playboy model and stripper, Anna Nicole Smith, who will soon present her case to the Supreme Court. "A tony for the Supreme Court, for reminding everyone that even justices deserve to have some fun," says Kim Strassel. "This is an amusing case, straight out of daytime soap opera. Anna Nicole Smith, one-time stripper, Playmate of the Month, marries a Texas oil tycoon in 1993. She is 26, he is 89. He dies the next year, and ever since then there has been a huge dispute with his son and her over a portion of his $1.6 billion estate. Now, as it happens, the Court actually will decide a very dry, legal issue about whether or not bankruptcy judges can decide probate issues. But I still think they get huge credit for not shying away from taking on such a tawdry case, as a way to decide this. And proving, yet again, that justice in America is blind."