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October 29, 2004


PAUL GIGOT:  Winners and losers, picks and pans.  We call it Tony and tacky -- our choices for the best and worst of the week. 

From Susan Lee this week these pictures of American executives bowing deeply in apology to the Japanese.  Susan?  Tony or tacky?

SUSAN LEE:  Well, this is a tony to the CEO of the world's largest bank Citigroup who was involved in a scandal in Japan.  What Charles Prince did is he flew to Tokyo and he did the traditional Japanese apology, you saw that, he bowed. 

Now this is in enormous contrast to what happens in the United States when we have a CEO who is involved in a scandal.  The first thing that person does is they lawyer up.  The second thing that happens is we see them in front of Congress pleading the fifth.  Then we see them in front of the court saying how innocent they are because they're all depending on these lawyers to let them wiggle out of their responsibility and any blame.

So I think it would be a really good idea if we imported to the U.S. the Japanese system of expressing regret with a deep bow and I think it would be even better if lawyers joined in.

PAUL GIGOT:  Susan, we just don't have the same sense of shame in this country that he Japanese do and that's probably a shame itself.

SUSAN LEE:   Yeah.

PAUL GIGOT:  Thank you.  For James Taranto we have create this little graphic representation of an event at the University of North Carolina this week.  James, what's the story and it is Tony or tacky?

JAMES TARANTO:  Paul, this is a tacky from the wonderful world of higher education.  At the University of North Carolina the young republicans and young democrats in the spirit of bipartisanship got together and decided to sponsor a pair of debates.  One on foreign policy, one on domestic policy pegged to the presidential campaign. 

They had no trouble getting somebody to represent the democratic side, but on the foreign policy debate they couldn't find anyone at UNC to represent the republican side.  They managed to find a professor at Duke. 

For the domestic policy debate they couldn't find anyone so they ended up having an economics professor argue both sides and debate himself.  The lesson here is if you don't like living in a divided country all you have to do is get yourself appointed to the university faculty somewhere and you will be able to experience the joys of living in a one party state.

PAUL GIGOT:  What amazes me is that they found one conservative at Duke.  Thank you James.

And finally Dan Henninger.  Dan looks at pictures like this of Americans starting to vote in this year's election and he's prompted to award a tony.  Dan?

DAN HENNINGER:  Indeed, a tony to the American electorate for enduring the never ending story of the 2004 presidential election which in fact I believe began in January of 2003 when they were called way back when when we had all these democrats running for president.  Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton and Carol Moseley Braun.

Well we got past that and then we got to this part of it and the American people have had to endure tons of punditry, they have listened to polls, they have answered polls.  They've allowed campaign workers to knock on their doors.  They have watched zillions of TV commercials in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania.

After all that a tony for the American electorate to go into those voting booths and make up their minds to cast one beautiful vote.

PAUL GIGOT:  Dan, thank you for that bit of optimism after this long and sometimes very mean election I think we can all use it.

That's it for this edition of the Journal Editorial Report.  Thank you from all of us.  We hope you'll join us again next time.