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Tony and Tacky
November 26, 2004

Good taste or bad is revealed in everything we are, do, have. Emily Post


President Bush with Chilean president Chilly Hospitality
President Bush experienced a less than warm reception in South America, earning his hosts a tacky from Dorothy Rabinowitz. First the president had to rescue his lead secret service agent from a shoving match with the Chilean police, says Rabinowitz. "Then, the president of Chile decided to disinvite all the guests at the dinner because they would have to enter a metal detector. One of the offended guests said, 'We are not going to go through any gringo security.'" Gringo? Such a racially-tinged term would never fly in D.C., says Rabinowitz, who explains that the president of Chile had hoped to make a statement against American unilateralism with this unsubtle snub. "A large, juicy tacky for the president of Chile. Bon appetit."

A Ray of Hope Ray Gilmartin
Susan Lee gives Merck CEO Ray Gilmartin a tony for his recent testimony defending his handling of Vioxx, the drug that was pulled from the market after it caused heart attacks. Lee commends Gilmartin on two aspects of his testimonry. "First of all, no lawyers, no PR. He just sat there at the table by himself. Second, he did not try to shift the blame and he did not pretend that he wasn't in on the decision or the process. I'm going to give a big tony to Ray Gilmartin for showing that some CEOs can actually be decent and straightforward."

Pacer altercation Well-deserved Rap
There are several excellent reasons to award Indiana Pacer Ron Artest a tacky. While the country shook its head watching Artest lead the fight with fans after the Pacers-Pistons game, Daniel Henninger faults him for his view of how much work should be expected of him. A week before the fight Artest told his team that he wanted to take a month off from playing because he was tired from promoting his new rap album, says Henninger. When his coach jumped down his throat, his reply was, "Gee, I guess they expect me to play every game." Says Henninger, "That's sort of like the Enron executive saying, 'Gee, I guess they expected us to disclose all those off-the-book investments to shareholders.' As to Ron Artest, he's now got the year off, without pay."