Political Animal

HSDB….I tend not to mock

HSDB….I tend not to mock other bloggers on this site ? and virtually never fellow liberals, I might add, just as an out-of-the-blue aside to all my lefty friends ? but sometimes playground humor seems the only reasonable response to someone who has gone off the deep end. That “someone,” of course, is Steven Den Beste, who seems to live in a fictional but internally consistent universe of his own making here in sunny Southern California.

Today’s contribution to Den Bestian mockery is to rescue from the oblivion of Matt Yglesias’s comment section this example of Haiku Steven Den Beste, an alternative to the popular but more prosaic Shorter Steven Den Beste:

Master strategist
Plots his next move carefully:
I will eat the French

This is courtesy of Randy Paul, who runs Beautiful Horizons, a blog dedicated primarily to Latin America, an area of the world not getting a lot of attention at the moment.

Next up: Steven Den Beste in sonnet form.


DIVIDEND TAX CUTS: JUST ANOTHER WAY WE CAN ALL HELP LITTLE JESSICA….Reader Shelley Cole draws my attention to this headline in the Chicago Tribune today:

New tax-cut argument: It’s for the soldiers
Bush’s tax cuts have been under fire by critics who assert the nation cannot afford to give up revenue at the same time it engages in a war whose duration and costs are unknown. But White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said the cuts are needed specifically “so that when our men and women in the military return home, they’ll have jobs to come home to.”

The Tribune reports that Democrats have “scoffed” at this, as well they should. Sounds to me like Ari’s boss is getting desperate.


WAR REPORTING GONE BAD….The Los Angeles Times printed a front page correction today admitting that one of its photographers had altered a photo that appeared in the paper on Monday. The photographer, Brian Walski, apparently liked the martial look of the soldier in the top picture, but preferred the pleading expression of the man with the child in the middle picture, so he Photoshopped the two together to make the bottom picture, which is the one that appeared in the Times. The giveaway, apparently, was the small, dark face just to the left of the soldier’s knee in the composite picture, which also appears just to the right of the soldier’s knee.

When asked about it, Walski fessed up and the Times fired him. They are to be commended for being so forthright about admitting this, but it just goes to show that having an editor might not be all it’s cracked up to be. Aaron Brown, take note.

Picture 1

Picture 2

Composite Picture

CUTE LITTLE GIRLS….Virginia Postrel ?

CUTE LITTLE GIRLS….Virginia Postrel ? now with permalinks! ? doesn’t like the way the news channels are treating Jessica Lynch:

Reporters on Fox News Channel and MSNBC are displaying an exceedingly annoying habit of referring to Pfc. Jessica Lynch as just “Jessica” in news stories, the better to tug the viewers’ paternal/maternal heartstrings. But Jessica Lynch is not the little girl who fell down the well. She is a U.S. soldier serving in harm’s way. If you’re old enough to be a POW, you’re old enough to be referred to as “Private Lynch.” Even if you’re female.

This has been a pet peeve of mine for a long time in an entirely different area: tennis. Despite tennis’ status as the ur-feminist sport (remember Billy Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs in 1973?), TV announcers routinely refer to the men as Sampras, Agassi, Hewitt, etc., while the women are Lindsey, Serena, Venus, and Anna.

No, this doesn’t happen all the time, and yes, certain players (mostly ones with hard-to-pronounce first names) seem to be exceptions, but it happens often enough. If it were just the Williams sisters that suffered from this, you could almost understand. After all, they’re so damn good that they play each other all the time, and you can hardly call a Serena vs. Venus match by referring to both of them as Williams. But you can sure do it when one of them is playing Jennifer Capriati.

Tennis announcing on TV isn’t one of the most pressing problems of the feminist cause, but it’s a place to start. And “Private Lynch” would be a good next step.