Surrender Dorothy!

cover.jpg Did you ever go to the homepage of the New York Post? Quite an experience. It makes your pop-up blocker pop like an old-fashioned bucket of grease-boiled corn kernels. I went today—for the first time ever!—because I had to grab the front page. It’s one of the greats.

You probably know that the New York Post, founded by Alexander Hamilton and now owned by Rupert Murdoch, has become a cross between Fox News and the National Inquirer. Today’s bottom-of-the-page banner?: “Water on Mars.” (Yeah, sure–right next to Elvis!) The Post frequently runs “keeper” front page headlines, like the one 20 years ago about the first words of a man with a transplanted baboon heart after his surgery–“Heart Man: Gimme Me a Beer!” By comparison, The Daily News (“Ford to New York: Go to Hell,” circa 1975) is kind of sedate.

“Heart Man:Gimme Me a Beer!” That made me laugh.

But today’s headline and accompanying photo montage with the faces of James Baker III and Lee Hamilton almost stretched me out in gut-laughter at the news store on Bloomfield Avenue where I get my Chock Full-of-Nuts every morning. Again, with the baboons! They look like flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz at a 60th anniversary reunion.

You can’t beat the brio that The Post brings to the Yah-hoo news perspective. “Sound the reteat!,” it mocks. “Panel kisses up to Iran and Syria.” And I admire the paper’s willingness to pillory its darlings, folks like Jim Baker, when the bottle spins in their direction.

And you gotta love Jim Baker, too. C’mon! Sure, he was a henchman for George H.W. Bush–the handler who had such thoughtful insights on why Bush pere had to write-off New York. But I’ll give almost anyone a second chance. As for Baker–he’s become much more than a henchman to young W, and I’ve warmed up to him in the process. Baker is frequently compared to Winston Wolfe, Harvey Keitel’s character in Pulp Fiction who’s called in to get John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson cleaned up after a messy faux pas. How cool is that? He’s tough, but fair, and clean by virtue of complete detachment. Travolta and Jackson know enough to do just what he tells them to do.

Well, here’s hoping that Baker has actually done some good heading up the Iraq Study Group, and that some good comes of it. He may be their monkey-boy, but he’s giving that ever-more-isolated monkey in the White House some serious adult marching orders.

Meanwhiile, over at The New York Times: “In 142 stark pages, the Iraq Study Group report makes an impassioned plea for bipartisan consensus on the most divisive foreign policy issue of this generation. Without President Bush, that cannot happen.”

Oh, that’s right. Sure, New York Times. Blame everything on Bush. Borrrr-ring!

2 Responses to “Surrender Dorothy!”

  1. kenju Says:

    My next door neighbor was Jim Baker’s college roomie.

  2. mrschili Says:

    Monkeys in general seem to be a theme for you. Hmmmm…that may be part of your appeal to me….

    I’ve been catching my news lately in snippets on NPR on my way to and fro in the car (I have no radio reception in the house. Go figure). As best I can tell from the fragmented collage I’ve been able to assemble in my head, there are some tough, loud, well-informed, and insistent voices saying that we’re in serious trouble right now, and headed for even worse if we keep this shit up. Is my impression of recent events more or less correct?

    IF that’s the case, then I’m heartily relieved. I feel as though it’s been a long time since we’ve heard dissenting voices speaking up loudly enough to be heard, if not by the administration, then at least by the general populous. I’m not sure I have a whole lot of faith in Dubya to be as smart as Travolta and Jackson, but one can always hope…

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