New York Times Yanks Cartoon, but Cartoonist Won't Apologize

And now the most absorbing two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine.

His latest cartoon was too much even for the New York Times, which yanked it from its Web site, but political cartoonist Ted Rall says he's not apologizing. In a strip titled Terror Widows, Rall depicted World Trade Center widows as money conscious and publicity hungry. In one panel, an apparent reference to the Danny Pearl murder, a widow says, "Of course it's a bummer that they slashed my husband's throat, but the worst was having to watch the Olympics alone." Rall, whose drawings appear in more than 100 U.S. papers, said, "I've done a few lousy cartoons in my time that I'd love to take back, but this isn't one of them."

Rall, by the way, also does a weekly political column, which has appeared in such papers as the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. His most recent column speaks of America's "aggressive, clumsy, bomb-first-ask-questions-later foreign policy; our spectacularly arrogant attitude of cultural and economic expansionism." That column concludes as follows, "The key to avoiding another Sept. 11 is to understand that there won't be any more Sept. 11ths – until there are."

The Washington Post, where reporter David Vise works, has revealed an unusual step. Vise took to promote his recent book on convicted FBI spy Robert Hannsen. The Post notes that Vise got himself on radio and TV, made personal appearances and even started a Web site to advertise the book titled The Bureau and the Mole.  But the Post says Vise also bought between 16,000 and 18,000 copies of the book from online bookseller, thousands of which he has since returned. Vise says he planned to autograph and resell the books over the Internet, but the Post says some are suspicious he was trying to boost the book onto bestseller lists.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle has said the U.S. war on terror will have failed unless Usama bin Laden is killed or captured. But a new poll suggests that the public does not agree. Forty-six percent of those surveyed by Rasmussen opinion research said it is possible for the United States to win the war without catching bin Laden, 35 percent disagreed. And by a 40 to 30 percent margin, people said they thought Saddam Hussein is a more important target than bin Laden.