And now the most scintillating two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
Americans Didn't 'Really Mind?'
BBC defense correspondent Andrew Gilligan, who from Baghdad in April concluded that it was probably Iraqi, not American, fire that killed two journalists and injured three others in the Palestine hotel (search), now says the whole incident was "pretty overplayed" by Western media. But regardless who fired the shots, he tells London's Guardian , "I don't think the Americans really minded that journalists were attacked because they didn't want us there in the first place."
Yearning for a 'Vicious Tyrant?'
Nearly two months after one Columbia University professor caused a firestorm for saying he hoped the United States would lose the war in Iraq and wished "for a million Mogadishus," another Columbia professor is now blasting the United States for single-handedly making things worse in Iraq than they were under Saddam Hussein (search). Writing for the CounterPunch online newsletter, professor Edward Said says that even though Saddam was a "vicious tyrant," he provided "the best infrastructure of services like water, electricity, health and education of any Arab country."
Money for a Meeting
An independent investigation has found that in mid-2000, then-South Korean President Kim Dae-jung (search) secretly paid North Korean Communist leader Kim Jong Il (search) $100 million to hold a meeting in North Korea and to pledge an end to 50 years of bitterness. Thing is, the meeting and the pledge were instrumental in getting Kim Dae-jung the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000. And, according to The Australian Newspaper , Kim Dae-jung earlier this year acknowledged his government had approved money transactions to North Korea in spite of some "legal problems."
Teresa Heinz, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, has offered some advice to cartoonists who satirize her husband. Heinz, quoted in The Pittsburgh City Paper , told a crowd of more than 150 cartoonists that Kerry "should not be confused with Punxsutawney Phil" and she urged them to "resist the impulse to use Heinz products" in their cartoons. Instead, she said, concentrate on Kerry's "noble chin, focused gaze and smile. In other words, draw him like this." And then, on a large screen, Heinz flashed a photo of President John F. Kennedy.