And now the most absorbing two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
Bill Blasting Bush
Former President Bill Clinton is now blasting President Bush for "overreacting" to German and French opposition to the war in Iraq, saying it's symptomatic of a flawed approach to international affairs since Sept. 11. The Agence France-Presse quotes Clinton as telling a New York audience, "Our paradigm now seems to be: Something terrible happened to us on Sept. 11 and that gives us the right to interpret all future events in a way that everybody else in the world must agree with us ... and if they don't, they can go straight to hell."
Costs of War
The Federation of Wine Exporters has called a meeting tomorrow in Paris to discuss how to handle what it now admits is an ailing market because of anti-French feelings in the United States. "Francophobia" -- as The Washington Post calls it -- has cost both French wine merchants in America and France hundreds of thousands of dollars. Meanwhile, France has recently toned down its anti-war stance a bit and French President Jaques Chirac phoned President Bush yesterday for what was described as a "businesslike" discussion.
The Baptist Press news service, which sparked a liberal outcry last week by quoting Education Secretary Rod Paige as saying he prefers schools that have "a strong appreciation for the values of the Christian community," has now fired the reporter who wrote the initial story. The news service says the story "contained factual and contextual errors." What the initial story, and the stories that followed, did not show was that Paige was specifically asked whether Christian, public or private schools offer the best deal, and his actual answer was, "That's a judgment, too. That would vary because each of them have real strong points and some of them have vulnerabilities. But you know, all things being equal, I would prefer to have a child in a school where there's a strong appreciation for values, the kind of values that I think are associated with the Christian communities." Meanwhile, church-state separation groups continue to criticize Paige.
HBO is being applauded by The Cuban American National Foundation for yanking an Oliver Stone documentary on Cuban dictator Fidel Castro from next month's schedule. The U.S. Newswire says the documentary, titled Comandante, was a showcase for Castro, the world's longest reigning tyrant, and provided no context or dissenting views. In recent weeks Castro has arrested nearly 80 people opposing his government, some of them receiving nearly 27-year prison sentences.