December 17, 2003


"Sick of the triumphalist pap that passes for commentary on Saddam's capture in most Australian media?" writes Margo Kingston. Well, no, as it happens. But please continue:

When I saw the close ups of the tyrant I thought of his accessories, did you?

Now that you mention it, yes I did! Saddam could really have used a few accessories. Where is Queer Eye for the Murdering Bastard Guy when you need it?

Who will join him when he's tried for crimes against humanity? Which multinational companies and which western politicians?

Place your bets in comments. Bonus points for entries written entirely in French, German, or Russian. On the subject of pap and the Sydney Morning Herald, no correction yet for Alan Ramsey's Turkeygate swill, either from Ramsey or in the letters pages. They're determined to bury this. Here's Al's office email address. The Australian, however, runs several letters today setting Phillip Adams straight, the first from blogger Alan Anderson:

Phillip Adams's latest delusional rant is premised on lies. The Bush Thanksgiving visit's plastic turkey myth has been comprehensively debunked, as Adams would have discovered through minimal research.

So, coincidentally, has the "Bush stole the election" lie, with a media-funded recount finding that Bush would have won Florida anyway, even had a court decided to re-enfranchise voters who cannot understand the instruction "Make sure the chad is completely removed".

Just last weekend, Adams gloatingly quoted Bush Sr saying that capturing Hussein was "probably impossible".

Adams and reality just don't seem to get along.
Alan Anderson
Carlton, VIC

It appears that Phillip Adams, by virtue of his sense of moral superiority, feels he is not obliged to get his facts straight. The facts surrounding "turkeygate" have been widely reported by reputable international media outlets, but Mr Adams, in his role as a propagandist, sees fit to ignore these in the interest of some petty point-scoring against his bete noir.
Tim Smith
Lyneham, ACT

On December 4, The Washington Post reported that the turkey pictured with the turkey in Iraq was real.

I don't care for George W. Bush much, but I do care about accurate reporting.

Phillip Adams was wrong: GWB was not carrying a plastic turkey.
Peter Demonk
North Fitzroy, Vic

When will the SMH acknowledge Gobbler Ramsey's errors? According to the newspaper's ethics code: "Material errors in the paper and its related publications will be corrected or clarified publicly as soon as is practicable."

Ramsey's piece was published Saturday.

Posted by Tim Blair at December 17, 2003 12:49 AM

In re Margot Kingston vs. George W. Bush et al.: J'accuse les Sydney Morning Herald!

Posted by: Thomas Moore at December 17, 2003 at 01:03 AM

Queer Eye for the Murdering Bastard Guy. Tim Blair. You are a treasure.

Posted by: red at December 17, 2003 at 01:22 AM

Maybe THAT'S why Howard Dean wants to be a metrosexual, he could immediately do something with Saddam's beard, spiderhole decorating, etc. Can't you just picture it -- ""No No No Saddam, we want to go with a goatee, it thins out your face, and accentuates those high cheekbones. And really, fatigues are just not your color, what with those gourgeous baby blues..."

Posted by: Jerry at December 17, 2003 at 01:33 AM

It seems your columnists are as stupid and lazy as ours here in Canada. Perhaps we should swap. Yours could use a bracing dose of winter air and ours would have an opportunity to emerge from hibernation.

Posted by: chip at December 17, 2003 at 02:04 AM


Posted by: Felix at December 17, 2003 at 03:06 AM

What's the French for TotalFinaElf?

Posted by: Sigivald at December 17, 2003 at 03:08 AM

Plus - these fools are arguing over a damned turkey - if that's all they've got, GWB is doing allright, yes?

Posted by: Joe at December 17, 2003 at 03:26 AM

So, would that be a pap smear?

Posted by: SLO Jim at December 17, 2003 at 04:43 AM

I nominate Representative James McDermott (D-WA) as a character witness for Saddam. This is the same guy who announced before the war that Saddam was more trustworthy than President Bush.

If this guy testifies, Saddam's a goner.

Posted by: timks at December 17, 2003 at 04:57 AM

No, I didn't think of Saddam's accessories. It's just not possible to get a human-sized shredding machine into a spiderhole.

Posted by: Joanne Jacobs at December 17, 2003 at 08:34 AM

Premierement, il y a Jacques Chirac. Avant de devenire President de la Republique, il a fait des negotiations avec les irakiens pour vendre les avions et l'Ozirak.

Posted by: ausduck at December 17, 2003 at 08:48 AM

So Margoyle is worried about who should be put on trial along with Saddam.

If "multinational companies" should also be put on trial because they allegedly helped Saddam in the 1980s, then for the sake of consistency we will also have to put Margoyle on trial, since she opposed Saddam's removal this time around.

Same goes for Scott Burchill.

Posted by: Alex Robson at December 17, 2003 at 11:02 AM

Let's stick Kofi and friends in the dock while we're at it.

Posted by: Alan Anderson at December 17, 2003 at 11:18 AM

I really don't know what all the fuss is about.
Just wait for Media Watch in 2004 and see David Marr stick it to Adams and Ramsey for lack of research etc.
I can hardly wait!!!

Posted by: lawrie at December 17, 2003 at 11:25 AM

That tears it, itís me for the sangwich store to wolf another turkey hero.

Posted by: ForNow at December 17, 2003 at 02:04 PM

...Bush would have won Florida anyway, even had a court decided to re-enfranchise voters who cannot understand the instruction "Make sure the chad is completely removed".

My wee wifey was a judge of elections in Chicago, where the same ballot system is used, for 20 years. In all that time she only encountered a couple of spoiled ballots, which is what she was instructed to consider a ballot with an incompletely removed chad. We were totally mystified by reports of dimpled chads, as it takes little pressure to punch them out, until I encountered the suggestion that someone may have been trying to punch more than one at a time.

Posted by: triticale at December 17, 2003 at 03:32 PM

Hi there Chip,
If you can arrange for your medialogues to catch a boat from Indonesia, I'm sure we can arrange a long holiday for them in Nauru.
Of course reciprocity would be expected, perhaps on a south-bound iceberg?

Posted by: Paul Johnson at December 17, 2003 at 04:08 PM

triticale -

Do you mean someone stacking them up and trying to poke a hole through the vote for one guy many times? The dimpled ballots were primarily ones for Gore right? Why haven't I heard this before? I'm not going to say I believe it but it's intriguing.

Posted by: RC at December 19, 2003 at 10:32 AM