July 02, 2004


The Sydney Morning Herald’s Paul McGeough observes Saddam:

He was clean-shaven - the fugitive's beard of December had been sculpted back to his customary moustache.

Hmm. McGeough must have been looking at somebody else.

UPDATE. McGeough implies that he witnessed events inside the court ("Just to see Saddam in the dock was a stark new image ..."). But according to The Guardian:

CNN and the Arabic TV station al-Jazeera were the only two TV stations to be allowed into the court room, while only one print journalist - the New York Times' chief foreign correspondent John Burns - was given access.


The good news is that Saddam Hussein is gonna face the death penalty.
The bad news is that David Beckham is gonna take it.


Saddam guilty as hell: Iraqis

Posted by Tim Blair at July 2, 2004 04:11 PM

Somebody please call supercuts :)

Posted by: david at July 2, 2004 at 04:14 PM

He's trying to pass himself off as Phil Cleary.

Posted by: ilibcc at July 2, 2004 at 04:36 PM


(sorry, it's just that he always reminds me of the Soup Nazi)

Posted by: Richard at July 2, 2004 at 04:37 PM

Queer Eye for the Dictator Guy.

Posted by: Reckers at July 2, 2004 at 05:18 PM

"then he would disappear for years at a time; and when he did appear in public there was always an element of doubt that it really was him because he often had a people of Iraq - they tried to drop oil prices and they tried to make $10-prostitutes of Iraqi women. They were dogs!"

Is it just me or does this sentence make no sense at all?

Posted by: Rob at July 2, 2004 at 05:22 PM

Maybe he saw Saddam's first cousin, shown here , otherwise known as "Chemical Ali".

They really are the spitting image of each other (sans the beard) now that Saddam's the been on his prison diet--not surprising considering they are cousins.

Still, this journo has always been an idiot--so his mistake is not surprisingly either.

Posted by: stan at July 2, 2004 at 05:38 PM

Damm. The link didn't work. Oh well, here is chemical ali's latest pic

or catch the whole gang here:

(Sorry about those links but I can't stop and figure out what I was doing wrong--in a hurry sorry)

Posted by: stan at July 2, 2004 at 05:44 PM

Do all these newpaper people make things up as they go along?

Posted by: JohnJo at July 2, 2004 at 06:55 PM

God, why don't they just call him the tall, handsome, vibrant and unjustly persecuted hero of the Middle East?

Posted by: Sortelli at July 2, 2004 at 07:37 PM

"Saddam's muscular thighs rippled as his white hot manhood entered Paul's..."

Posted by: Aaron at July 2, 2004 at 07:51 PM

Comical Ali: There are no Americans in Baghdad.
Saddam Hussein: I am still the president of Iraq.
Paul McGeough: Saddam was clean shaven.

Is it a shibboleth?

Posted by: 2dogs at July 2, 2004 at 08:30 PM

This is amhfwlunchmeat@hotmail.comazing. Never mind asking how Paul McGeogh managed to get it so wrong - how the hell did this get past the editors? The pictures of Saddam in court have been going around the world for nearly 24 hours now, and they all show him with a pretty goddamn obvious one-inch beard. The freaking photo which accompanies the freaking article shows a very obvious freaking beard. I mean, what the hell, people?

Incidentally, isn't Chemical Ali dead? I mean, obviously not, but I remember stories about him being dead, and I don't remember any stories about him being not really dead.

Posted by: Jorge at July 2, 2004 at 08:42 PM

Err, whoops - not sure how that email address got interpolated into the word "amazing" there. Excuse that.

Posted by: Jorge at July 2, 2004 at 08:44 PM

I think we have a case of cognitive dissonance going on here. McGeough and a load of others in the Western media cannot comprehend the scene before their eyes. Where's the quagmire? Where's the carnage? Where's Al Qaeda? Where's my mommy?

It's all going to plan. GWB's plan, that is. This is just a disaster for McGeough and friends, who are retreating into Gallawanoic Fiskophrenia as they create a pretend world where Saddam is something more than a seriously-out-of-touch ex-dictator with a firing squad between himself and his long term future.

Can you imagine them in their Baghdad hotel rooms, nervously pondering the question,

"My God, what if...what if...what if we were all wro...Naaaahhhhhh!. Couldn't be. Could this be a CIA plot? I'm just posin' the question is all."

And just because I've got nowhere better to bitch about it...

I was in a bookstore today reading the acknowledgements in the front of Clive Hamilton's august tome, Growth Fetish. In it, he thanks Noam Chomsky for his help with the book. Just in case anybody was swallowing the 'teensy-eensy-just-so-slightly-left-of-centre-tag' that Hamilton ascribes to himself.

Sorry, OT I know, but sometimes my righteous conservative angst overfloweth.

Posted by: Al Bundy at July 2, 2004 at 09:27 PM

The USA is at the Baghdad airport: the USA is not at the Baghdad airport.

Saddam has a beard: he is clean shaven.

Such is a day in the life of reporter Paul McGeough.

Herald! Herald! Get your alternative realities here! On sale now, in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Posted by: Gnu Hunter at July 2, 2004 at 09:48 PM

As a professional managing editor, I can only say that an error of that magnitude, due to sheer bloody incompetence, would be a sacking offence, if he worked (and I use the term loosely) for me.

Posted by: BruceT at July 2, 2004 at 10:53 PM

That's odd. The online version Tim links to has the "clean-shaven" account, but my dead-tree copy of the SMH states:

"There were bags under his eyes but the scraggly beard of seven months ago had been sculpted into a trim beard and the customary Saddam moustache"

Which is just as well, as there is a big picture of the bearded Saddam right next to his column on the front page.

Posted by: James at July 2, 2004 at 11:26 PM

It was a plastic beard.

Posted by: Some Seppo at July 2, 2004 at 11:38 PM

this is only slightly OT - still can be filed under the rubrique of Alternate Media reality:
The Henny is carying an Guardian piece on Blogging by some complete moron answering to the name Paul Carr:


The bias is , even for the Guardian, insanley over the top.

Posted by: Johan Wehtje at July 3, 2004 at 12:10 AM

I think he was referred to Saddam's arse, which he was planning to kiss.

Posted by: Andrew at July 3, 2004 at 12:30 AM

McGeough has often been accused of writing stories from the safety of his Baghdad hotel bar.
What further proof do you need?

Yo Andrew.....that gave me a coughing fit.
Extremely witty.

Posted by: John Dee at July 3, 2004 at 01:27 AM


You've stepped in something unpleasant there. More examples of the scats this degenerate drops can be found here. Don't forget to check the other pages on the London News Review.

Looks like Fairfax is having to dig really deep to find dirt on Murdoch now.

Posted by: Al Bundy at July 3, 2004 at 01:39 AM

Must've got him mixed up with that doll

Posted by: SarahW at July 3, 2004 at 01:57 AM

Phil Cleary? The filthiest player in the whole VFA?

Posted by: Zev Sero at July 5, 2004 at 12:04 PM