September 30, 2004


Cartoon faces with big sharp teeth on American airplanes offend sensitive European types -- especially sensitive European types headed to America for lucrative book tours.

Also from the OmbudsGod: a fun look at the phenomenon that is Tina Brown. And in other media news:

• Hugh Hewitt dissects Newsweek’s Steven Levy.

• The Register-Guard of Eugene, Oregon, claims to have been misrepresented:

Sen. John Kerry's campaign is running a new series of ads that feature newspaper headlines to suggest that all is not well in President George Bush's America. One of those headlines is from The Register-Guard. It's flattering to make the big time in this fashion, but Kerry's ad makes the headline look like something other than what it was.

• Mark Steyn questions the priorities of blow-dried network poseurs covering Ayad Allawi’s US visit.

• George W. Bush’s hometown newspaper endorses John Kerry.

• Tonight’s (Australian) ABC news report on the release of two Italian hostages in Iraq began: "In a rare piece of good news from Iraq ..." In a rare piece of good news reported by the ABC, perhaps. (This is the network, you’ll recall, that within twelve hours of Baghdad’s de-Saddamisation ran with this: "Well, dawn has broken over Baghdad, welcoming day one of the new freedom, but if this is liberty, then it's far from perfect.") Rumours abound of a ransom payment:

Ali al-Roz, publisher of Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai al-Aam, told Italian public television Rai 3 said a $US1 million ($A1.4 million) ransom had been handed over.

"The sum, as we had written, was one million dollars. A well-informed source in Baghdad told us," Roz said.

The Italian government denies any payment.

• During 2004's third quarter, Fox News beat the combined forces of everybody: "According to Nielsen Media Research, Fox News averaged 1.8 million viewers, while CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and Headline News averaged a combined total of 1.7 million."

Posted by Tim Blair at September 30, 2004 02:22 AM

TB: Cartoon faces with big sharp teeth on American airplanes offend sensitive European types

This is pretty funny. I believe the tradition started with American volunteers flying in the Chinese Air Force during the Sino-Japanese war. I'm not sure if it did intimidate the enemy, but it was a quirky and fun kind of thing to have on warplanes. Back then, warplane pilots had lower life expectancies than the combat infantry.

Posted by: Zhang Fei at September 30, 2004 at 03:46 AM

That thing about Margaret Drabble swooning over the airplane teeth is a couple years old, surely. Let me serve up a choice quote: "A nation that can paint those faces on death machines must be insane."

When I first saw this I looked into the history of fierce faces painted on aircraft. As one commenter over at the Ombudsgod notes, it started with the RAF. Oh, but that was before Britain became so sophisticated and nuanced, dahling.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at September 30, 2004 at 03:46 AM

Would she be happier if they painted fluffy bunnies on them instead?

Posted by: EvilPundit at September 30, 2004 at 04:19 AM

It's amazing how well Ms. Drabble's article in the Telegraph works as an Amazon review of her most recent book.

Posted by: cary at September 30, 2004 at 04:29 AM

Drabble's dribble is one of the finest examples I've seen (so far) of a leftist kook's head exploding in print. Wow.

Expect lots more this November...

Posted by: Spiny Norman at September 30, 2004 at 04:57 AM

Drabble is a pathetic hypocrite. Her freedom and security depend solely on the willingness of tough young men - British, American, Australian, et al. - to fight and die. The kind of men who take huge risks and still think they're going to live to 104. The kind of men who face down their fears and even make a little fun of them, sometimes going so far as to paint weally, weally scary faces on their fighter aircraft before they fly their dangerous missions. The kind of men who would actually fight and die for King and Country. You know, stuff like that.

It seems to me that the esteemed Ms. Drabble is indulging herself in classical Freudian projection. Is it really America that she loathes, or simply herself? In any case, she should pursue therapy privately and leave the adults alone.

Posted by: Butch at September 30, 2004 at 05:16 AM

What will the terrorists spend that money on?
1) bullets for shooting children in the back
2) another sept 11
3) killing Iraqi police
4) kidnaping more italians

Posted by: Genius at September 30, 2004 at 06:16 AM

oh yeah
5) "promoting peace on earth"

Posted by: genius at September 30, 2004 at 06:18 AM

Fluffy bunnies on fighter planes would be awesome.

I don't care about the cable networks -- I want to see Fox News ahead of CBS.

Posted by: Steven Jens at September 30, 2004 at 10:04 AM

We should put Happy Bunny on all the planes! I Happy Bunny.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at September 30, 2004 at 01:47 PM

George W. Bush’s hometown newspaper endorses John Kerry

His real hometown, Midland Texas......doesn't.

Posted by: Wallace-Midland, Texas at September 30, 2004 at 02:34 PM

If only Fox would run a Fox News Australia channel.

Posted by: john at September 30, 2004 at 10:30 PM

Well, if I can find out if she's doing a signing here in washington, I go with a sign saying: "please loathe us from afar, then!"

Posted by: Joe at October 2, 2004 at 03:59 AM