Timing is everything - in high comedy and low

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Travesty of Justice

You gotta hand it to Krugman - he doesn't mince words. Here's how he begins this column in the NYT:

No question: John Ashcroft is the worst attorney general in history.

Yep. And yesterday we heard all about how he had got this villain who was about to blow-up a mall in Ohio. As usual we don't know what mall - it hadn't reached that stage. And as usual, we didn't capture him yesterday - he was taken in custody last November. And if this one goes true to Ashcroft form he will be set free in another few months either because he was guilty, but we bungled the case - or more likely, because he was innocent, but Ashcroft needed to trot out some poor bugger to take attention away from his own terrible failings.

And it's this last that Krugman details as a pattern in our so-called attorney general. Krugman doesn't mention the Ashcroft who drapes statues of Justice becase they display bare breasts, but he make this wonderful little comparison:

Then there is the lack of any major captures. Somewhere, the anthrax terrorist is laughing. But the Justice Department, you'll be happy to know, is trying to determine whether it can file bioterrorism charges against a Buffalo art professor whose work includes harmless bacteria in petri dishes.

It's a pattern that could bring out the conspirator theorist in the best of us - I mean, have you noticed how we imprison or kill the innocent and let the guilty go free? Yes, in Saddam's case we caught the guilty - but he wasn't the guilty party who attacked us.

But then, I come to my senses and remind myself that incompetence always trumps conspiracy when it comes to clowns like this.

Oh - and speaking about this clown, any one catch the piece of real TV on the "Daily Show" where Biden absolutely lashes Ashcroft to ribbons as he explains that we don't like torture because when we do it we put our own soldiers in jeopardy - and Biden has a son in the military? I don't no when I have ever seen senator make a more pointed statement with such emphasis - and I wonder why I had to see it for the first time on the Comedy Channel? Maybe this made the "real" news reports - I don't see everything - but over and over again I see stuff on the Daily Show that seems to escape those folks who pretend to be real journalist. (Someone please tell me this one did get into the main stream - not as some anchors summary, but as a live clip of Biden. If you saw it you wou;dn't forget it.)

Posted by Greg Stone at June 15, 2004 10:05 AM
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