Let's just get it over with, shall we? Prime Suspect: The Last Witness was the very rarest sort of television, the kind that makes a critic feel justified in spending the bulk of her working life welded to an armchair, toting a remote control.What would have really made my day is if the reviewer had managed to get her last name right; that's Nicholls, with two l's. In any event, it airs in this country next April.
Week after week there is still far more good stuff on television than you might imagine but, obviously, there is a great deal less that is truly great - just as well, really, because spouting a geyser of hot praise does not become a critic. I can, for example, rustle you up at least four virtually unqualified 'brilliant's in relation to Prime Suspect (for the acting, directing, writing, photography) but where's the fun in that? Like the family silver, the usual adjectival suspects tarnish very quickly, even if you only need to get them out once or twice a year.
And perhaps finest of all was Phoebe Nichols [sic] as a chillingly callous and superior spook. She had a very classy speech (in which she told Tennison to back off from her investigation of a suspected Bosnian war criminal because he was under the protection of the British Government) the delivery of which made her subsequent comeuppance even more emotionally satisying.
November 28, 2003
It's about time she got some props!! From the London Guardian review: :
November 27, 2003
The real story, of course, is that Bush had to fly in secretly, under cover of darkness. Woodrow Wilson did not need to sneak into France in 1919 to negotiate the Treaty of Versailles. Harry Truman did not fly to Potsdam, Germany in 1945 with the lights of his plane turned off. LBJ made a state visit to South Vietnam in 1967, at a time when no one in his administration was proclaiming, "Mission Accomplished" in that war. It was a nice gesture, but the President should never be giving the appearance of running scared.
November 26, 2003
It's a Wonderful Life: His NBA career may be over, but at least Alonzo Mourning can derive comfort from the fact that he touched a lot of people. A day after he announced his retirement due to a malfunctioning kidney, over thirty people have already offered to donate theirs to the former Georgetown and Miami Heat great. HAPPY THANKSGIVING !!
November 25, 2003
This is one example where the headline ("AARP Support for Medicare Bill Came as Group Grew 'Younger'") has nothing whatsoever to do with the story. Although one might think from the headline that the Times is delving into some demographic shift within the geezer lobby to explain its shock decision last week to endorse the Medicare bill, the story itself is a rather entertaining look at how the AARP is basically an insurance business, with its huckster president (and former ad exec), William Novelli, constantly on the make. Novelli, it seems, has quite a history of selling out ordinary people; Novelli's infamous "Harry and Louise" ads quite successfully attacked the Clinton healthcare plan less than a decade ago, and his work on behalf of an entity called "Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids" may have consisted of little more than aggressively sucking up to cigarette companies.
Columnist Richard Cohen now feels justifiably betrayed by the pre-war mendacity of the Bush Administration:
If patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, as Samuel Johnson said, then it is the first refuge of politicians. That at least is the case with the Republican National Committee -- and by implication the White House -- which has started running a television commercial defending George Bush's handling of the Iraq war, saying the president's various Democratic opponents are attacking him 'for attacking the terrorists.' Not really. It's for doing such a bad job of it.It's too bad impeachment only covers marital infidelity by the President, or it might come in handy right about now.
More to the point, none of the reasons the administration gave for attacking Iraq -- and none of the reasons cited in the congressional resolution authorizing the war -- have proved to be true. As of yet, the United States has found no connection between Hussein and al Qaeda and no evidence that Iraq had an extensive WMD program, particularly one that was about to go nuclear.
Mistakes can be rectified, although the consequences of this one are hard to exaggerate. But an abuse of constitutional power is a different matter, and it is this we must all begin considering. It is possible -- actually, more than possible -- that a clique of defense intellectuals either snookered the president into going to war or did so with his full cooperation. If this was done, then it represents a grave and reprehensible breach of faith with the American people. We cannot now pull out of Iraq. But we can and we must determine how we got there.
And about the only way to find out what really happened is through the political process. This is especially the case because the Senate has gone from being the world's greatest deliberative body to the world's greatest rubber stamp. Naturally and predictably, the White House would like to avoid any accounting whatever and is likely to respond to criticism with demagogic appeals to patriotism. I hope it doesn't work. I love my country and I love the truth and I always thought the best thing about being an American is that you don't have to choose.[emphasis mine]