The Breakfast Table

Slow News Is Good News


Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating noninterference in Iraq. And yes, I saw the A4 story in the Times about Hussein alienating his friends as well as his enemies. So now we’re reminded that not only is he a murderer, but he’s rude too. Nevertheless I do think we can question the efficacy of the sanctions. We can also imagine some sanctions being lifted without Iraqi planes being allowed to fly freely.

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying skimming the papers for tidbits on this relatively slow news day. One, from my favorite Chicago newspaper writer Zay Smith, speaks to your explosive story of the Stalin admirer gone berserk. Smith writes a column, “Quick Takes,” in the Chicago Sun-Times for which he culls items from that day’s newspapers and wire services and tops them off with his own one-liners. Today, Smith quotes Tikhon Khrennikov, a cultural commissar for the Soviet Union for 43 years, on his relationship with Stalin. Khrennikov says, “He had an amazing effect on people.” To which Smith adds, “Didn’t he though?”

Closer to home, and in the spirit of all those year’s end lists and ruminations, I propose a Linda Tripp Award for the friends of Aaron Tyron James who turned in the escaped convict for money. From the Nation/World briefs of the Sun-Times: ” ‘The bottom line is they snitched him out for the [$5,000] reward,’ Capt. Michael Tyler of the state Correction Department said. ‘He was out there boozing it up with some old friends. After they got through with the party, somebody said, “Hey guys, he’s worth a lot of money.” ’ “

Yours drifting slowly through Murdoch-land, Maud