"Obama Wins Troops' Cheers" in Iraq; Bush's Dramatic Visit Greeted Petulantly

Plus Mocking Conservative Governor's "Extreme" Frugality During a Recession
"Obama Wins Troops' Cheers" in Iraq; Bush's Dramatic Visit Greeted Petulantly

"In Unexpected Visit to Iraq, Obama Wins Troops' Cheers - Military personnel at Camp Victory in Baghdad applauded President Obama on Tuesday when he said 'It is time for us to transition to the Iraqis.'" - Front-page photo caption over an enormous photo of Obama meeting troops on his first trip to Iraq as president, April 8, 2009 (emphasis in original).


"President Bush with American troops yesterday at the mess hall at Baghdad International Airport." - Front-page photo caption to medium-sized photo of Bush's dramatic, secret Thanksgiving visit to Baghdad, November 28, 2003.

"President Bush posed for a photograph yesterday during his surprise visit to American troops at the airport in Baghdad, Iraq. Few journalists were told of the trip or allowed to cover it." - Photo caption to a jump-page photo of Bush's Thanksgiving visit, November 28, 2003.

Times Can't Decide if Ward "Little Eichmanns" Churchill Is Patriotic

"Is [Ward] Churchill, as his supporters contend, a torchbearer for the right to hold unpopular political views? Or is he unpatriotic or - as his harshest critics contend - an outright collaborator with the nation's enemies at a time of war?" - From Kirk Johnson and Katharine Seelye's April 3 story on the conclusion of former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, who compared 9-11 victims to Nazis in an essay written the day after the attacks.

Mocking a Governor's "Extreme" Personal Frugality...During a Recession?
"For a millionaire, Gov.Mark Sanfordhas a reputation for frugality that borders on the extreme. Former employees say he has been known to require his staff to use both sides of a Post-it note. When Mr. Sanford was a congressman, he slept on a futon in his office and returned his housing allowance. And when, after he moved into the Governor's Mansion here, tax collectors declared his family's home on Sullivan's Island a secondary residence subject to a higher tax rate, he appealed and won." - The lead to Shaila Dewan's front-page profile April 4 of conservative South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who has refused some federal stimulus money.

Some Bush Bashing That Really Is Slimy

"After producing superlatives like the world's biggest statue of a jackrabbit and the nation's most unpopular modern-day president, Texas can now boast what may be its most bizarre and undoubtedly its slimiest topper yet: the world's largest known colony of clonal amoebas." - Carol Kaesuk Yoon, in a March 24 Science section story.

Oakland Cop Killer Was a Victim, Too
"The police and witnesses have painted a savage picture of Mr. Mixon as a man who stood over his victims, fatally shooting two officers on a street in midday before fleeing into an apartment building, where two SWAT team members died and another officer was injured. Others have portrayed him as a man failed by an overloaded and flawed California penal system where thousands of former inmates flout the parole law and thousands of others skate by in programs where each agent regularly handles dozens of parolees." - March 25 story by Jesse McKinley and Solomon Moore on Lovelle Mixon, who shot and killed four Oakland police officers after a traffic stop.

Shining Path's Maoist, Violent, Drug-Running "Capitalism"?
"The Shining Path Maoists now embrace capitalism in the form of an illicit business." - Text box to a March 18 story by Simon Romero on the Shining Path, the Maoist group that has terrorized Peru for decades, and has now turned to cocaine to raise money.

Thank Goodness: No Sentimental Patriotism at World Trade Center Site
"That there is a debate at all suggests how much has changed since the first years after 9/11, when no official pronouncement was complete without an assurance that the attacks, the victims, the rescuers and the survivors would never be forgotten; and when any use of patriotic motifs seemed to be beyond public reproach, no matter how cynical or sentimental." - David Dunlap on the building rising at the World Trade Center, which may no longer be called Freedom Tower, March 28.

Easily Frightened Times Columnist Worries About Right-Wing Armed Revolt
"They're apocalyptic. They feel isolated, angry, betrayed and besieged. And some of their 'leaders' seem to be trying to mold them into militias....For some, their disaffection has hardened into something more dark and dangerous. They're talking about a revolution." - Columnist Charles Blow on right-wingers, including Chuck Norris and Glenn Beck, April 4.

Free-Market Radical From Czech Republic "Embarrasses" EU
"The European Union's crisis of leadership during the economic downturn was thrown into sharp relief on Wednesday, as the current president of the 27-nation bloc labeled President Obama's emergency stimulus package 'a way to hell' that will 'undermine the stability of the global financial market.'....The comments were greeted with embarrassment by many Europeans who believe that the Czech leader does not represent a European consensus. " - Steven Erlanger and Stephen Castle in a March 26 dispatch from Paris on comments made by Czech Republic Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, current president of the European Union.

Gee Whiz, It's Only a Movie
"If you thought Abu Ghraib was a laugh riot then you might love 'Observe and Report'....Like the pettiest of dictators, [main character] Ronnie preys on the weak in the service of power (in this case the mall itself). He's the Lynndie England of this dumber-and-dumbest yukfest." - Movie critic Manohla Dargis in an April 10 review of the edgy new comedy.

Suddenly, Protesting a President on Campus Just "High-Pitched Indignation"
"But for all the high-pitched indignation, the talk among students and faculty on this gothic campus of towering oaks and sculpted saints seems to reveal a strikingly upbeat mood about Mr. Obama's visit....Threatened protests of the president's visit by some conservative groups on campus have left liberal students like Max Young cringing over what they say is the portrayal of Notre Dame as insulated and narrow-minded." - Dirk Johnson's April 6 story on pro-lifers protesting Barack Obama's forthcoming commencement address at the University of Notre Dame.

Alessandra Speaks, and the World Goes "Huh?"
"In the 1930s Franklin D. Roosevelt was considered a traitor to his class, and in the 1960s so was Mick Jagger. The lead characters in two new police dramas that begin this week are upper-class kids who defy their upbringing to become cops. That downward mobility has little to do with solving crimes, but it does suggest that these days, it is fashionable for the rich to be self-loathing." - From reporter Alessandra Stanley's April 8 review of two new cop shows.