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Torch Relay Runaround

Thursday, Apr. 10, 2008 4:06 AM

Because ads for pharmaceuticals must include various disclaimers, one of the standard techniques is to have the information delivered by an actor in a doctor's jacket.

Unfortunately, a recent ad for Plavix has said 'doctor' advising his patient, "Be sure to tell me if you're planning surgery." (Said 'doctor' also sounds like he's reading the label on the bottle instead of engaging a patient in consultation.)

Um, hello? Doctor? You don't know if I require surgery?

"If someone is about to launch a weapon that would devastate America, or have the capability to do so, obviously, you would have to act immediately in defense of this nation's national security interests," Senator John McCain told an audience at a campaign stop yesterday.

It might also be helpful if you can correctly identify these purported enemies and their alliances before repeatedly getting it wrong.

Meanwhile, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was asking her audience 'what does the endgame look like?' - thus establishing the conditions under which we might safely begin troop withdrawals from Iraq - perhaps the focus needs to be on 'what is the mission?' ... and on the people responsible for putting us in this lose-lose situation in the first place.

This is while President Bush continues to play a shell game with our troops - promising withdrawals, then deciding to 'pause' those withdrawals and instead offering a reduction of three months to a tour-of-duty. The administration has promised time off and reductions before, but then reversed itself and called troops back to the front lines.

And, sorry, I'm not buying Bush's tears during the Medal of Honor ceremony for Navy SEAL Michael Monsoor any more than I buy Saint Hillary's Conversion.

If I were a parent and I'd taken my child to San Francisco to see the Olympic Torch Relay, I'd be rather angry that officials moved the relay clear across town - from a route along the Embarcadero to a route along Van Ness Avenue and past Crissy Field.

Apart from feeding the 'protest (even non-violent protest) is to be feared and avoided' meme, it's political appeasement of the worst sort - avoiding the controversy of China's human rights record by playing hide-and-seek with a symbol of global unity.

The other day, the New York Times reported that CBS was in talks with CNN to 'outsource' their reporting staff, relying on CNN's international feeds and field crews to provide content.

Today, it's the Wall Street Journal suggesting CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric may bail on her five-year contract, perhaps as early as next year.

The program has been in third place since Couric's arrival and despite continued praise of her merits by CBS CEO Les Moonves.

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