Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Feb. 27: McCain shows grace in apology

*Not hard for McCain to say "I'm sorry"

Sen. John McCain gained plenty of respect yesterday by apologizing for a slur at Sen. Barack Obama by radio talk show host Bill Cunningham, who disparagingly used Obama's middle name, Hussein. Cunningham, showing his real stripes, is now jumping off the McCain bandwagon.

McCain stated his intentions to show respect to his fellow senators running for the Democratic nomination by using their title, Senator - which is as it should be by politicians and the news media. I'm sick of all the informality.

Note to Cunningham: Hussein was also the name of a king who showed grace and courage in the last years of his life by making peace with Israel. The way you use it slurs not only Obama, but also all Muslims. Go wash out your brain with soap, Mr. Cunningham.

*About a fashion statement

Newsday has a good commentary about the photo of Obama in Somali wear:,0,7325011.story

Can't say much about it from a strictly fashion point of view, but it should be pointed out that a number of former presidents (including Bill Clinton) and world leaders (including the late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir) have been dressed in tribal wear and have even undergone special ceremonies. Except for those who promote hate and division, there's no "there" there for criticism.

*William F. Buckley dies at 82

Whether one agreed with him or not, William F. Buckley, who died today at age 82, was a genuine intellectual.

The Bill Cunninghams and Ann Coulters of the world might take a lesson from Mr. Buckley on how to make a case for conservatism with class.

*Bravo to Philharmonic

As the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin once said, you can't make peace with your friends. When you make peace with enemies, you have to start somewhere. So bravo to the New York Philharmonic for taking a step and going to North Korea to perform. The program included Antonin Dvorak's "Symphony From the New World" and George Gershwin's "An American in Paris." They also rehearsed with North Korean musicians:

Bouquets to all.

*Frank Deford, living legend

Here's a link to a Roy Peter Clark column at the Poynter Web site about Frank Deford, a terrific sportswriter (and National Public Radio commentator):

Deford forever won my respect years ago, when he wrote so movingly about his daughter Alex' struggle with cystic fibrosis.

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