The Magazine

Dumb celebrities, Miller time, and more.

Feb 10, 2003, Vol. 8, No. 21
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With War Protests Like These . . .

All this talk of war is so . . . so . . . oppressively grown-up and serious. Therefore, we say: Thank God for America's valiant army of really dumb celebrity-intellectuals, without whom there'd be almost nothing to smile about. Take actress Janeane Garofalo, for instance. She's fronting the latest anti-anti-Saddam TV "info"-mercial sponsored by a group called Win Without War (its first was that redux "daisy ad" aired during the Super Bowl, in which viewers were clued in on the little secret that President Bush's Iraq policy will lead inevitably to a global thermonuclear conflagration).

In the latest installment, Ms. Garofalo asks viewers to consider whether the United States has a right to pick on poor old Iraq, "a country that's done nothing to us." And then Bishop Melvin G. Talbert, chief ecumenical officer of the United Methodist Church, appears with the answer: No, he says, attacking such a country "violates God's law and the teachings of Jesus Christ." (It may come as a shock to the bien-pensant European fellow travelers of the Garofalo-Talbert axis to learn that it is their side of the debate that is claiming to channel Jesus Christ, and not the cowboy president they despise.)

Here in Washington, connoisseurs of such inanity are particularly abuzz about Ms. Garofalo's January 27 interview with the Washington Post, in which she complains that her own prominence in the antiwar movement represents some kind of weird plot by The Man.

"They have actors on so they can marginalize the movement," Garofalo explains. "It's much easier to toss it off as some bizarre, unintelligent special-interest group." Ms. Garofalo is neither unintelligent nor uninformed, she wants us to know: "Now that I'm sober, I watch a lot of news."

Miller Time

Happily, not all of Hollywood has lost its marbles. If you were lucky, you caught comedian Dennis Miller on the "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno last week, when he went off on liberals, Saddam Hussein, and even the ACLU (and not for the first time, as this page has noted before).

Miller admitted he is a Bush fan and that he loved the president's State of the Union speech. With regard to the inspectors in Iraq, Miller asked, "How long do we have to wait for these morons?" He compared Hans Blix to Inspector Clouseau--and pictured the U.N. teams "driving around in the Scooby-Doo van" looking for weapons. "The only 'smoking gun' I need to see is the one they use to kill Saddam Hussein."

Miller then went further, joking that the only way to get pacifist Sean Penn on board is by convincing him that Saddam Hussein is a member of the paparazzi. As for the French, he said it's no surprise that one of their enduring phrases is "au contraire." "The only way the French are going in is if we tell them we found truffles in Iraq. . . . The French are always reticent to surrender to the wishes of their friends and always more than willing to surrender to the wishes of their enemies."

The jokes didn't stop here. Miller said he's pro-school vouchers (which received a large round of applause) and pro-dodgeball. As for the American Civil Liberties Union, well, we'll let him explain it in his own words:

"The ACLU spent this entire holiday season protesting public displays of the nativity scene. Yeah, that's the problem with America right now: Public displays of Christ's birth, that's the problem. It's unbelievable to me. The ACLU will no longer fight for your right to put up a nativity scene, but they'll fight for the right of the local freak who wants to stumble onto the scene and have sex with one of the sheep." (Thanks, as always, to our friends at the Media Research Center for providing some of the transcripts.)


Here's something to look forward to: From May 12 until July 19, Iraq will assume the presidency of the U.N.'s Conference on Disarmament. The rotation of the presidency is alphabetical and in the spring session will actually be split between Iran and Iraq.

This is just the latest in a series of such embarrassments. Syrian foreign minister Farouk Shara arrived in New York last summer just in time to head up the U.N. Security Council. While in the chair, he defended Palestinian terrorist attacks and submitted a report from his country to the Security Council saying that the 1998 Arab Convention for the Suppression of Terrorism "distinguishes between terrorism and legitimate struggle against foreign occupation." Syria was one of the 10 countries elected to a two-year council seat, and held the presidency for a month.