Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Searching for Cheney in the Muslim World

I was totally going to lay off Cheney, because I don't want to sound like a conservative columnist. (The Strib has run two syndicated conservative women columnists in a row this week, and they managed to make no new points whatsoever. Sad what's happening to the liberal media.)

But then I was reading some foreign press stories on a new site called Watching America, and came across an item from Israel excoriating Cheney. Most of it was a predictable and brief rehash, but a couple lines struck me:

No one is expecting inspiration from a Persian punk at the gate of Tehran, but many people on the planet, hundreds of millions, still expect some moral direction from those sitting on high in Washington.
Even the head of Israel's Shin Bet was secretly recorded as saying that "as Israelis, we actually long for Saddam Hussein."

And what really got my attention was the photo running with the column. Nothing we haven't seen before — a so-called tough guy grimace that might just as well be from passing angina or permanent stroke damage. But suddenly, I thought: Albert Brooks. Brooks has to play Cheney in the movie. Oliver Stone will write and direct, of course, but we can't let him cast Anthony Hopkins. Sure, he'd be scary in that scene where he's hunting for John Kerry in the cornfield. But Albert Brooks will bring a lovable haplessness to the role.

Fred Gwynne would make a perfect Kerry, and since Gwynne is dead, he'd lend about the right amount of pathos and animation. But it's probably too much to ask, even of special effects.

Where was I? Oh yeah. Watching America pulls together views of the U.S. from other nations' media. The usual, mainstream suspects like The Times, Der Spiegel and Le Monde, but it also translates stories from sources like El Tiempo (Venezuela), Alwatan (Kuwait), Pak Tribune (Pakistan), Guangzhou Daily (China) and Al Riyadh (Saudi Arabia). As if we don't feel badly enough already.


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