Friday, June 19, 2009


In The 60s there was a TV show called That Was the Week that Was. Such a great title, right? Well, if ever there was a news week that was, it was this week. Here are the stories that filled the week’s headlines:

Iran’s Post-Election Uprising: Even though the Iranian government did everything they could to put the kibosh on media reports, private citizens still managed to get the word out about widespread dissent after the election. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “won” the election, but hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets to dispute the outcome. By taking cell phone videos and photos, and using Twitter to get the word out in 140 characters or less, the whole world has been watching Iran turn upside down. You can follow minute by minute Twitter reports of the upheaval. It is compelling stuff. For a good summary of the election situation published earlier in the week, read Omid Memarian’s “A Coup Manual,” at Fascinating.

New Missile Crisis? It was revealed this week that there is credible evidence to suggest North Korea will fire a missile toward Hawaii around July 4. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says we are prepared to intercept it if it is launched. Both Russia and China have reportedly approached North Korean President Kim Jong-il about retreating from his increasingly aggressive nuclear stance, but to no avail. President Barack Obama calls the situation a “grave threat,” and pledges not to reward the country with any incentives in return for them to back down. It sounds like a standoff.

Of Senators and Sex: The David Vitter Memorial Hall of Senatorial Erections inducted its newest member this week. He is Republican Sen. John Ensign of Nevada. Early this week Ensign came forward to admit that he had an affair with a female staffer last year. Ensign, known for his hard-liner stance on family values, was consistently vocal and outraged at Bill Clinton’s behavior during the Monica Lewinsky debacle. Later in the week more details emerged, such as the fact that the woman in question has a husband who also worked for Ensign, and who was getting ready to go to the media about the affair. There were even allegations that the husband was blackmailing Ensign – so far this is unsubstantiated. And even later in the week it was revealed that the woman’s salary doubled during the time she was on Ensign’s staff. I mean here’s a guy who looks like Ted Baxter from the old Mary Tyler Moore show, a seemingly straight arrow (pardon the pun), who holds a full press conference to reveal his indiscretion. Ensign was chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, the fourth-ranking spot in the leadership, but by week’s end he had resigned that position. He’s still a Senator…but then so is David Vitter, okay? Juicy, juicy, right? We probably haven’t heard the whole story yet, but what has come out so far definitely takes its place in the annals of Washington, D.C. sex scandals.

The Business of Show: Morgan Freeman, 72, had sex (allegedly) with his step-granddaughter, 27, from the time she was 16; Bruce Willis and his new wife had S & M photos published in W Magazine; and Billy Joel, 60, is splitting from his 27-year-old wife of five years. There are whisperings about Katie Joel’s wandering eye and some serious time spent with an Israeli designer named Yigal Azrouel,
not 60. Oy.

Memo to Morgan: So not cool, M. Do the words Woody and Soon-Yi ring a bell?
Note to Bruce: Bruce, at 54 most of us try to keep our shirts ON. That other part’s over now.
And, finally, a few words for Billy: “I've lived long enough to have learned - The closer you get to the fire the more you get burned.” Uh, Billy…you wrote that, remember?

Now, that was quite a week that was, right?

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