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The Buck Stops There

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I don’t have enough time to finger-point,” declared an uncharacteristically busy President Bush last week, but self-exculpating digits and tongues were wagging everywhere else. Jeanine Pirro blamed the release of transcripts of her conversations with Bernie Kerik on “a partisan witch hunt and smear campaign.” Former president Bill Clinton, queried about his failure to catch Osama bin Laden, accused Fox News of executing “a conservative hit job,” before laying culpability squarely in the lap of the Bush administration. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice quickly countered that Clinton had left behind a crappy anti-terror strategy; no-fault senator Hillary Clinton rejoined that the real truth could be found in the 9/11 Commission’s report. (President Bush did carve out a few minutes to denounce U.S. intelligence for determining that the Iraq War had become a “cause célèbre for jihadists.”) The Reverend Jerry Falwell compared Mrs. Clinton to Lucifer, then knocked the press for not catching on to his obvious “tongue in cheek” witticism. Cuddly Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf, making the talk-show rounds to plug his new book, said his country’s nuclear genius, Dr. Abdul Khan, peddled that DIY A-bomb kit to North Korea without telling him. State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, busted for providing his wife with a state-funded chauffeur, passed the buck (82,000 bucks, all told) to the State Ethics Commission for not stopping him. The city’s health commissioner indicted doughnuts and French fries for New York’s rising rates of obesity and heart disease and proposed to ban trans fats at restaurants. A patent clerk en route to JFK from Zurich evidently held a flight attendant culpable for running out of chicken entrées and slugged her in the face. Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey—whose on-field performance earned him an “F” from the Post—cited clueless coaching as the cause of Big Blue’s struggles; showing just how out of touch he is, head coach Tom Coughlin rejoined, “There’s nothing to be gained by pointing the finger, all right?”

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