Tuesday, December 24, 2002

The Good Guys By PAUL KRUGMAN Time magazine's persons of the year are three whistle-blowers: Sherron Watkins of Enron, Cynthia Cooper of WorldCom and Coleen Rowley of the F.B.I. They deserve to be celebrated. After all, thanks to Ms. Watkins and Ms. Cooper, Jeff Skilling, Ken Lay and Bernie Ebbers have been indicted, and the politicians who did their bidding have been disgraced. Thanks to Ms. Rowley, incompetent officials at the F.B.I. and C.I.A. have been removed from their posts, and we've had a searching inquiry into what went wrong on Sept. 11. Oh, I'm sorry. None of that actually happened. The bravery of the whistle-blowers was real enough, but Time seems to be celebrating what should have been, not what was.
Time is telling a story that people want to hear: these three women blew the whistle and justice was done. Right? Right? Well, at least the whistleblowers got their pictures on the cover of Time. Isn't that enough for you people?
During the late spring and summer, amid corporate scandals and tales of F.B.I. ineptitude, Americans received many promises of reform. But once the political danger had passed, all those promises — even, incredibly, the promise that families of victims would get to choose one member of the Sept. 11 commission — became non-operational.
And nary a squawk from the establishment media or the Democrats at the monumental way the 9/11 families have been screwed repeatedly by this administration. Krugman goes on to identify an even better candidate for person of the year: Eliot Spitzer, New York state Attorney General. Spitzer is deserving because, unlike the whistleblowers, he actually got some people to pay for their actions.
If truth be told, 2002 was a very good year for cynics. But it's the day before Christmas, so let's be thankful for our gifts: the good guys who made a difference.
A cynics work is never done Paul.

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