Monday morning at the Trib

If it’s Monday, it’s Dennis Byrne and Charles Krauthammer day on Chi Trib op-ed page. Yesterday, that is. In "Not another Chavez chump: Venezuela's president didn't count on Chicago being Chicago," longtime (going back to Chi Daily News glory days) Chicago reporter, writer, and columnist Byrne notes that Chicago (Transit Authority) refused $15 million in free gasoline from U.S.-basher, dissent-crusher, Venezuela-poverty-ignorer Hugo Chavez. It’s not our kind of gas, CTA said. Trade it for your kind, complained Cong. Luis Gutierrez, apparently having no problem with U.S. bashing, dissent crushing, and poverty-at-home ignoring.

The $15 mill would have barely shown up on the CTA billion-dollar budget. One gulp, and there would go Venezuelan oil but not propaganda for S. America’s dictator with the mostest (money). He, that is the country he runs, owns Citgo, which offers no bargains in heavily Spanish-speaking Pilsen, Byrne discovered, and is actually (gulp) an arm of "Big Oil," which Congr. G. and lib-dem friends usually condemn. Read all about it here or in yesterday’s paper if you haven’t pitched it yet.

Meanwhile, C. Krauthammer exposes Spielberg’s "Munich" as 99% anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian propaganda.

If Steven Spielberg had made a fictional movie about the psychological disintegration of a revenge assassin, that would have been fine. Instead, he decided to call this fiction "Munich" and root it in a real historical event: the 1972 massacre by Palestinian terrorists of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. Once you've done that--evoked the actual killing of innocents who, but for Palestinian murderers, would not be much older than Spielberg himself today--you have an obligation to get the story right.

K. seems to have it right. S-berg and his writer Tony Kushner have skillfully evoked the Palestinian side of things, for example humanizing the Munich murderers but presenting Israeli pursuers in the worst possible light.

Roger Ebert, however, gave it four stars, calling it "an act of courage and conscience," in that S-berg had one of his characters say at movie’s end, "There is no peace at the end of this." (Gimme a P, gimme an A, gimme a PAC, on to I-F-I-C-I-S-M.) Called "an attack on the Palestinians," the movie is no such thing, says Compleat Leftist (apologies to Isaak Walton) Ebert. "By not taking sides, [Spielberg] has taken both sides." Ebert essentially writes an apologia for Spielberg, whom he seems dying to defend. Or did he and Krauthammer see different movies?



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