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INSIDE THE SYSTEM
Eternal Debt, the board game

"DO YOU dare to defeat the IMF?" That's the slogan of the newest board game to hit Argentina's toy shelves. The game, produced in a suburb of Buenos Aires, pits players against the global financial institutions.

The owner of the company that produces the game, Raul Ruibal, would like to expand operations and start exporting the game. But borrowing money now would be suicide. "We were thinking of building a new single factory with a government credit," Ruibal said. "But the situation here is so difficult that we are frightened of getting a loan we cannot pay...Today, maintaining one's workers and paying their salaries is considered a success."

Maybe players of the game have an easier time "defeating the IMF" than the Argentine government.

--BBC News, December 3, 2001

CNN: Just a little stupid

CNN HAS a new advertising ploy. Publicize the "sexiness" of its female news anchors.

In early January, the network was forced to pull an ad for anchor Paula Zahn's morning show. In the 15-second ad, a narrator asks, "Where can you find a morning news anchor who's provocative, super-smart [and] oh, yeah, just a little sexy?"

"CNN, yeah, CNN," comes the answer." During the spot, the words "provocative," "smart" and "sexy" are flashed on-screen, and the sound of a zipper is heard.

CNN apologized immediately to Zahn for undermining her credibility. But Fox News host Bill O'Reilly didn't see what the fuss was about. "I'll take [being called 'sexy'] all day long," he said. "You see, a person can be sexy and intelligent at the same time."

O'Reilly didn't say if anyone thinks that he is both sexy and intelligent.

--Washington Post, January 9, 2002

Heard it through the grapevine

"I ASKED the president, 'What can we do to show support for America?' He said, 'Mom, if you really want to help, buy, buy, buy.'"
--Barbara Bush on her son's patriotic advice during the holidays

"I WAS a critic of [Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld before, but there's one thing… that I do like about Rumsfeld: He's just a little bit crazy, okay? He's just a little bit crazy, and in this kind of war, they always count on being able to out-crazy us, and I'm glad we got some guy on our bench that's our quarterback who's just a little bit crazy. Not totally, but you never know what that guy's going to do, and I say that's my guy."
--New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman

"All in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me."
--George W. Bush

"I'VE HEARD a lot of 'God knew something we didn't.' …He had a knowledge nobody else had: He knew George Bush had the ability to lead in this compelling way."
--Former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed

"We have checked every cave in town and turned up nothing."
--Utah Police Lieutenant Charles Illsley, on the high number of Osama bin Laden sightings in the state

"WHAT I have come to believe…is that America's unmatched power to reduce tyranny and terror to dust is actually what often makes civilization in today's world possible."
--Salon magazine editor and "liberal" David Talbot

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