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 V.13 No.42 | October 14 - 20, 2004 

Thin Line

We got game. In a glowing review of last month's grand opening of the National Hispanic Cultural Center's new Roy E. Disney performing arts center, a Los Angeles Times caption on Sept. 21 asks: "But why couldn't it be in Southern California?"

Times reviewer Agustin Gurza calls Barelas an "unassuming barrio (that) can boast what some consider the country's premier venue devoted to Latinos in the performing arts." But the review then segues from praise to a bit of sour grapes. "For Southern California's undernourished Latino cultural scene, New Mexico's success has served as a model—and an embarrassment. How could the Land of Enchantment, one of the poorest states in the union with a fraction of California's population, be so far ahead on the Latino cultural front? More important, how could Los Angeles be so far behind Albuquerque, a fast-growing but still provincial town of about 500,000?"

Provincial? Well, we might be geographically isolated, but nobody can call the folks that put this crown jewel together narrow-minded. If you haven't checked it out, you owe it to yourself to go.

Dot-com, dot-org what's the difference? Even when Dick Cheney tried to be sincere during last week's vice presidential debate, he had trouble with the facts. When he suggested Americans go to Factcheck.com to learn the truth about his Halliburton connections, the website turned out to be a soapbox for George Soros, a billionaire-philanthropist who supports John Kerry. Cheney, of course, meant to direct viewers to FactCheck.org.

So, in fairness to the vice president, I checked the record at FactCheck.org, the Web domain that Cheney rightly noted is run by the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center. But this nonpartisan, truth-filtering website was not kind to Cheney either. In summarizing the Oct. 5 vice presidential debate, the website states: "Cheney got our domain name wrong and wrongly implied that we had rebutted allegations Edwards was making about what Cheney had done as chief executive officer of Halliburton. ... Edwards was talking about Cheney's responsibility for earlier Halliburton troubles (before he became vice president). And in fact, Edwards was mostly right."

What Cheney wanted viewers to see was a Sept. 30 posting that highlighted a number of falsehoods in a television ad paid for by the Kerry campaign regarding Cheney's financial connections to Halliburton while vice president. But by the time folks finished reading Soros' diatribe against the Bush administration, then clicked over to FactCheck.org (the Soros site generously linked to it), the article Cheney attempted to reference had been archived, and the lead story focused on his whoppers during the debate. Ol' Cheney, it seems, just couldn't get a break on this one.

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