When you're this big, they call you Mr.

From the New York Times:

ROME — The Vatican on Thursday rejected an audiotaped accusation from Osama bin Laden that Pope Benedict XVI was leading a “new Crusade” against Muslims, but Italian security officials were concerned about the threats included in Mr. bin Laden’s new message.

“These accusations are absolutely unfounded,” the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the pope’s chief spokesman, said in a telephone interview. “There is nothing new in this, and it doesn’t have any particular significance for us.”

The audio message attributed to Mr. bin Laden was released Wednesday night and was addressed to “the intelligent ones in the European Union.” It was posted on a militant Web site on Wednesday, and an English transcription was distributed Thursday by the SITE Intelligence Group in Bethesda, Md., which tracks postings by Al Qaeda on the Internet.
Mister bin Laden? The NYT's foreign offices seem to be treating the world's most notorious terrorist as just another mid-level bureaucrat, or perhaps as a witness of a house fire.

Meanwhile if you check the NYT's site you find what has to be the most banal article ever written. Take a quick looksie:
It takes bravery, and perhaps an unusual black-white vantage point, to navigate these places where hurt is profound, incomprehension the rule, just as it takes courage to say, as Obama did, that black “anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.”

Progress, since the Civil Rights Movement, or since apartheid, has assuaged the wounds of race but not closed them. To carry my part of shame is also to carry a clue to the vortexes of rancor for which Obama has uncovered words.

I understand the rage of his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, however abhorrent its expression at times. I admire Obama for saying: “I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.”

Honesty feels heady right now. For seven years, we have lived with the arid, us-against-them formulas of Bush’s menial mind, with the result that the nuanced exploration of America’s hardest subject is almost giddying. Can it be that a human being, like Wright, or like Obama’s grandmother, is actually inhabited by ambiguities? Can an inquiring mind actually explore the half-shades of truth?

Yes. It. Can.
No. It. Can't. See, this is easy.

"Carry a clue to the vortexes of rancor"? Is this a passage from a Terry Brooks novel, or a person seriously believing he is contributing to a political discussion? If this is what "the nuanced exploration" sounds like, its no small wonder that this "menial mind" won two consecutive Presidential races while the author and his cohorts stood by stunned and unable to comprehend how it happened. [and where was this "nuanced exploration" when it was questioned endlessly why people in Palm Beach were voting for Pat Buchannen? -ed]

If Cohen feels some insane need to apologize for the colour of his skin, so be it. But if he needs to do so, don't for a second think that it serves as some sort of reason that intelligent people should choose one of the simplest-minded and most liberal politicians the Democrats have ever tossed forward as a candidate.