Ellen & Emmy fight the Taliban

As anticipated, The West Wing was the big winner at Sunday
night’s Emmy Awards.

What was not anticipated was the mostly upbeat
nature of the ceremonies themselves, a tone that many credited to host
Ellen DeGeneres, who got her biggest laughs when she referred to Muslim
fanatics: “They can’t take away our creativity, our striving for
excellence, our joy. Only network executives can do that,” she said,
smiling at CBS chief Les Moonves.

“I feel I’m in a unique position as
host,” she added, “because think about it: what would bug a guy from the
Taliban more than seeing a gay woman in a suit surrounded by Jews?”

received a standing ovation at the end. Her performance was also
applauded by TV writers in today’s press.

David Bianculli in
the New York Daily News called it “funny and winning.”

Tom Shales
in the Washington Post, “tasteful but entertaining.”

In the
New York Post, Adam Buckman wrote: “Much of the credit for the
show’s breezy attitude has to go to Ellen DeGeneres, whose easy-going
style of comedy seemed tailor-made for an awards show that wanted to be
celebratory while simultaneously acknowledging the current crisis.”

Several critics who had urged that the Emmy ceremonies be canceled
admitted that they had been wrong. Among them was Howard Rosenberg of
the Los Angeles Times, who wrote that the twice postponed show
“was like an ‘all clear’ after an air raid.”