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A great American died this week. So did Gerald Ford.

"Tune Into FOX News Channel for Live Coverage of President Ford's Death"

- home page, 27.12.06

James Brown emulated WC Fields on Monday by expiring on Christmas Day. Gerald Ford emulated Harry Truman by expiring on Boxing Day.

James Brown was a legendary R&B performer who spent time in jail for crimes of violence. Gerald Ford was an unelected president who complicity in Indonesia's invasion of East Timor - among other episodes - has gone unchecked.

Wikipedia's bio of President Ford is currently in a state of flux, as one would imagine. It does include a 1975 photo of Ford having a chat with his Chief of Staff Richard B.Cheney, and his Secretary of Defense, Donald H.Rumsfeld. (This at a time when Nobel Peace Laureate Henry A.Kissinger was Secretary of State, and George W.Bush was National Guardsman In Absentia.)

Fox News have put together a lengthy hagiography of their Republican hero, though I can't find the reference to the "respected senior statesman" that they used in the first hours after his demise.

The New York Daily News, who in 1975 reported "Ford to City: Drop Dead", seem to have softened their hostility now that NYC has outlived him. Then there's the New York Times, Washington Post...

As Gerald Ford once said about himself: "I'm a Ford, not a Lincoln." Mister President, you were sure no Abe Lincoln.

His greatest legacy? To be married to a woman whose name is immortalised by an alcohol rehab clinic. Not even Rutherford Hayes achieved that.