In Friday's Wall Street Journal is a full-page advertisement for Pravda. No, it's not the old Communist newspaper started by Leon Trotsky. And it's also not the successor publication which seems to me to be a mixture of the National Enquirer and the London tabloid The Sun. Yes, Trotsky's old rag is now full of gossip, sex, nudity, fashion--for example, stories about a Japanese festival of the steel phallus, vibrating condoms, Paris Hilton, a Brazilian Playboy girl, and the ten top inventions by Muslims, ever, including the windmill (which didn't allow for a cartel like OPEC.) Now that you know that Muslims did these good things, doesn't it make you feel better about the intra-Muslim slaughter in Iraq?

In any case, the "Pravda" advertised in the WSJ is a brand of vodka: "PRAVDA VOTED THE BEST VODKA." Or, more precisely, "At a tasting of the World Beverage Championships in San Francisco in 2004 Pravda Vodka was selected as the best luxury Vodka." I'd only heard of two of the other seven: Chopin and Grey Goose. But when I drink vodka, which is rare, I'm content with Gordon's or, at the highest range, Absolut or Stolichnaya. On the other hand, I'd always thought that they should name a vodka after Mme. Curie who was the greatest Pole ever and not just the greatest Polish women. Vodka, after all, is also a Polish drink. Anyway, no one did.

Which brings us back to Pravda and its claims about being the best luxury vodka. As it happens, pravda means "truth". So something nags at me. And it is this: When Pravda really packed a wallop, kind of like vodka does, it was always telling lies. Those were the days when Russians and Eastern Europeans got the truth from the Voice of America and the CIA. Honestly!