- The Washington Times - Friday, July 28, 2000

Harmless Hefner?

"Hugh Hefner, who is too harmless to offend anyone these days, is surely giddy about the Playboy Mansion party brouhaha. During the Democratic Convention, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., will host a fund-raiser at Hef's Los Angeles castle… .

"The event has turned into a Democratic debacle… . Al Gore's spokesman sternly declared that the vice president does not 'condone' Sanchez's party and won't attend it… .

"History is repeating itself the first time as nudity, the second as farce… .

"Hef's current life makes it easy to forget that he once mattered… . Playboy kick-started the endless sexualization of everyday American life… .

"In the early '60s, he issued the 26-part, 250,000-word 'Playboy Philosophy,' his disquisition on the evils of inhibition and prudery and the glory of sexual experience… . He regarded himself as a prophet of freedom… .

"But the Playboy empire crumbled in the '80s… .

"Paid readership plunged from more than 7 million a month to barely 3 million today… .

David Plotz, writing on "Hugh Hefner: He Swings, He Misses," July 21 in Slate at www.slate.com

Gay Times

"The pro-homosexual metamorphosis at the New York Times has advanced so far that on any given day, three-quarters of the people who decide what goes on the front page are 'not-so-closeted homosexuals,' according to Richard Berke, the Times' national political correspondent.

"Berke, a longtime member of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA), made the following comments at a 10th anniversary reception for the group April 12 in Washington, D.C.:

" 'This is at a newspaper where not so long ago when I started there 15 years ago they were keeping lists the department heads were asking for lists of the gay reporters on different sections so they could be punished in different ways. So things have really changed at the newspaper. Since I've been there there's been a dramatic shift: I remember coming and wondering if there were … any gay reporters there or whatever. Now it's like, there are times when you look at the front-page meeting and … literally three-quarters of the people deciding what's on the front page are not-so-closeted homosexuals… .'

"Berke was one of the speakers at the NLGJA's 'View from the Top' reception, held at the National Press Club April 12… . [T]he event … was sponsored by America Online, Inc., USA Today, the Washington Post, and CBS News."

from "Just How 'Gay' Is the New York Times?" in the April-May issue of Lambda Report

'Wicked innocence'

"Bimbo. The very word conjures up heaving, pendulous breasts straining the limits of a plunging neckline. A breathless way of uttering even the simplest word. Platinum hair. Wide eyes. Full, inviting lips. Spiky heels. A two-digit IQ. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines 'bimbo' as 'a flashy woman of loose morals and small intelligence.' Hmm… .

"In 1953 … Marilyn Monroe arrived, radiating a wave of sexual heat and promise unseen since the days of [Jean] Harlow. Wielding Betty Boop curves and an air of wicked innocence, Monroe was funny, calculatedly carnal, effortlessly ethereal and absolutely luminous on-screen. She was a gorgeously gifted concoction and seemed always on the verge of blowing kisses. But gifted or not, a bimbo is a bimbo is a bimbo… .

"The market for bimbos that Monroe created clearly left plenty of work for other blondes, but none of them was more than a pale imitation."

Sue Cameron, writing on "Anatomy of a Bimbo," in the August issue of Movieline

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