- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 14, 2000

Video Oscars

"Purists argue that movies should be seen in the format for which they were designed the big screen especially when it comes to judging sound and cinematography. But ever since independent distributors began sending out videocassettes to Academy members, in the early '90s … most voters end up watching movies at home on TV. 'I really think videotapes should be banned,' Dreamworks marketing executive Terry Press says. 'I'm not in the television-movie business. I think it's disrespectful to have the movies judged on videocassette. And, personally, I believe the reason "Shakespeare in Love" beat out "Saving Private Ryan" last year is that it played better on videotape.' …

"For better or worse, though, there appears to be no turning back to the pre-video days. 'Actually, because of the videocassettes, the system is fairer than it's ever been,' says publicist Tony Angellotti, who's right at the center of the Oscar electioneering. 'You have to remember that Academy members are spread all over the world. Or they have two kids under 4 years old and can't get out of the house to see all the movies. Sending out videocassettes levels the playing field, especially for the smaller films.' "

Greg Kilday, writing on "How to Fix Oscar," in the April issue of Premiere

Happy teen marriages?

"The [social studies] textbooks call it 'disastrous.' They say it transforms teens into social outcasts. No current textbook even suggests that a young pregnant couple who married just might use pluck, commitment and social support to overcome what obviously are inherent difficulties of an early marriage.

"We've always said that early marriages have a higher divorce rate than more mature ones, but let's look. How much worse? Well, 50 percent of marriages of older teens do survive. If you've over 23 years old, the survival rate is 70 percent. So, yes, they are more likely to break up, but that hardly qualifies labeling every one of them as being universally a total disaster… .

"Well, I wouldn't advise going back to the days of shotgun weddings, but, even so, in my years of practicing obstetrics and … family medicine, I can remember a number of teen-age marriages who toughed it out, worked it through and ended up as enduring, happy marriages."

Dr. John C. Willke, from "No Teen Marriages?" a March 6 Life Issues radio commentary

'Sensitivity Czars'

"The rampage of Ronald Taylor killed three innocent white people and critically wounded two others. As he roamed to find other victims, gun in hand … Taylor remarked, 'Well, I'm not gonna hurt any black people, I'm gonna kill all white people.' …

"The lack of outrage from our Sensitivity Czars in the White House, media and Reno Justice Department is not surprising… .

"When Matthew Shepard was beaten to death by a couple of lowlifes in September 1998 the sob-fest never ended. 'Homo phobia' was being denounced every second on the airwaves… .

"But last year when two adult homosexual predators raped 13-year-old Jesse Dirkhising to death, the objective sleuths of the establishment press ignored it… .

"The examples go on and on. Last year, when a man went inside of a Jewish center and shot people because of their being Jewish, Clinton, Reno, and the rest of the gang immediately dubbed it a 'hate crime' and used it as an excuse for Congress to pass a tougher 'hate crimes' law. But shortly after when a man went inside a Baptist church shouting obscenities and shooting Christians we were told by Mrs. Reno 'not to jump to conclusions' that this was a 'hate crime.' "

Bill Barnwell, writing on "Leftist media again shows bias in hate crime cover-up," a March 9 column in the Wayne State University South End

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