- The Washington Times - Friday, May 12, 2000

Gay suppression

"The work GLAAD [Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation] is doing to stop the defamatory attacks of Laura Schlessinger from spreading to TV is gathering momentum every day… . In April, GLAAD began the next phase of our long-term work around this issue: approaching television affiliates at the local level and asking them to drop Schlessinger's show… .

"GLAAD's Director of Regional Media and Community Relations Cathy Renna has spent the last five weeks contacting and meeting with station managers in many of the nation's top 10 television markets (including Cleveland, Dallas, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta and in the next three weeks, Los Angeles and several others).

"Cathy told me last week that most of the station managers had not ever heard Schlessinger's radio show; and they're appalled (to put it mildly) when they hear the audio tape of her show. They're even more astonished that Paramount Domestic Television had kept them in the dark about the Schlessinger controversy… . Supporting Cathy's tireless work is our new online resource kit: 'Local Laura Activism: Step by Step' … providing everything you need to go to your local affiliate management, let them hear your voice and raise community awareness on this issue."

GLAAD executive director Joan M. Garry in a May 10 GLAAD Alert e-mail

Castro's anchorman

"Surveying media coverage of the 'rescue' of Elian Gonzalez … it is difficult to pick out truly egregious cases from so much ignorance and dishonesty, but I am going to try. Among TV commentators the most reliable mouthpiece for the Clinton-Castro line has been Dan Rather. Rather set the tone for all that followed in his April 16 interview of Juan Miguel Gonzalez for '60 Minutes,' during which he modestly restricted his role to prompting Sr. Gonzalez through the script provided for him by his Cuban handlers. On the Saturday morning of the Miami raid, Rather was on the air for over five hours. It was a long and shameful performance, with two especially low points. The first: a suggestion to the CBS legal consultant that Juan Miguel Gonzalez might sue his Miami relatives for 'allowing the child's privacy to be, as they might say, trampled in this way.' The lawyer, of course (he's a lawyer!), eagerly concurred. Then, later, this: 'Among the many images and sounds of this morning, this has to be one that really gets through to the heart. That the immigration service says that the female agent who carried little Elian … from the home of these distant relatives in Miami, talked to him in Spanish, and she says the message, worked out in advance, to the child, was, and I quote: "This may seem very scary, but it will soon be better …" ' At this point Rather actually cracked up and wept."

John Derbyshire, writing on "Elian Nation," in the May 22 issue of National Review

Feminist fraud?

"Last year, a biography came out claiming that [feminist author Betty] Friedan wasn't really the unhappy suburban housewife she said she was when she wrote 'The Feminist Mystique' (1963), the book credited with creating our contemporary understanding of feminist consciousness… . Friedan was in fact a fellow traveler, a labor journalist and community organizer passing herself off deliberately as an innocuous Everywoman… .

"If Friedan … was really a 'Stalinist Marxist,' does that mean that feminism was never really a grassroots suburban movement, a native flowering of middle-class self-awareness? Was it instead the product of 1940s radicalism revolution by other means influenced, somehow, by Moscow and subject to the revision that everything else tainted by the Cold War has now undergone?"

Judith Shulevitz, writing on "A Mother's Day Mash Note, of Sorts, to Betty Friedan," Tuesday in the on-line journal Slate at www.slate.com

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