- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 24, 2000

Unusual fare

"It was not the usual fare for a hearing of the Commerce Committee of the United States Senate, a rather formal bunch whose work usually consists of things like trade and telecommunications.

" 'Blood, guts, guns, cuts, knives, lives, wives, nuns, sluts,' declared a witness testifying before the panel one day last month.

"The witness was Lynne Cheney, former head of the National Endowment for the Humanities and wife of vice-presidential candidate Dick Cheney. And if the words were not her own they were lyrics from Eminem, rap's bad boy du jour her verdict on their artistic merit clearly was.

" 'It is despicable,' she said. 'It is horrible. This is dreadful. This is shameful. This is awful.' "

Eric Nagourney, writing on "They Want Your MTV," in the Oct. 6 issue of Upfront

'Pure profit'

"Sugar daddies may be scarce, but the pro-choice movement still makes money. Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country, grossed $660 million in the fiscal year ending June 1999. That figure represents income from all the services rendered by Planned Parenthood's more than 130 affiliates around the country. About $58 million of that income came from the fees charged for abortions, and between $18 and $20 million of it was 'excess revenue' in other words, pure profit. Overall, Planned Parenthood made a little more than $125 million in profit in the 1998-99 fiscal year… .

" 'We have to raise money to provide services,' says Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood. 'There are no nonprofits that don't try to operate in the black. It's entirely appropriate to charge fees. It's entirely appropriate to include stocks in managing money. If there's an extra dime, it's for providing more services. No individual at Planned Parenthood benefits.' "

Dana Kennedy, writing on "Abortion Inc." in the November issue of George

Dumb voters

If you are honestly torn between eating a thick, juicy porterhouse steak and gnawing on a month-dead raccoon, you are not considered a gourmet. Generally, we do not expect a person who walks into a theater halfway through the film to be the most knowledgeable about what's happening in the movie… . In other words, in no sphere of human activity do we automatically associate indecision, laziness, and ignorance with shrewdness, commitment, and expertise.

"No sphere, that is, but one. In American politics today, undecided voters are revered as the most virtuous and committed of citizens. Campaigns pander to them, which is understandable; their votes are political gold. But what does it say about the American media that they treat the least engaged and least serious voters with the highest regard? …

"The truth behind the mass hagiography of undecided voters is that they are, for the most part, either lazy, ignorant, or just plain dumb. Last summer, just a week before the GOP convention, Harvard's Vanishing Voter Project conducted a survey that revealed that three out of four Americans didn't know when the convention would be held… . A recent cover story in the New York Times Magazine explored the rising trend among young people to get all of their political news from late-night comics: Almost half of those aged 18 to 24 'often' get information about the presidential campaign from the likes of Jay Leno… .

"Asking Americans to vote when they can't tell you what the Supreme Court does is like asking someone to drive a school bus when they haven't even been behind the wheel of a car."

Jonah Goldberg, writing on "The Undeciding Factor," in the Nov. 6 issue of National Review

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