- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 19, 2003

Profile in courage

Hillary Rodham Clinton has a reputation as a principled liberal — at least that’s what her base and her enemies seem to think. In practice, of course, she has always been a Clinton — a waffler, prevaricator, straddler. So, it’s no surprise to hear her complete non-answer on the question of same-sex marriage. Here’s a transcript of a June 18 interview with Mrs. Clinton on the Brian Lehrer WNYC show in New York City:

“Lehrer: The lead story in the New York Times today is about Canada’s decision to fully legalize gay marriage. Do you think the United States should do that?

Clinton: Well, obviously in our system it is unlikely ever to be a national decision. It is a state-by-state decision because of the way our federal system operates, where states define what the conditions for marriage, or domestic partnership, or civil union might be, so I don’t think that we will ever face it. In fact there is a law on the books, passed before I was in Congress, the Defense of Marriage Act, which goes so far as to say that even if one state does it, other states under our full faith and credit clause of the constitution don’t have to recognize it.

Lehrer: But is Canada setting a good example, one that you’d like to see spread through the states here?

Clinton: Well, I have long advocated domestic partnership laws and civil unions, to me…

Lehrer: That’s different from marriage.

Clinton: Well, marriage means something different. You know, marriage has a meaning that I… I think should be kept as it historically has been, but I see no reason whatsoever why people in committed relationships can’t have, you know, many of the same rights and the same, you know, respect for their unions that they are seeking and I would like to see that be more accepted than it is.

Lehrer: But not with the context of marriage.

Clinton: Yeah, I, I think that is, you know… First of all, I think that it is unlikely, if not impossible, to be something nationally accepted in our country, but I also think that we can realize the same results for many committed couples by urging that states and localities adopt civil union and domestic partnership laws.”

So, there you have it. The senator from New York State is opposed to equal rights for gays and lesbians. And that’s one thing both the right and left will be reluctant to broadcast.

The NYT improves

I don’t think I’m hallucinating. By “improve,” I don’t of course mean that it has become a neutral news source. The paper is still campaigning against the war in Iraq, albeit retroactively, with endless stories about how dire the situation is. And they’re still shilling for the Rosenbergs, of course, years after historians have established their guilt. But the tone has palpably changed. The breathless skewing of every news story in order to damage the Bush administration has abated. Even Maureen Dowd has returned to her more routine anti-male fulminations. I find myself actually reading stories again without wondering if they’re phony, riddled with errors or transcribed from the Nation. What a difference a new executive editor makes.

NPR stays the same

Get a load of NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin’s defense of the impartiality of public radio: “There are certainly those who object to what they perceive as liberal bias on the radio. That is something of a constant these days. But my own view is that NPR has been quite careful to present voices from both sides of the issue. If anything, we may have put more conservatives on in recent months. I think what some people are reacting to is that when the Clinton administration was in office, we put on critics of those policies. That is normal. But we were accused of being too conservative. Now, with conservatives are in power, when our reporting includes critics of the Bush administration, we’re accused of a liberal bias.” What planet is this guy on?

Quote for the week

“For a meal so thick with fat, salt and starch, it is oddly bland. It slides down my throat like a wino’s tongue, leaving several tablespoons of brown grease in a puddle at the end of the plate (at which point, maybe, the spoon is supposed to come into play). It is not so much disgusting as depressing.” — a food review from the Guardian. The Brits even beat the New York Times’ clotted cream expert, Mr. R. W. Apple, at this kind of thing.

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