- The Washington Times - Monday, June 7, 2004

Left-wing greed

“With college commencement season in full swing, leftist propagandists are making the rounds of our nation’s universities — as they do all year ‘round. …

“Care to hear Noam Chomsky skewer America’s soulless, capitalist wealth and privilege? It will set you back $12,000. … And Chomsky’s leftist academics-in-arms have similarly immodest asking prices. Take Princeton’s resident race baiter, Cornel West. With an official per-lecture fee of $15,000 plus first-class traveling expenses, West ranks among the priciest academics. Recently, he spoke at Denver U. for $35,000. For one hour. …

“Few may be shocked to learn that Michael Moore’s speaking fee, like Moore himself is, well, hefty. The left-wing filmmaker asks $15,000 to $20,000 per speech. Similarly, the fact that ‘comedian’ Al Franken doesn’t joke around about his $25,000 fee is unlikely to raise many eyebrows. …

“Radio lefty Nina Totenberg’s NPR salary doesn’t prevent her from charging $15,000 a pop to lecture the kiddies.”

Jacob Laksin, writing on “Gucci Radicals,” Wednesday in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

Thought crimes

“A ‘hate crimes’ law can lead to ‘thought crime’ as is found in totalitarian countries and increasingly in Western nations that have fallen into the trap.

“In Canada and Sweden, it is now a ‘hate crime’ to criticize homosexuality. …

“During the Supreme Court hearings in 2000 on the Boy Scout case, pro-life Rev. Rob Shenk was sitting in the audience next to the White House liaison for ‘gay’ issues. Thinking the pastor was a fellow liberal, the woman whispered, ‘We’re not going to win this case, but that’s OK. Once we get ‘hate crime’ laws on the books, we’re going to go after the Scouts and all the other bigots.

“This isn’t a slippery slope; it’s a luge ride toward totalitarianism.

“If you value the freedom to speak our minds, you might want to let public officials know in no uncertain terms how you feel about politicians who aid and abet the effort to create ‘thought crimes.’”

Robert Knight, writing on “‘Hate crimes’ bill: Prescription for tyranny,” May 29 in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Get paid’ culture

“Bill Cosby’s recent commencement speech criticizing an indolent class of black Americans coincides with Spike Lee’s complaints about the movie ‘Soul Plane.’ Although both Cosby and Lee have political concerns, their statements are not the same. Only Cosby addresses the social circumstances black people face, while Lee repeats his regular grousing about other filmmakers’ imagery of black people.

“‘Soul Plane’ itself puts these remarks in illuminating perspective. It’s a comedy about the first flight of NWA, a black-owned airline. You don’t need to be told what the initials stand for if you’ve paid attention to what’s been going on in black popular culture for the past decade. And if you can decipher that acronym, then you understand Cosby’s point — and his sense of distress.

“Where Lee goes wrong is in not understanding that ‘Soul Plane’ is part of the same Hollywood exploitation that finances his own frequently questionable depictions of black American life. … Its ‘get paid’ ethos values success over the social ideals Cosby was talking about. Success, in this sense, fulfills the lowest, wildest, most stereotypical fantasies.”

Armond White, writing on “Frequent Playas,” in the Tuesday issue of New York Press

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