- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 2, 2004

‘Dishonest, evil’

“I was hoping Bill O’Reilly would resist a settlement deal [in the sexual harassment suit filed by a Fox News producer] and instead tell the American public what he means when he says this is the ‘most evil’ thing he’s ever seen. …

“O’Reilly is far from a clean-spun hero, and he is not even saying that he is ‘innocent’ of the charges … But it seems to me that by fighting back he could stand up to the tyrannical elements of sexual-harassment accusations and focus our attention on how they operate. At this point in our history, that is far more important than the question of whether he’s a sex fiend.

“For every important and honest sexual harassment claim, there are 99 dishonest, evil ones. What’s now coming to light is the other side — the terror, the extortion, the sheer cowardice. …

“I think Bill O’Reilly chose the right word when he said ‘evil.’ …

“There is no stopping these juggernauts, no mechanism for protecting innocent people against having their lives destroyed by opportunistic lawsuits. …

“The fear at the core of sex-harass mania is spun from an outmoded blueprint on female sexuality that assumes exposure to unwanted sexual banter and/or pressure is not merely annoying, but profoundly ‘traumatic.’”

Celia Farber, writing on “No Sexual Dealing,” in last Wednesday’s issue of New York Press

Rebel image

“When [Marlon] Brando departed for that great motorcycle rally in the sky, he left not only a movie legacy but the style he jump-started with 1953’s ‘The Wild One’: biker chic. Not only is moto gear continuing to get a workout on film … designers are all over it these days: the classic zipped leather jacket now comes courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren … Donna Karan (who put it in python for spring), and Versace (who colored it pink). Botega Veneta’s new knee-high biker boots go for about $980; Chanel poshes up theirs with patent leather straps and tips. …

“‘Motorcycle fashions are the perfect clothes for scary times,’ says Charles Falco, who co-curated ‘The Art of the Motorcyle’ for the Guggenheim Museum in a 1998-2003 show. ‘It says, I’m protected, I’m rebellious, I live dangerously.’”

Joyce Caruso Corrigan, writing on “Vroom Service,” in Friday’s issue of Entertainment Weekly

Waiting for Wolfe

“For a writer of such seeming fluidity — prolixity even — [novelist Tom] Wolfe has an odd history of blocks, procrastination and last-minute fussing. …

“In fact, like an old newspaperman, Wolfe sometimes uses deadline pressure to get himself going. …

“Procrastination has actually served Wolfe well, and in fact enabled him to discover his distinctive style. … In 1962, Wolfe … volunteered his services to Esquire and proposed an article about hot-rod customizers in Los Angeles. As the deadline approached, Wolfe hadn’t written a word. … Wolfe pulled an all-nighter, cranking out a 49-page memo … in a kind of run-on, hyped-up association prose, full of ellipses and exclamation points and capitalized sound effects, to describe the new subculture he had discovered. … [His editor] slapped on a headline, ‘There Goes (Varooom! Varoom!) That Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby,’ and — whammo! — just like that the new journalism was born.”

Charles McGrath, writing on “Wolfe’s World,” in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine

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