- The Washington Times - Friday, November 4, 2005

Nobles: Spike Lee, whose “stay-in-school” message is more pertinent than ever for today’s students.

Mr. Lee has always been a unique director — some would say controversial — in that his films more often than not try to say something. They don’t always say it right, but what Mr. Lee had to say Wednesday night to a packed MTSU crowd did.

The subject was gangsta rap and the culture its purveyors try to impress upon young kids, mostly black. Speaking of his own youth, Mr. Lee said, “Young kids didn’t grow up wanting to be a pimp or a stripper like they do now.” Just listen, if you can, to any of the ubiquitous rap songs out there and it becomes quite clear Mr. Lee isn’t exaggerating. The lyrics and the images promote a lifestyle full of booze, drugs and sleaze, where violence is glorified and life is cheap.

At the opposite end, Mr. Lee said, is education. “When I was young, [students] going to college got as much [love] as the ones who could rap or play ball,” he said. “Back then, we were not called sellouts for using our brains. And being intelligent was not frowned upon.” Especially in high schools, black students who earn top marks are derided by their peers for “acting white.”

It is this dead-end mentality that Mr. Lee wants today’s black students to scorn.

For giving gangsta rap the slapping it deserves, Mr. Lee is the Noble of the week.

Knaves: The media, for hounding Judge Samuel Alito’s mother, Rose.

When President Bush nominated Judge Alito to the Supreme Court, he nominated someone who has sat on the federal bench for 15 years, written hundreds of opinions and whose judicial philosophy and temperament are clearly defined. Why then would reporters feel the need to harass his 90-year-old mother at her home in New Jersey? As the Drudge Report noted, Mrs. Alito can’t even go outside to tend her flowers during the day because some reporter might ask her about her son’s dissent in an abortion case.

True, this is what the media does: Dig, dig and dig until there’s nothing left but dirt. But trying to ascertain Judge Alito’s opinion on abortion by asking his mother is about as dumb as it gets. Leave her alone and go do some real reporting.

For justifying the public’s perception of the media, those who are standing outside Mrs. Alito’s house are the Knaves of the week.

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