- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 24, 2000

Mfume's TV deal

"NBC signed a formal surrender with the NAACP, under which it agreed to hire at least one minority writer on any series that runs to a second season. The fellows who created the sitcom may not need any new writers, the humor may very well depend on the particular relationships of the existing writing team, but nonetheless NBC will provide them with a minority writer, paid for not by the production team but directly by the network… .
"I assumed most people would have the same reaction I did: They'd hoot with derision at this latest feeble stage in America's dismal trickle-down apartheid. I assumed a few might even get angry at the notion of racial classification in the televisual arts… . But no one laughed. And the only people who got angry were various Hispanic, Asian-American, and Native American groups who felt they'd been left behind when the NAACP's Kweisi Mfume barged ahead and stitched up his deal. I wouldn't worry if I were them. It's probably a sliding scale: For the third season, you'll need a Hispanic; for the fourth, a lesbian ….
"But it's no laughing matter. The nation's commentators are largely silent on the matter, no doubt nervous lest their own pasty complexions fall under scrutiny. I got a call from Kweisi Mfume just the other day, threatening an economic boycott unless this column more vigorously demonstrated its commitment to diversity. 'But I've just added my first visible minority to the team,' I protested. 'A black gangsta rapper who writes all my homophobic gags.' "
Mark Steyn, writing on "Color Television," in the March issue of the American Spectator

Inconsistent belief

"The picture of religion in America … is a complex one, but certain themes emerge:
"* The widespread and continuing appeal or popularity of religion.
"* The glaring lack of knowledge about the Bible, basic doctrines and the traditions of one's church.
"* The inconsistencies of belief for example, evangelical Christians expressing belief in New Age practices.
"* The superficiality of faith, with many people not knowing what they believe and why.
"* A belief in God, but a lack of trust in God.
" … Author and businessman Bob Buford, in his book 'Halftime,' sums up the situation: '… most of us seem somewhere stuck between disbelief and the quiet confidence that comes from knowing God.' "
George Gallup Jr. and D. Michael Lindsay in their new book "Surveying the Religious Landscape"

Revealing liberation

"In her memoir, 'I'm Wild Again,' Helen Gurley Brown, the editor who brought sex and exclamation points to Cosmopolitan, reveals that when she was 24 a middling Hollywood executive kept her (paying her secretarial wages in return for daily sex). 'The lovemaking? It wasn't bad, wasn't love, wasn't anything. Not even sure you could call it an affair an affair is sexier. This was two people copulating.' So women's lib, before it began, was what it has been revealed to be, 50 years later, in the Clinton years: a way of making it easier for successful men to hook up with women who are not prostitutes. Sometimes the sex is free, sometimes (in employer/ employee situations, from Hollywood to Washington) the men pay. At all times, there are no strings, unless the men become emotionally entangled (which, to the credit of humanity, they sometimes do). Congratulations all around."
from "The Week," in the March 6 issue of National Review

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