- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 5, 2000

Savvy liberals

"The 20th century brought all sorts of innovations in the media including some we could do without. For instance: the now-common practice of journalists hiding their biases behind phony claims of objectivity and even-handedness… .

"But now, we have men like Peter Jennings.

"The longtime anchorman's best-selling new book 'The Century,' an ostensibly definitive history of the last 100 years, suffers from the same kind of pseudo-objectivity as his broadcasts… .

"[T]he book, for instance, deems the United States and the Soviet Union as morally equivalent… .

"When it comes to recounting the Ronald Reagan era, Jennings is even less objective.

"He characterizes the '80s as afflicted with a deepening chasm separating rich and poor, soaring deficits, an inner-city drug crisis, and insider trading scandals. He suggests it was hard not to feel that the nation was just pretending to be in better times, distracted by the fizz and bubble of its new wealth, tolerating the worst kinds of ethical and moral abuse, pushing aside bad news.

"In other words, Reagan pulled the wool over our eyes. Those gullible Americans. Only savvy liberal journalists like Jennings know what really happened."

Evan Gahr, writing on "Looking Backward," a Monday posting in the American Enterprise Online Web site (www.theamericanenterprise.org)

Cringeworthy film

" 'Any Given Sunday,' directed by the unabashed master of overkill, Oliver Stone, doesn't deliver suitable-for-broadcast football… . You've never seen football until you've seen the brutal, bruising combat that Stone hyperbolizes into myth. It's a dazzling spectacle… . The NFL and Hollywood are both war zones, and Stone knows his game… . This is Stone's most electrifying film in years, but …
"There is always a 'but' in an Oliver Stone movie, and 'Any Given Sunday,' despite its visceral virtues, is loaded with cringeworthy offenses… . Stone's treatment of female characters invariably despicable has grown worse… . Stone sees women as variations of venal sluts, and the men in his films treat them accordingly."
Peter Travers, in the Jan. 20 issue of Rolling Stone

Welfare industry

"Government poverty statistics have always been a lie, a sham, and a deceit designed to fool the American public into acquiescing in the welfare state. As Charles Murray pointed out in his 1984 book, 'Losing Ground,' the government perversely counts as success in its 'war' against poverty an increase in the number of people on welfare just the opposite of what should be done. Success against poverty should mean fewer people on welfare, not more. But to government welfare bureaucrats more welfare bums is a success.
"As economist Jonathan Hobbs stated, 'the welfare system sustains a nationwide welfare industry of more than 5 million public and private workers… . The industry has demonstrated that its goal is not to eliminate poverty, but to expand welfare through increased spending.' In other words, even if welfare rolls are down, we are still spending enough to sustain the real welfare bums, i.e., what economist Walter Williams calls the 'Poverty Pentagon' the army of politicians, bureaucrats, social workers, government-funded nonprofit organizations, and academic researchers who study and 'administer' the poor."
Thomas J. DiLorenzo, writing on "Reinventing America's Poor," in the January issue of the Free Market

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