- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 25, 2000

No apology accepted

"Dr. Laura Schlessinger has had another go at apologizing to homosexuals for calling them 'deviant,' 'biological errors,' et cetera.

"This time she took out a full-page ad in Variety's special issue on gay Hollywood just in time for the Jewish Day of Atonement. Her earlier words, the good doctor now says, were 'poorly chosen.' Many people, she now understands, perceived them as 'hate speech.' Is she forgiven? Don't be silly.

"The homosexual activist crowd is absolutist. No public expression of disapproval for their 'lifestyle' can be permitted to stand; no person who expresses such disapproval however mildly, and with however many retractions and apologies can be permitted to survive in public life.

"These people don't want any trifling apology, however heartfelt; they want Dr. Laura torn to pieces by dogs in the streets of Greenwich Village. Nothing less will please them.

"The question whether American society is willing to tolerate homosexuals has been settled: Yes, it is. But are they willing to tolerate the rest of us?"

from "The Week" in the Nov. 6 issue of National Review

Scout boosters

"Immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court rendered its decision in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund and other gay activist groups went into action … .

"It appears this effort included feeding disinformation to the public. The New York Times and its syndicated news service spread the falsehoods under the headline 'Scouts' Successful Ban on Gays is Followed by Loss in Support' … .

"As it turns out, fewer than a dozen (not 'dozens') United Way chapters had withdrawn support …

"The Boy Scouts are not so much in a jam as they are in a Jamboree. In gay-friendly San Francisco, despite negative publicity surrounding the Dale case, area enrollment in the Scouts has grown 28 percent in the last two years. Nationally, it has reached an all-time high of 5 million youth members and 1.2 million adults … .

"Americans, by a vast majority, do not want gays to live under the fear of physical threat or job loss, but they also believe that avowed, active homosexuals are not the role models they want to lead their virtue-building institutions.

"Gay activists and their sympathetic journalists should recognize that tolerance does not require endorsement of a cultural blank check."

from "Scouts in a Jam or Jamboree?" in the Oct. 23 issue of Christianity Today

The next Lucy?

"Bette Midler does not watch television… . 'I always said I'd never watch anything stupider than me,' Midler explains, sitting on the set of 'Bette,' her television show… .

" 'And a lot of TV is really stupid. But movies are over for me. There's nothing there for me. It was so hard to get a picture… . So rather than wait for the ax to fall completely, because I like to work and I think I have a lot to offer, I said, "That's it. Let's try television." ' …

"More than usual, this show is dependent on the charisma of its star. Traditionally, shows about show business do not entice viewers… . 'Bette' flirts with the line. There are in-joke references to Midler's movies, and her daily humiliations include missed phone calls from the likes of Steven Spielberg. But 'Bette' never strays too far or too long from the home, where Bette is always the wife, mother and friend one who happens, like Lucy Ricardo before her, to be involved with the world of entertainment.

"The Lucy model is crucial. Midler reveres Lucille Ball, and she has appropriated two elements from 'I Love Lucy': TV Bette is prone to mishaps, which result in elaborate displays of physical comedy."

Lynn Hirschberg, writing on "Meta-Midler," Oct. 8 in the New York Times Magazine

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