- The Washington Times - Monday, September 11, 2000

New network season

"After almost 40 years, TV's 'Fall Season' has become as much a part of our culture as, well, Labor Day. But lately, the networks seem to be quietly recognizing that fall isn't the only season worth owning.

"The success of shows such as CBS' 'Survivor,' this summer, and Fox's January launch of 'Malcolm in the Middle,' have helped advance the idea that TV is a medium for all seasons.

"Increased competition from the Internet and from cable networks which debuted a total of 20 news series between June and September last year alone has led to an erosion of network viewership across the board, giving execs even more impetus to uncover new scheduling niches… .

"ABC, for example, has seven new series planned for this year, but only four will debut in the fall. The rest will be rolled out gradually, using spots during the network's ace show, 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire,' to promote them."

Rebecca Gardyn, writing on " 'Tis the Season," in the September issue of American Demographics

Ultrasound 'torture'?

"Seeing is believing. A picture is worth a thousand words. These are just a couple of the well-known phrases our culture uses to express our belief that there's something especially compelling about visual evidence.

"Pro-life advocates agree … and … have long argued that abortionists should be required to provide women with a sonogram image of their moving, kicking, wiggling, thumbsucking babies before they decide if they're going to keep them or kill them.

"[Abortion-rights advocates] are fond of saying a woman should be able to make an informed decision about her own health, [but] they consistently reject the idea of sharing the most impactful information of all the animated image of the sons and daughters living within them… .

"[A] Planned Parenthood abortionist in British Columbia has finally come forward to provide the definitive response.

"According to Dr. Lianne Lacroix, 'Abortion is a hard enough thing for any woman to decide without the torture of seeing the baby on an ultrasound screen.' …

"Even more revealing than Dr. Lacroix's inability to correctly identify the tortured patient is her admission that the patient inside the womb is a 'baby.' How can she know this and still kill these precious little patients for a living?"

Judie Brown, writing on "Torture Chamber," a Wednesday commentary from the American Life League

Cultural collision

"As you become a more astute observer of the cultural war in which we find ourselves, you will find that the stinking root of most of the conflict grows from a vicious rift between urban and rural American values.

"In almost every act of cultural war, it's there somewhere: the fight between city boys and the country boys… . You'll see one party calmly chewing on a wheat stalk, while the other is flip-phoning 911.

"In rural America, the clouds naturally skywrite 'No Trespassing.' Here prevail the tradition of taking care of one's own, a presumed independence from intrusion, a history of looking after our families, our land and our property, and a culture where we take responsibility for things personally.

"Not so when you cross the big city limits. In urban America, a different notion thrives: almost complete dependence upon and full delegation of responsibility to others for one's safety and well-being… .

"Rural residents look at our cities and see uncontrolled crime and blight, and city-slickers who want to deprive them of their rights when they can't even keep the trash picked up on time.

"Urban dwellers, in turn, look out at the farmland and see backwards, backwoods rustics too outdated or stupid to understand the 'realities' of the modern world… .

"The result is mutual distrust: two sides vying for the heart of the nation."

Charlton Heston, from his new book, "The Courage to be Free"

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