- The Washington Times - Monday, December 17, 2001

Bias? What bias?
"Bernard Goldberg, a 28-year veteran of CBS News, has written 'Bias,' an expose of the hypocrisy, elitism and tendentiousness that define the major television news networks, as well as institutions such as the New York Times and Washington Post. Mr. Goldberg has been branded a pariah in the New York-Washington fraternity, which includes celebrity journalists like Dan Rather, Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw, to name just a few.
"His crime? Mr. Goldberg argues that the upmarket media distort the news to make it conform with their own liberal politics, all the while preening about their 'objectivity'
"On the network news, Robert Bork is the 'conservative' judge; Laurence Tribe, merely a Harvard professor. Mr. Goldberg comments dryly: 'I could be wrong, but I think homelessness ended the day Bill Clinton was sworn in as president. Which is one of those incredible coincidences, since it pretty much began the day Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president.' The clubhouse chatter in Mr. Goldberg's book involves not ribald jokes but CBS producers referring to Middle America as if it is one big trailer park."
Russ Smith, writing on "That's the Way It Isn't Truth vs. Network News," in the Dec. 13 issue of the Wall Street Journal

Explosive rhetoric
"After reading the transcript of [Osama] bin Laden's sickening discourse with his fellow religious lunatics, a couple of things strike me. The first is that anyone who doubts the genuineness of this man's faith, the inextricability of a twisted fundamentalist Islam with this form of terror, is simply in denial.
"The second thing that's obvious is that the only thing bin Laden respects is power. Notice how he predicts that there will be mass conversions to Islam after the massacre. He believes that people, especially those in his own back yard, suck up to the powerful and that this is the critical battle in his region. He directly rebuts Western nonsense about the Arab street being enraged by any exercise of American power in the Middle East. In fact, bin Laden proves that the best form of persuasion in that part of the world is not rhetorical but military. Pummel them and they will respect you. Talk to them nicely and you'll end up like [British journalist] Robert Fisk [who was beaten by an Afghan mob].
"The most persuasive piece of rhetoric yet unleashed in this conflict has been the daisy cutter bomb. It's the only argument that much of this clearly depraved culture actually respects. And when bin Laden is dead or captured, his hold on the imagination in that part of the world will collapse."
Andrew Sullivan, writing on "Instapundit," Thursday at www.andrewsullivan.com

Kiss and tell
"Gene Simmons's new autobiography, 'Kiss and Make-Up,' may as well be called 'Kiss and Tell.' In it, he chronicles many of the 4,600 sexual liaisons he's had in his 52 years.
"The Kiss frontman has used his fire-breathing charms to seduce Cher and Diana Ross
"But he wouldn't want you to think he's some kind of boor.
"'I hope the tone isn't like what guys do when they drink beer and watch football games,' Simmons, who neither drinks nor does drugs nor, presumably, has much time for football, tells Spin magazine. 'There is a big difference between a gentleman who is attracted to all women and some idiot named Vinnie.'
"Simmons, whose real name is neither Vinnie nor Gene, but rather Chaim Witz, says that even though he's now in a committed relationship and has kids, he has no intention of resting on his libidinous laurels.
"'Complacency is death,' he says."
Amy Reiter, writing on "Roll Over, Wilt," Thursday in Salon at www.salon.com

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