Tuesday, February 13, 2001

Eminem’s enemies

“Last month, it was announced that four [Grammy] nominations … had been awarded to Eminem, the white rapper whose repugnant lyrics have offended both social activists and social conservatives… .

“It’s not difficult to understand why Eminem has so many enemies. His lyrics are a barrage of invective: He refers to women and gay people with the crudest of slurs, and he seems to view murder and rape as recreational activities… . One song offers a defense of the Columbine killers: ‘That’s a whole lot of school bullies shot up, all at one time.’

“Worse still, these lyrics have made Eminem a huge star last year, he sold more albums than Britney Spears. Many critics have argued that Eminem’s mainstream success makes him more dangerous: Hateful words can do much more damage when they’re coming from an MTV heartthrob.”

Kelefa Sanneh, writing on “Hearing the Voices of Hip-Hop,” in Friday’s New York Times

The loneliest decision

“There are women who go through abortion with grit teeth, and then it’s over, and they’re glad or at least that’s what they tell you, and if you’re a male, they really won’t tell you much.

“It is probably the loneliest decision they’ll ever make. No one talks about abortion in glowing terms. It is not something women at least not the women I’ve known tend to be proud of, and society certainly doesn’t hold up the aborted fetus as the paradigm of good works… .

“I was 21 years old and she was 25 and we were surviving on salted spaghetti. We had lived together before, and it was not good… .

“She was 10 weeks pregnant when we found out… . Two days later she went for a sonogram, kept the printout a radar smudge, fetus already with arms and eyes and a heart beating… . She wanted her child, but everyone was against her me, her parents, her friends, the abortion counselor with the big oak desk and red carpet. She never stood up and said it: I want my child.

“In the cab home [after the abortion], we said nothing and sat at opposite sides of the car… . I asked her if she was all right. She told me to go away.

“After that, there was no more dialogue for many months, for she was in mourning… .

“[I]t was the end of something between us on her side, it had killed off trust and a lot of hope, and on my side, all I felt was her resentment and bitterness and it pushed me away.”

C.T. Gent, writing on “The Loneliest Decision,” in the March issue of Gear

Who’s a journalist?

“[R]emember the Leonardo DiCaprio fuss? The effeminate nose-picker was signed up by ABC News to ask President Clinton some questions for some environmental special. The folks at ABC News wigged out. Why? Well, largely because, I think, they didn’t want to risk the possibility that viewers would discover that the difference between a trained and seasoned journalist and some teen heartthrob with an IQ that barely exceeds the speed limit in a school zone is negligible.

“The ‘professionalism’ of journalism has allowed some bigwig journalists to decide that others aren’t journalists. I.F. Stone, a left-wing propagandist who did no original reporting, was considered a saint, but Matt Drudge, who does plenty, is rejected as some alien creature who practices something other than journalism… . The reason? Because Matt won’t join the club.

“Is it shocking that for years many ‘professionals’ pushed for the actual licensing of journalists, so that only the ‘right’ people would report the news? Is it any more shocking that the elite press loves campaign-finance reform for precisely the same reason? The New York Times can’t have average citizens saying what they think, reporting facts, et cetera.”

Jonah Goldberg, writing on “Why I Hate Journalists,” Feb. 8 in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

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