- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 23, 2001

No compromise

"It's hard to ignore the constant harping from the media and from the left about the need for compromising in the middle a theme that was renewed as the media denigrated Sen. John Ashcroft as being 'too ideological' to serve as the nation's attorney general. But the drumbeat is both one-sided and wrong-headed.
"It is one-sided because you so rarely hear that call from those same quarters about liberal ideas. When, for example, has the New York Times or '60 Minutes' suggested that supporters of partial-birth abortion drop some of their extremist rhetoric and compromise a point or two with pro-lifers? When has the National Education Association ever proposed some sort of cooperative effort with private educators?
"For such folks, there simply is no such thing as middle ground. You play the game their way, or you don't play at all.
"The harping about 'meeting in the middle' is wrong-headed because on some issues it would be just plain immoral to forsake dogmatic principle in favor of mushy compromise… .
"Should we seek to meet in the middle in our opposition to child abuse, to famine and to racism? If something is wrong, it's wrong. There's no honor in striking a compromise with an obvious evil. As Barry Goldwater said 36 years ago, 'Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.' "
Joel Belz in "No Middle Ground" in the Jan. 13 issue of World

Angry Alec

"Kim Basinger, who split with bad-boy hubby Alec 'Bloviator' Baldwin [recently], had talked about fleeing her crumbling marriage for a year and a half, the sexy star's dad has revealed.
"Don Basinger also says Baldwin has a horrendous temper that he too often unleashed on Kim even in front of their 5-year-old daughter, Ireland.
" 'I have known for a year and a half that she was thinking about this,' Don tells People magazine… .
" 'Alec has this anger where he reaches down for something that hurts, something that may have happened a year or two ago, and then abuses Kim with it.' …
"Don adds that Kim had incredible patience with the often-boiling Baldwin, telling him, 'You've got to overcome this anger, or I can't live with you.' …
"The split came three days after a thunderous fight in the posh Hamptons eatery Estia, with Alec reportedly bellowing:
" 'You never do what I tell you! What is it about listen that you don't understand?' "
Bill Hoffmann, writing on "Alec's temper drove her away: Kim's dad," in Thursday's New York Post

Vast tabloid conspiracy

"The news that the Rev. Jesse Jackson fathered a child out of wedlock with an aide, Karin Stanford, and used money from his nonprofit Rainbow/PUSH Coalition to pay the woman $40,000 in 'moving expenses,' broke in the National Enquirer and reintroduced the nation to the politics of sex… .

"The timing of the story during the week of the confirmation hearings of John Ashcroft and just days before Jackson was set to lead protests at George W. Bush's inauguration had some Democrats crying foul.
" 'My immediate reaction is, this is a dirty trick. I don't mean the fact that he had an illegitimate child, but the fact it was released at this moment,' says Todd Gitlin, professor of culture, journalism and sociology at New York University… . 'I think the timing stinks to high heaven. In this case, I'm very curious to know how a disreputable sheet like the Enquirer suddenly becomes a window through which news crawls in the room, at this moment in particular.' "
Anthony York, writing on "Jackson retreats," Friday in Salon at www.salon.com

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