- The Washington Times - Friday, May 18, 2001

How many 'Moms'?
"The Million Mom March rally in Washington, D.C., on Mothers Day, drew about 100 people, according to CNN. In Nashville, the MMM obtained a permit for a rally at the state Capitol, but didnt even show up. At the MMM rallies around the country, crowds tended to be around the size of the D.C. rally.
"At most MMM rally sites, pro-rights demonstrators, led by the Second Amendment Sisters (sometimes in conjunction with the Tyranny Response Team) staged counterprotests.
"A few weeks beforehand, the MMM had laid off 30 of its 35 paid staff… .
"The MMM was the darling of the media in the spring of 2000, but its abysmal election results in November have shown both politicians and the media that the group had little of the grass-roots political power that it claimed."
—Dave Kopel, writing on "Not Quite a Million Moms," Tuesday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Rock 'n' roll closet

"Although I was thrilled to read that (R.E.M.) lead singer Michael Stipe has finally come out of the closet — he told Times Christopher John Farley that hes been 'in a relationship with an amazing man for about three years — anyone who has paid even scant attention to Stipes career knows that this new 'revelation is a big yawn.
"But hairsplitters, take note: Although Stipe has been shifty about his sexuality and would often remark that hed been in relationships with men and women in that irritating, faux-bisexual way, the Advocate says that 'this new revelation falls short of full disclosure.
"Really? Stipe tells Time that hes now comfortable calling himself a 'queer artist. How much more disclosure do you want? Perhaps he should post some pictures of him and his boyfriend having sex on the Web. But seriously, why did Stipe waffle, or simply refuse to answer, whenever an interviewer asked about his sexuality? 'I was being made to be a coward about it, he told Farley, 'rather than someone who felt like it really was a very private thing.
"The obvious follow-up, which apparently didnt occur to Farley, was: Who or what 'made Stipe shroud his own sexuality in a cloak of ambiguity? My first guess: An executive at Warner Bros., or someone else who thought they had Stipes best interests in mind."
—Christopher Carbone, writing on "Hes Coming Out, Almost," in the May 16 issue of New York Press

Liberal hero

"For the last two years, 'West Wing has become more than a popular television show. It has become something of a political fantasy for people longing for the next New Frontier. During the Clinton administration, Bartlet, a liberal Democrat, became a powerful antidote to an ethically challenged and poll-obsessed White House. Every Wednesday at 9 p.m., hopeful liberals could tune in to watch a president and his feverish staff make the most of governments possibilities for doing good. One could feel positively patriotic.
"Now that we have a conservative Republican president, 'The West Wing has turned into a fictional opposition… .
"Al Gore has slid into the shadows, despite the fact that he won the popular vote — and, some would say, the election. And none of the Democrats in Congress appears to have the boldness or stature to fill the void.
"But Bartlet does. He has a loyal following to be the wealthiest and best-educated audience of any prime-time television network show. These are the folks who sport the bumper sticker, 'Dont blame me, I voted for Martin Sheen!"
—from "A fictional opposition," an editorial in Wednesdays San Francisco Chronicle

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