- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 6, 2001

No moral resolve
"After September 11, there was much talk on NPR about 'root causes' and the 'cycle of violence'; the ever-predictable Katha Pollitt, just one of many in the Nation seething over what they see as Americans' supposedly mindless patriotic excess, wrote of her disgust when her daughter asked for an American flag.
"Stephen Jukes, global news editor for the British news service Reuters, ordered his reporters to excise the word 'terrorist' from their coverage of the attacks. 'One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter,' wrote Jukes in an internal memo. 'We abstain from judgment and believe the word "terrorist" is a loaded term.' As Fox News's Fred Barnes put it: 'What does Reuters want to call these people? Activists?'
"That lowest of the culture-forming institutions the entertainment industry also vapored over American intolerance and its potential Muslim victims. A star-filled Hollywood super-benefit celebrating the heroism of New York's firefighters, police, and rescue workers, which aired on all the networks, commendably raised an estimated $150 million for the families of the attack victims. But the producers' energies seemed largely focused on a slickly produced segment on the fears of Muslim-American children, while what should have been the message of the moment a call to moral purpose and high resolve received only the briefest of statements, from Clint Eastwood."
Kay S. Hymowitz & Harry Stein , writing on "Earth to Ivory Tower: Get Real!" in the Autumn issue of City Journal

Barbara's decade
"The 1990s, as a political era, began on Sept. 10, 1991, with the hearings on the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas, and ended abruptly 10 years and one day later, with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. A key figure in both of these events was Barbara Olson, who rose to prominence during the Thomas hearings, and died in the crash of Flight 77 into the Pentagon. Her first book was the best-selling 'Hell to Pay,' a precise portrait of the unlovable Hillary Clinton herself. Her final book is 'The Final Days,' a short, crisp, lethal summation of the events of January 2001, as the Clintons prepared to vacate the White House, and finally did so, taking much of the furniture with them.
"Barbara Olson would be delighted to know that the post-attack Clintons have stayed strictly in character. Bill is in despair at losing his place at center stage all that pain he's not feeling and he fears that the drama will wash out his memory. He is 'worrying that his peace-and-prosperity presidency will be recast as a footnote to the Bush family dynasty.' As for Hillary, she equates the raw hatred of the terrorists to the protests she encountered in 1994 while selling her health plan."
Noemie Emery, writing on "Major Barbara," in the Nov. 19 issue of National Review

Spacey's spaceman
"Kevin Spacey characters compose their faces with permanent half smiles, lips together, eyes unblinking. They speak in low, measured cadences. They're provocatively calm, these seemingly mild masked men. But an exciting thrum of craziness vibrates just below their placid surfaces. And while every Spacey man guards a secret, some psychological subterfuges are more interesting and more suited to the actor's performance style than others.
"I'm not sure what to make of the confounding detachment from other human beings that Spacey personifies in 'K-PAX,' a mystical, twistical psychological drama in the 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' tradition of romanticizing the miraculous, charismatic, saintly insane. But something in the planets doesn't align in the spaceman-or-madman conundrum the film poses."
Lisa Schwarzbaum, writing for "Spacey Cadet," in the Nov. 2 issue of Entertainment Weekly


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