- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Only in America

We follow yesterday's "chocolate and condoms" item, which detailed abuses of the federal AIDS program, with word from Capitol Hill that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating whether the HIV-prevention activities it's funding at the Stop AIDS Project of San Francisco are "scientifically sound."

Last year, the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services found that the Stop AIDS Project's prevention programs violated a number of federal laws and guidelines, by promoting sexual activity.

Now we learn that the House Government Reform's criminal justice, drug policy and human resources subcommittee, like the CDC, is examining whether Darlene Weide, the executive director of the Stop AIDS Project, is using her federally funded position to promote sadomasochistic, or S&M, films and to put on live S&M demonstrations.

The subcommittee didn't have to look far; it simply clicked through the project's Web site. Once there, it found that Miss Weide provides her federally funded fax number and e-mail address to sell and promote her S&M film "Kinky Pinky's." Also listed on the site are some other of Miss Weide's S&M films.

Last year, it was determined that the Stop AIDS Project used federal funds to put on a live bondage, domination and S&M scene, the title of which we cannot print in this newspaper.

Equally disturbing, perhaps, is a CDC document showing that the S&M program was found objectionable to only one CDC review panel member, who noted that "there is no HIV/STD prevention in BDSM [Bondage, Domination and S&M;] relationships.

"I would approve these materials if the [X-rated title of the live bondage scene] were removed and included info about HIV/STD," the CDC panel member said. "Stop AIDS project is selling and promoting S&M films, putting on live S&M demonstrations and promoting S&M to those who may be curious with federal HIV prevention dollars without including information about HIV and STDs.

"Is that 'scientifically sound?' "

Speaking of sex

The hard-drinking, chain-smoking, two-fisted newspaperman of legend and lore is pretty much gone with the wind, and a White House correspondent today is more likely to be looking for a salad bar than go scouting for a bar where he can get an honest shot of bourbon. But there's still the remembrance of some things past.

Sex, sort of, was at the bottom of a breathless gossip item in The Post yesterday, reporting how Joe Curl, a White House correspondent for The Washington Times, was scolded by the president of the correspondents' association for taking liberties with the pool report. The pool report is the account given to the other reporters by the reporter who rides as their surrogate in Air Force One. Often he never sees the president, but his job is to tell the other guys what goes on inside the president's plane. Some pool reports are more boring than others.

What got Joe a scolding was a written aside, a play on an Austin Powers joke, that President Bush would bomb Iraq if Saddam Hussein didn't pony up a million dollars. He added, prominently: "Not!" But what some of the guys are really smoked about is that in an earlier pool report Mr. Curl had a little fun reporting, accurately, that reporters, the president's staff and the Secret Service bodyguards had spent the flight watching an R-rated movie with the "fully naked female displaying her full nudity (in a frontal manner)." Shortly afterward the fully frontal flicks were removed from the Air Force One video library.

Somebody really knows how to hurt the guys. That's why reporters sometimes guard information as if it were classified, and are horrified at a certain kind of leak. Old Asia hands still talk about the time that Time magazine did a two-page spread on "the girls of Peitou," a village near Taipei celebrated for its bordellos, which were particularly plentiful, elegant, welcoming, always open and always worth a stopover between Tokyo and Hong Kong. As soon as the magazine appeared the government closed Peitou, and the offending correspondent was never forgiven.

Stake your ground

We had written in recent days that the immigrant population in this United States is growing at unprecedented levels 6½ times faster than the native-born population. In the next 50 years, we also added, the U.S. Census Bureau projects immigration will cause the population of the United States to swell from its present 270 million to more than 400 million.

Except that those "latest" Census figures are a couple of years old.

"At this moment, we are pushing 288 million people and, according to Census, will reach 404 million people by 2050," corrects Dave Gorak, executive director of the Midwest Coalition to Reduce Immigration in Lombard, Ill. "This is the 'middle' projection; the 'high' projection would put us at 571 million by 2050 and 1 billion by 2100."

Thanks for the warning, Mr. Gorak.

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