- The Washington Times - Friday, December 6, 2002

The ultra-lefty New York Times is too funny, despite its daily attempt to put people to sleep with its leaden prose.
The poor newspaper has decided to redefine the First Amendment after killing a pair of sports columns that differed from its editorial position on Tiger Woods and the Masters. In a recent editorial, the newspaper urged Woods to protest Augusta National's male-only membership by boycotting the golf tournament next April.
Dave Anderson and Harvey Araton, two of the newspaper's sports columnists, had the temerity to express a different opinion in their respective forums, only to have their undertakings silenced.
Next thing you know, in another move from the old Soviet Union, the New York Times will start air brushing the unfashionable out of photographs.
Let's take a deep breath here.
Usually, you are permitted to think what you want on an issue, especially one as contrived and inconsequential as one incredibly rich woman being permitted to join Augusta National. This is America, after all. You can think what you want, and think it when it fits your purposes. The sudden pang of conscience on the part of the New York Times was convenient, to say the least, considering the resources the newspaper has devoted to the event in the past.
Anyway, Martha Burk, who is leading the fight against the club, believes America would be a more equitable place if only Hootie Johnson would open his private sanctuary to one incredibly rich woman. Maybe so. Who knows? Who cares at a certain point? Burk is entitled to her opinion. It certainly has not hurt her visibility. People who did not know Martha Burk from Edmund Burke last April now know she is the all-knowing arbiter of male-female discord.
If Andy Rooney states that he prefers sideline football reporters to be male, Burk is there to say the comment is way out of bounds, an outrage and blah, blah, blah, which is fine, even amusing. It gives the chattering class something to discuss. It also helps fill the talking-head void. The hot air provides a brief moment of entertainment for those who get into that kind of thing. You can agree or disagree or move to something else. No big deal. One hot air mass is soon replaced by another hot air mass. You like women with ample chests? Go to Burk for approval. It is her call to make, and that is that.
Burk, if she likes, could encourage Johnson to consider the benefits of adding a one-legged, multilingual, Republican lesbian to his membership list. Now there is an idea with considerable potential. It probably would not be too hard to find someone who might disagree with the criteria. The two could appear together on Larry King Live, still not dead, just looks the part. As an added bonus, Larry Live is an obvious leg man after his recent performance with the leg prosthesis of Mrs. Paul .
There are 283 million Americans, not counting all the illegal residents in restaurant kitchens, and most, if not all, are quite capable of forming widely divergent views on all kinds of matters, most more important than whether one incredibly rich woman ever gets to walk the hallowed grounds of Augusta National as a full-fledged member.
As far as causes go, if that is the one that resonates for Burk, she is obligated to play it to the end. That does not make her a bad person, or even a dumb person. That is how the game is played.
Unfortunately, the sober-minded at the New York Times have forgotten the first tenet of the game, perhaps because of their highly inflated sense of self-importance. We all are entitled to play the game. Yes, yes, yes. We know this is a heavy subject matter, and only the extremely deep thinkers among us are capable of handling it with extreme intellectual care and placing it in its proper context.
The people of America are riveted by it, no doubt, just waiting to see what happens next. Life for women in America won't be worth living if Burk can't get one incredibly rich woman past the fire hose-armed Johnson. Really, why do Johnson and the boys hate incredibly rich women so? Just give one incredibly rich woman a chance.
The rest of America is left to assume that the two sports columnists with the New York Times are part of the vast male conspiracy to keep one incredibly rich woman down.
Now we know why we can't all get along: Hootie, Martha and the New York Times.

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