- The Washington Times - Friday, July 19, 2002

Sensitive guy

"As you may know from MSNBC's Normandy-style ad campaign, Phil Donahue, the man who practically invented the gutter genre of talk television, who paved the way for Oprah and the rest, he of the bulging eyes, concerned hand gestures, and sensitive male persona has entered the fray of nightly political talk on cable.

"Phil Donahue is troubled that the United States once backed Saddam Hussein and now we want him gone. This gives Phil an extreme case of what's called 'pause.' So does the possibility that were we to get rid of Saddam, we might end up supporting yet another bad guy the same logic that was used to argue we shouldn't have gone after bin Laden.

"When Donahue's not disburdening himself of some Alan Alda impression on what being an American means to him, he's emoting, touching studio guests on the forearm, anything to make that trademark human connection. It's the exact opposite of Bill O'Reilly's use-and-abuse style. ."

David Skinner, writing on "Feeling Phil," Thursday in the Weekly Standard Online at www.weeklystandard.com

America adrift

"Did you know that every day in America we eat:

•75 acres of pizza

•53 million hot dogs

•167 million eggs

•3 million gallons of ice cream

•3,000 tons of candy

"Without a question, we are reaping the bitter fruit of the 'let it all hang out' mentality of the '60s and '70s, in which self-control became the persona non grata of an entire generation.

"Alan Widdecomb, Shadow Home Secretary in the British House of Commons, admits, 'Let's face it, we are not a happier society as a result of the liberalization of the '70s. We have record rates of suicides, record rates of teen-age pregnancy, record rates of youth crime, record rates of underage sex. We should invite people to recognize that the Great Experiment has failed. You cannot have happiness without restraint.'"

James Merritt in his new book "How to be a Winner and Influence Anybody"

Genocidal enemy

"I watched the full video twice, to make sure that what I had heard and seen were true: Daniel Pearl, in a calm, clear voice, exhibiting more courage than I have ever seen, admitting to his Pakistani captors he was a Jew. He is asked to repeat and affirm he is a Jew and that he had visited Israel, where a street is named after one of his forefathers. Soon one of the butchers is holding Pearl's severed head by the hair and bobbing it for the camera.

"No, it absolutely is not a snuff film. It is a wake-up call. While the president restructures the Department of Defensiveness and Dysfunction, many of us have been seduced into underrating the genocidal anti-American, anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish impulse of the enemy.

"Daniel Pearl was not decapitated so we could turn our own heads away. Or is it now our journalistic instinct to ignore hard truths? Pearl was killed for being a Jew. The agonizing video sends a profound message, and so we must send one back: Never forget, never forgive, never again."

Wayne Robins in "Witnessing a Murder" in the June 17 issue of Editor and Publisher

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