- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Unlikely scenario
“‘Joe Millionaire’ … is one of those ‘reality TV’ shows. The ‘Joe’ of the title is a young man named Evan Marriott, a rather obvious male model, but billed improbably by the producers as ‘a $19,000 a year construction worker.’
“Where does one start with this nonsense? I never saw any man that looked less like a construction worker than Evan Marriott. I worked construction all through my college summer vacations, and am very familiar with construction workers. Your average construction worker is 40 years old, has a double hernia and a bad back, smokes two packs of cigarettes a day, and drinks 15 pints of beer every night. And only $19,000 a year? I worked as a college-graduate professional for several years before I was able to make as much money as I made on construction sites. …
“‘Joe Millionaire’ is, in fact, the case for arranged marriage. It exposes the wretchedness, embarrassment and confusion of the dating charade of the most common process, in modern societies, for finding a mate.”
John Derbyshire, writing on “More Wrestling Than Dancing,” Friday in National Review Online at www.national-review.com
‘You are a terrorist’
“We are not afraid of any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is all too much war talk here. And I say that to everyone with the utmost respect.
“Here in this court where we deal with individuals as individuals, and care for individuals as individuals, as human beings we reach out for justice.
“You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier gives you far too much stature. Whether it is the officers of government who do it or your attorney who does it, or that happens to be your view, you are a terrorist.
“And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not treat with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists.
“We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice. …
“It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom. …
“Here, in this society, the very winds carry freedom. They carry it everywhere from sea to shining sea. …
“Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden, pay any price, to preserve our freedoms. …
“See that flag, Mr. Reid? That’s the flag of the United States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag still stands for freedom. You know it always will.”
U.S. Judge William Young, passing sentence Jan. 30 on convicted terrorist Richard C. Reid
Weird genius
“[L]et me say at the outset that Martin Bashir is an absolutely brilliant interviewer, at the very peak of his form. My only reservation is that in the course of his long encounter with Michael Jackson, broadcast this week, he asked almost none of the questions I wanted to hear answered. …
“True, the man is extremely weird. But we all knew that. … It is also true that Jackson has an eccentric relationship with children, and not all of us would look upon him either as a model father or as the perfect host for our young sons’ sleep-overs. …
“No. The point about Michael Jackson is not that he is odd, but that the man is a genius. As a dancer, he ranks well up there with Fred Astaire and Rudolf Nureyev. As a singer, he has been dazzlingly brilliant since he first cleared his throat on stage when he was 8. To put it at its lowest, Michael Jackson is an extremely important figure in the history of popular culture. …
“Mr. Bashir treated Jackson like a mildly interesting psychological case study. … For all the interest that he showed in his interviewee’s artistry, he might as well have been talking to any old loony dragged out of the local bin.”
Tom Utley, writing on “Of course Jackson’s odd but his genius is what matters,” Saturday in the London Daily Telegraph

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