- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 23, 2004

White liar

Political activist/director Michael Moore has taken the Cannes Film Festival by storm with his new Bush-bashing project “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Not sending roses is Fred Barnes, executive editor of the Weekly Standard.

“A few years ago, Michael Moore … in his first best-selling book ‘Stupid White Men’ … wrote he’d once been ‘forced’ to listen to my comments on a TV chat show, ‘The McLaughlin Group,’” Mr. Barnes writes in the upcoming issue of the Standard. “I had whined ‘on and on about the sorry state of American education,’ Moore said, and wound up bellowing: ‘These kids don’t even know what “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey” are!’

“Moore’s interest was piqued, so the next day he said he called me. ‘Fred,’ he quoted himself as saying, ‘tell me what The Iliad and The Odyssey are.’ I started ‘hemming and hawing,’ Moore wrote. And then I said, according to Moore: ‘Well, they’re … uh … you know … uh … OK, fine, you got me — I don’t know what they’re about. Happy now?’ He’d smoked me out as a fraud, or maybe worse.

“The only problem is none of this is true,” Mr. Barnes says. “Moore is a liar. He made it up. It’s a fabrication on two levels. One, I’ve never met Moore or even talked to him on the phone. And, two, I read both ‘The Iliad’ and ‘The Odyssey’ in my first year at the University of Virginia. Just for the record, I learned what they were about even before college.”

Mr. Barnes has an idea who should look into Mr. Moore’s “lies and distortions.” Al Franken has taken special interest in public liars, writing a best seller called “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.” Al, the Moore case is now in your court.

Dire warning

Because of the “current political polarization” in America today, the United States will suffer another “large scale” terrorist attack within the next year.

So warns a new poll conducted by the National Association of Chiefs of Police, revealing that 95 percent of the nation’s police commanders and security directors expect a “catastrophic” terrorist incident within the continental United States.

“If Americans believe we’re not being targeted for terror in the near future, they are fooling themselves,” says NACOP Vice President Jim Kouri, who predicts the killers, among other dastardly missions, will be attempting to influence this November’s presidential election. It worked for them in Spain.

Rare sighting

Making a rare appearance in North Carolina yesterday was North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who spent much of the past year campaigning unsuccessfully for president.

“John Edwards has spent more time this year in Rochester, New Hampshire, than Raleigh, N.C., so I’m glad Erskine Bowles is taking the opportunity to reintroduce Mr. Edwards to North Carolina voters,” says Doug Heye of yesterday’s fund-raiser for Mr. Bowles, who was White House chief of staff under President Clinton.

“It’s been so long since they’ve seen him in the state, voters might have forgotten they have two senators,” says Mr. Heye, a former Capitol Hill staffer who is in North Carolina working to elect Republican Rep. Richard M. Burr to the Senate.

“It will be interesting to see if Erskine will apologize to Mr. Edwards for supporting D.G. Martin in the 1998 [Senate] Democrat primary.”

Feminizing boys

Taking a seat at the recent U.N. Commission on the Status of Women — where the focus was on the role of men and boys in achieving gender equality — was Janice Shaw Crouse, a senior fellow at the Beverly LaHaye Institute.

“The bottom line was clearly stated: We must nurture boys into developing more feminine characteristics — gentleness, compassion and tenderness, among others — and train them away from the more typically male aggressive and competitive behavior,” she says.

But Mrs. Crouse concedes while there’s “nothing wrong with masculine gentleness, compassion and tenderness,” given the problems in today’s world “there is also nothing wrong with competitiveness or aggressiveness within bounds …

“And, there is definitely nothing wrong with masculinity (boys being boys and men being men) or with femininity (girls being girls and women being women).”

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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