- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Double standard

“Tom Cruise [has used] the media to preach the virtues of Scientology and the evils of psychiatry. He gave interviews about his new film, ‘War of the Worlds,’ as long as he was permitted to talk about his religion. …

“In addition to this Tom Cruise media blitz, stories have appeared depicting Scientology as the new ‘it’ religion. …

“Can you imagine Mel Gibson being given these opportunities to promote his own brand of conservative Catholicism? Gibson is such a pariah in Hollywood that he had to finance the production of his own film on Christ. And can you imagine if Gibson had announced he was marrying a young actress — 16 years younger — and that she was leaving her religion to join his? Hollywood and much of the rest of the liberal media would be in an uproar.”

—Cliff Kincaid, writing on “Tom Cruise vs. Mel Gibson,” July 26 in Media Monitor at www.aim.org

Diversity ‘sinkhole’

“Harvard University has just pledged $50 million for faculty ‘diversity’ efforts, penance for President Lawrence Summers’s public mention of sex differences in cognition. …

“For connoisseurs of diversity claptrap, Harvard’s just-released ‘Report of the Task Force on Women Faculty’ is a thing of beauty, a peerless example of the destruction of higher learning by identity politics. …

“At a Jan. 14 conference on women in science, Summers had speculated that one possible reason for women’s lack of proportional representation on elite science faculties might be that more men than women possessed the highest levels of quantitative reasoning skills. Though research amply bears out the unequal distribution of the most abstract mathematical abilities, Summers’s allusion to this research set off an immediate spasm of revulsion and horror among Harvard’s feminist faculty members. Their fury culminated in a March 15 faculty vote of ‘no confidence’ against Summers, despite his cringing public retractions and apologies that began as soon as the controversy erupted. …

“And so Harvard launched the Task Force on Women Faculty … to ‘affirm [the school’s] commitment to the advancement and support of women in academic life.’ …

The aristocratic ease with which Harvard has just dumped $50 million down a bureaucratic sinkhole tells you all you need to know about why attending Harvard for eight months costs more than most families earn in a year. Eventually, students and parents may start asking why anyone would want to.”

—Heather Mac Donald, writing on “Harvard’s Diversity Grovel,” in the summer issue of City Journal

Country coalition

“My favorite Republican drives around town listening to country music and crying. … She also pounds on the steering wheel and sings along with her favorite raucous tunes, like Alan Jackson’s ‘It’s Five o’Clock Somewhere.’ …

“A week before the last presidential election, a liberal friend of mine e-mailed me that he thought Kerry would win by about two percentage points. I should have told him to turn on the country music station where he lived. That week found John Kerry criss-crossing the Midwest with aging rock and rollers. President Bush hung out with NASCAR drivers and with country stars who never age. It was obvious who was going to win.

“Forget those things the television says that rob you of sleep. Listen to country. America is going to win, too.”

—Lawrence Henry, writing on “Gone Country,” Friday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

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