- The Washington Times - Monday, January 31, 2005

Religion of peace

“Henry Ford would sell you a car in any color you wanted, as long as it was black, and network TV can depict terrorists of any kind, as long as they aren’t Muslim.

“Fox TV’s ‘24’ is a drama about a terrorist hunter, Jack Bauer. During the show’s lifetime, Bauer has gone up against Bosnian terrorists, German terrorists, South American terrorists, and terrorists from a shadowy and evil Halliburton-like conglomerate.

“But recently ‘24’ has gotten into hot water by featuring Muslim terrorists — or at least terrorists who look Middle Eastern. But while no Bosnian, German, South American or Halliburton exec contacted the network to complain about the way they were portrayed on the show, when Fox ventured into Islamic terror territory, the network immediately aroused the ire of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

“It is astounding that anyone would be offended by a fictionalized portrayal of the terrorist group that actually has perpetrated the largest terror attack, or attack of any kind, on American soil, but these are confused times.”

Robert Spencer, writing on “CAIR Intimidates Fox TV,” last Thursday in Notable News Now at www.freecongress.org

‘Very American idea’

“Count me among those who woke up on Nov. 3 and thought: secession! …

“Since then, when I’ve tried to have rational conversations about secession, I have heard the idea dismissed by those who would call themselves progressive or even radical. … What I want to know, and have yet to hear anyone explain — based on reason and not emotion — is why not secede? …

“Confounded by the logic of seceding, a friend recently broke down and pleaded, ‘But I don’t want to give away Utah.’ I was surprised to learn she owned it. … Why should we keep fighting to impose our ideas upon one another? And don’t try to tell me that’s not what this is about — from both sides. We have clearly entered the ‘with us or against us’ stage in this country. How about we here in sovereign California decline either invitation and just be on our own?

“It’s actually a very rugged, very American idea.”

Joe Donnelly, writing on “In defense of secession,” Jan. 21 in LA Weekly

Heroic mistress

“The Scott Peterson trial has finally shaken loose a hero: Amber Frey, the mistress with the heart of gold. Frey’s sleuthing and court testimony helped convict Peterson, and now the Fresno, Calif., massage therapist is taking a much-deserved victory lap. Her memoir, ‘Witness,’ sits atop the New York Times’ hardcover best-seller list. The interview she gave to ‘Dateline NBC’ on Jan. 4 attracted 16 million viewers — the show’s largest audience in three years. CBS plans to honor Amber with a lavish made-for-TV movie.

“Frey isn’t the first Other Woman to turn a profit. Monica Lewinsky collected a windfall for her confessional memoir. Other noted paramours … used their infamy to land in the pages of Playboy and Penthouse. But Frey is the only Other Woman whose tell-all book actually burnished her reputation. Frey has made adultery seem like something noble, even heroic. … How did Amber become the mistress America loves? …

“For one thing, Frey’s salacious confessions … serve a noble purpose. Other Women rarely convict cheating husbands of anything more than sexual harassment or soliciting a prostitute. Yet Frey was the star witness in a capital murder trial and, by almost every account, a dazzling one.”

Bryan Curtis, writing on “Amber Frey,” Jan. 26 in Slate at www.slate.com

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