- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 28, 2005

‘Creepy’ fitness

“While it would seem impossible, the left has found a new low. …

“In a piece for the Los Angeles Times … Jonathan Chait notes he finds the president’s interest in exercise ‘disturbing.’ He bleats, ‘What I mean is the fact that Bush has an obsession with exercise that borders on the creepy.’ …

“Chait closes by accusing the president’s encouragement of exercise among Americans as a further indication of how ‘out of touch he is.’

” ‘It’s nice for Bush that he can take an hour or two out of every day to run, bike, or pump iron. Unfortunately, most of us have more demanding jobs than he does.’

“Wow, that says it all, doesn’t it? Chait is smarter, more clever, is much busier and certainly more important than the president.”

Tammy Bruce, writing on “The Increasingly Ugly Left,” July 26 at www.newsmax.com

Staying home

“In the first three months of 2005, the studios earned $5.67 billion from DVD sales. … DVD sales were up $1.29 billion, an incredible rise of 28 percent. … Indeed, DVDs alone now provide 59 percent of the feature film revenues of the studios, as opposed to 48 percent in 2004. …

“What has inexorably changed is the location of the studios’ crucial audience. In 1948, with studios earning all their revenues from the box office, that audience was moviegoers. Even as late as 1980, when the audience had television sets and video players, studios still earned 55 percent of their money from people who actually went to movie theaters. In 2005, however, those moviegoers provided the studios with less than 15 percent of their worldwide revenues, while couch potatoes provided it with 85.8 percent. …

“This change in audience location altered the balance of power inside the studios. It reduced the once-almighty movie distribution arms to minor players while awarding star status to the home entertainment divisions that produced well over three times as much revenue. Through this reversal of fortunes, the stage has been set for what a top studio executive warned could be ‘Hollywood’s death spiral.’ ”

Edward Jay Epstein, writing on “Hollywood’s Death Spiral,” July 25 in Slate at www.slate.com

‘Quiet of conscience’

“Because Massachusetts is decidedly pro-choice, I have respected the state’s democratically held view. I have not attempted to impose my own views on the pro-choice majority.

“For all the conflicting views on this issue, it speaks well of our country that we recognize abortion as a problem. The law may call it a right, but no one ever called it a good, and, in the quiet of conscience people of both political parties know that more than a million abortions a year cannot be squared with the good heart of America. …

“There is much in the abortion controversy that America’s founders would not recognize. Above all, those who wrote our Constitution would wonder why the federal courts had peremptorily removed the matter from the authority of the elected branches of government.

“The federal system left to us by the Constitution allows people of different states to make their own choices on matters of controversy, thus avoiding the bitter battles engendered by ‘one size fits all’ judicial pronouncements. …

“We will never have peace on the abortion issue, much less a consensus of conscience, until democracy is allowed to work its way.”

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, writing on “Why I vetoed contraception bill,” July 26 in the Boston Globe

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