- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 3, 2005

Vanishing voices

“Henry Hazlitt, the author of the free-market classic ‘Economics in One Lesson,’ wrote unsigned editorials for the New York Times from 1934 to 1946.

“Felix Morley, a staunch advocate of limited government at home and abroad, won a Pulitzer Prize for his writing while editor of The Washington Post in the 1930s.

“Even Ayn Rand, the uncompromising champion of individualism and capitalism, wrote several dozen op-ed columns in the early 1960s for the Los Angeles Times.

“Except maybe for the L.A. Times, which in July remodeled its Sunday opinion section and announced it would seek content from across the whole ideological spectrum, Hazlitt, Morley and Rand — and most of their libertarian ideals — wouldn’t stand a chance of appearing regularly in these three powerful papers today.”

Bill Steigerwald, writing on “Diversifying the marketplace of ideas,” Sunday in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Faking reality

“The way in which Hollywood crosses the boundary between the make-believe and the real world takes myriad forms. Consider, for example, 20th Century Fox’s creation of an ‘Extraterrestrial Highway’ in Nevada. In 1996, in preparation for a publicity campaign for the movie ‘Independence Day,’ Fox executives persuaded Nevada Gov. Bob Miller to officially dedicate Nevada’s Highway 375 as a safe haven for extraterrestrials who landed their spaceships on it. …

“Hollywood has pushed the reality envelope in other creative fashions, ranging from a studio creating a fake corporate Web site, as Paramount did with the Manchurian Global Corporation for its remake of ‘The Manchurian Candidate,’ to counterfeiting a film critic, as Sony Pictures did with the nonexistent ‘David Manning.’ …

“Nor is it surprising that the culture of deception is so deeply entrenched in Hollywood. The industry, after all, derives much of its wealth and power from its ability to get audiences to suspend disbelief in movies and television programs — even so-called reality shows.”

Edward Jay Epstein, writing on “The World According to Hollywood,” Monday in Slate at www.slate.com

Mae remembered

“Mae West definitely invited assorted men to ‘come up and see me some time.’ She also quipped … ‘It ain’t the men in my life, it’s the life in my men that counts,’ and much besides. …

“She made her name on Broadway in her own play, ‘Sex,’ which Variety described as ‘the nastiest thing ever disclosed on a New York stage.’ …

” ‘Sex’ was prosecuted, and Mae spent eight days in prison for ‘producing an immoral show and maintaining a public nuisance.’ …

“Mae has enjoyed a rich afterlife as a feminist and gay icon. In both roles, she remains controversial. For all her feisty refusal to be subservient, she relied heavily on an outmoded and discredited femininity, advising women not to forget ‘your frills and ruffles and anything else that feminizes you.’ In 1959 … she declared that ‘in many ways, homosexuality is a danger to the entire social system in Western civilization.’ ”

Michael Arditti, writing on “Mae West,” Oct. 28 in the London Independent

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