- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Gay ‘9/11’

“Michael Moore’s ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ had exactly the same marketing strategy as ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ the gist of which was ‘Hey, a film sticks it to the conservatives, but it’s playing in the red states!’ …

“The Heartland Breakout Meme seems like … the sort of gratifying myth that in the past has helped lull liberals … into wild overconfidence. Remember when Democrats actually believed that ‘Fahrenheit’ would help push Bush out of office? It didn’t work out that way. Moore’s film didn’t change many minds in part because … it ‘never reached audiences that had the power to defeat the president at the polls.’ Despite all the ‘heartland’ hype, it was a blue-state movie. …

“Much of Democratic politics seems to now consist of embracing and fanning similarly comforting, but ultimately deceptive, liberal memes. Enron has fatally damaged Bush, Abu Ghraib has fatally damaged Bush, Katrina has fatally damaged Bush, Abramoff has fatally damaged Bush, the Plame investigation will fatally damage Bush — you can catch the latest allegedly devastating issue every day on Huffington Post or Daily Kos (and frequently in the [New York Times]).”

— Mickey Kaus, writing on “Sweeps the Heartland!” Monday in Slate at www.slate.com

Environment Inc.

“The idea of the rich corporate villain gleefully dirtying Mother Earth is powerful and appealing. Children of the 1980s encountered this supervillain in comics, movies, public awareness videos, and science textbooks. Times were good for mandatory recycling, for mandatory emissions reductions, for anything mandatory aimed at restraining corporate polluters.

“But in the late ‘90s, something peculiar started happening. The men in suits were still middle-aged, round, and white. They were still just as concerned with profit and golf. Very few of them sported tie-dyed attire, aside from the occasional whimsical Jerry Garcia tie. But the men in suits started caring. Or at least acting like they cared. Which, if you ask a spotted owl, is the same thing.

“So environmental activists across the nation bought their own ties and started dealing with corporations as almost-equal partners in planet saving. Businesses in turn learned that it’s pretty easy being green.”

— Katherine Mangu-Ward, writing on “The Age of Corporate Environmentalism,” in the February issue of Reason

Vanity vs. modesty

“I’ll admit that Vanity Fair is not exactly a high defender of morality in our culture, even on a good day. The ads they accept in their pages have been problematic for quite some time. But for the most part, their cover art, even though edgy, has stayed on the right side of discretion.

“But this month, they leapt over the line, with a cover photograph of Tom Ford — fully clothed — biting Keira Knightley’s ear. Knightley is completely naked. Reclining in front of them is Scarlett Johanssen, also completely nude.

“So much for progress toward female empowerment. … Feminists ought to be outraged. I am. What’s the message being sent there? There are several — pick one. None of them are ones you want sent to your daughter. …

“What does this cover say to young women about success in Hollywood? Anywhere? Both Knightley and Johanssen are well-respected young actresses. Keira Knightley, in particular, is one that my own girls have admired.

“I wish these two had had the moral courage to take a stand for virtue.”

— Charmaine Yoest, writing on “Vanity Fair in a Brown-Paper Wrapper,” Thursday for the Family Research Council at www.frc.org

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