- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Beyond satire

“Star Jones Reynolds took her loud mouth on ‘Larry King Live’ in order to defend her honor. On [June 26] — having been told that ‘The View,’ ABC’s morning chat show, would no longer require her co-hostessing services — Star had announced her imminent departure from the kaffeeklatsch live on-air, ahead of schedule and much to the vexation of her patron, Barbara Walters. …

“‘The View’ seems to exist for the sole purpose of being made fun of. Did ABC’s market research give any indication of what percentage of the show’s viewers is flipping it on in a spirit of mockery? I am tempted to believe that a majority of its audience is comprised of blocked sketch-comedy writers, bloggers looking for easy targets, semi-employed hipsters, undergraduates who have just awakened … and cynics working stationary bikes at the gym.”

— Troy Patterson, writing on “Mourning Star,” Friday in Slate at www.slate.com

Gore’s gospel

“According to Al Gore’s new film ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ we’re in for ‘a planetary emergency.’ …

“Bill Clinton has become the latest evangelist for Mr. Gore’s gospel. … Mr. Gore assures us that ‘the debate in the scientific community is over.’ …

“That statement … ought to have been followed by an asterisk. What exactly is this debate that Mr. Gore is referring to? Is there really a scientific community that is debating all these issues and then somehow agreeing in unison? Far from such a thing being over, it has never been clear to me what this ‘debate’ actually is in the first place” …

“So what, then, is one to make of this alleged debate? I would suggest at least three points.

“First, nonscientists generally do not want to bother with understanding the science. Claims of consensus relieve policy types, environmental advocates and politicians of any need to do so. Such claims also serve to intimidate the public and even scientists — especially those outside the area of climate dynamics. Secondly, given that the question of human attribution largely cannot be resolved, its use in promoting visions of disaster constitutes nothing so much as a bait-and-switch scam. That is an inauspicious beginning to what Mr. Gore claims is not a political issue but a “moral” crusade.

“Lastly, there is a clear attempt to establish truth not by scientific methods but by perpetual repetition. An earlier attempt at this was accompanied by tragedy. Perhaps Marx was right. This time around we may have farce — if we’re lucky.

— Richard S. Lindzen, writing on “Don’t Believe the Hype,” Sunday in Opinion Journal at www.opinionjournal.com

Bridal bigots?

“Has the pope issued an encyclical that blesses racial discrimination? Did the U.S. Catholic bishops release a pastoral letter applauding hate based on skin color? Or have the Massachusetts bishops been campaigning for white supremacy?

“Well, no, but in the eyes of some people, the church’s support for traditional marriage is just as evil.

“In early June, Sen. Ted Kennedy … accused backers of a federal marriage amendment of pushing ‘bigotry — pure and simple’ because the amendment would limit marriage to a man and a woman. …

“Words have consequences. Once advocates for same-sex marriage begin branding supporters of traditional marriage as bigots and haters, the more likely it becomes that government persecution will follow.”

— Daniel Avila, writing on “Are you a ‘marriage bigot’?” Monday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

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