- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 29, 2006

Buh-bye

“So the annoying, insane former tub o’ lard, Star Jones, has been fired from anti-male yenta-fest ‘The View.’ …

“The best part about this whole thing is that we get to watch the forever annoying Baba Wawa (Barbara Walters to those not in the know) and Jones fighting about it all over the place, not to mention Walters openly lying about the whole thing (and getting caught with a million different stories). It’s like ‘Alien Versus Predator.’ …

“They didn’t fire her when, the day after the 2002 Passover Massacre in Israel, Jones urged understanding of the terrorists because people in ‘different cultures’ deal with their problems in other ways, and ‘we shouldn’t apply our western mores to them.’ Innocent families were blown to bits while they celebrated Passover at a hotel, but Jones’ absurd commentary was, unfortunately, not a reason to fire her in the absurd mind of unduly-respected pseudo-journalist biddy Walters. Nor was it even enough of a reason for Walters or any of the other co-hosts to protest or respond. …

“Buh-Bye, Star Jones. And don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

— Debbie Schlussel, writing on “Buh-Bye, Star Jones,” June 28 at www.debbieschlussel.com

Uncritical texts

“When ‘republic’ is used in such expressions as ‘The People’s Republic of …’ or ‘lies’ refers reflexively to an adversary’s interpretation of the facts, damage is done to the concepts — liberal government, truthfulness — that stand behind the words. ‘Critical thinking’ is another concept whose value is being diminished by terminological disarray. …

“Here are some indicators from my discipline of sociology that illustrate some of the work that needs to be done. …

“A text that’s currently in its fifth edition discusses the influence of social forces on definitions of aging by stating:

” ‘Negative images also contribute to the view that women are ‘old’ 10 or 15 years sooner than men. … The multi-billion dollar cosmetics industry helps perpetuate the myth that age reduces the ‘sexual value’ of women but increases it for men.’ …

“Certainly, there is some truth to this, but is it fair to say that it is a myth that age reduces the sexual value of women more quickly than for men? … A more educational analysis might suggest that a huge cosmetics industry is both cause and effect of the link between youth and female beauty.”

— Howard Gabennesch, “Critical Thinking,” in the March/April issue of the Skeptical Inquirer

Debasing deals

“Because I believe in the vengeful God of the Old Testament (and Monty Python sketches), I assume that Ralph Reed, the former executive director of the Christian Coalition, is probably telling the truth about his dealings with lobbyist Jack Abramoff. If Reed did all the things that investigators hint that he did, the Creator would surely have zapped him already. According to a recent report by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Abramoff paid Reed $5.3 million to tap his network of pastors and parishioners to wage a grass-roots war against gambling. What Abramoff perhaps didn’t tell Reed is that Indian tribes who ran casinos were funding the effort in order to scare away new competition. …

“The Reed story confirms what many devout Christians have argued since conservative social activists became a force in national politics in the 1970s: Engaging in worldly political maneuvering is ultimately debasing.”

— John Dickerson, writing on “A Weak Reed,” June 28 in Slate at www.slate.com

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