- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Two standards

“Don’t you just love Rep. Patrick Kennedy’s excuse for wrecking his car at 2:45 a.m. in the nation’s capital?

“He swears he wasn’t drinking — even though a hostess at a local bar says she saw the chip off Sen. Ted Kennedy’s old block hoisting a few just before he crashed into a barricade on Capitol Hill. …

“What do you suppose would happen to you if you crashed into a barricade on Capitol Hill at 2:45 a.m. and were staggeringly intoxicated by combining prescription drugs?

“That’s right. You would be unceremoniously thrown into the pokey for driving while intoxicated. …

“Members of Congress may be responsible for approving the budgets of the Capitol Police, but the money they play with is your money, my money.

“The Capitol Police don’t work for them. They work for us!

“It’s becoming increasingly obvious that we have two standards of justice in this country — one for you and me and the other for ‘the commissars’ like Kennedy.

“This guy was born, not just with a silver spoon in his mouth, but with a get-out-of-jail-free card in his back pocket. …

“No one is safe as long as a Kennedy has access to a set of keys.”

— Joseph Farah, writing on “Driving while a Kennedy,” Monday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

‘Baby-daddy’

“Salon recently called Tom Cruise ‘Katie Holmes’ baby-daddy.’ … And Gawker refers to Keven Federline as ‘Britney Spears’ baby-daddy,’ even though the couple has been married for more than a year.

“Such usages would be unlikely in Jamaica, where baby-daddy has its roots. … The terms probably arose in Jamaican Creole … before taking hold in standard Jamaican English. …

“The terms soon landed in the lyrics of reggae and dancehall songs, which may be how they made their way to the United States. …

“By the mid to late ‘90s, the terms baby-daddy and baby-mama were appearing regularly in American hip-hop and R&B; songs, and the words were consistently used to refer to an ex. …

“Who knows why these terms became catchphrases?”

—Julia Turner, writing on “Where Do ‘Baby-Daddies’ Come From?” Sunday in Slate at www.slate.com

‘Idol’ phenom

“In its fifth season, ‘American Idol’ is rearranging the entire showbiz landscape. There are hits and there are hits; this show is a full-fledged cultural phenom.

“‘Idol’ is steamrolling every show in its path and generating hundreds of millions of dollars every year in ad sales for Fox. But ‘Idol’ riches are also trickling into many other sectors of the showbiz economy.

“TV shows, newspapers and record labels that touch the show have enjoyed a lucrative ride on the ‘Idol’ express. …

“Like Oprah, ‘Idol’ is a charmed brand, virtually immune from bad press. Host Paula Abdul’s alleged misbehavior with a former contestant and other entrants’ personal scandals didn’t ding the ratings. In a world where every scrap of pop culture is dissected in the blogosphere, and a reckless appearance on a talkshow can threaten to derail a career, such immunity is priceless.”

— Steven Zeitchik and Licole Laporte, writing on “The Money Tree,” Friday in Variety

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