aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Don’t airbrush 9/11
ABC/Disney plans to memorialize the fifth anniversary of 9/11 with a fictional docudrama called “The Path to 9/11”. Written by an avowed right-wing activist, this work of fiction directly contradicts the accepted record of the 9/11 Commission Report. President Clinton and former administration officials were denied an advance copy; Rush Limbaugh and obscure right-wing bloggers saw it last week. ABC plans to distribute this docudrama to 100,000 educators across the country. We’ve set up this site to encourage ABC to change its strategy.
The one-stop shop to find info and take action.
Katie Couric made history on Tuesday night as the first woman to solo anchor a network newscast, but from the reviews, youÃ‚’d think she was a finalist in the Ã‚"TV SpokesmodelÃ‚” category of Ã‚"Star Search.Ã‚” Even though CouricÃ‚’s demeanor was fairly straightforward and somber throughout the half-hour CBS Evening News, journalists nationwide used such diminishing words as Ã‚"chirpyÃ‚" and Ã‚"bubblyÃ‚" and Ã‚"touchy-feelyÃ‚" to describe CouricÃ‚’s delivery. Tom Shales of the http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/05/AR2006090501473.htmlÃ‚">Washington Post called her white blazer a Ã‚"poor choiceÃ‚” that made her look Ã‚"chubby.Ã‚" Even no-nonsense Reuters referred to her as Ã‚"U.S. television sweetheart Katie Couric.Ã‚”
ItÃ‚’s pretty tough to imagine anyone referring to Ã‚"U.S. television heartthrob Peter JenningsÃ‚” or commenting on an ill-considered suit jacket or tie on Bryant Gumbel or Dan Rather. And Matt Lauer may have the cutesy, cuddly Ã‚"Aw shucks!Ã‚” tone of Ferris Bueller, but somehow weÃ‚’re never reminded of how Ã‚"perkyÃ‚" or Ã‚"vivaciousÃ‚" he is. Apparently itÃ‚’s a major challenge for Americans to stomach a woman delivering the news at night.
Of course, instead of asking whether or not a chick can really bring us the news, pundits nationwide employed imaginative adjectives to disguise their true feelings. A writer for Forbes, like many others, posed the question, Ã‚"Will she convey the gravitas to keep her on par with predecessors like Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings and Dan Rather?
The best response to this rhetorical question appeared on the CBS blog http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/couricandco/main500803.php?author=Greg_KandraÃ‚">Couric & Co.: Ã‚"After hearing that word (gravitas) a few times too often this summer, and hearing naysayers carp that it was something she [Katie Couric] needed, she finally decided: Ã‚â€˜I’m convinced gravitas is just Latin for testicles.Ã‚’Ã‚”
As it happens I do remember the fracas over her CBS predecessor’s sweater, and his donning the traditional Mujahadeen headdress. Still I cheer Katie’s response and wish her well.
REMEMBER: Connie on Katie and ‘Gravitas’: ‘It’s a Chauvinistic Word’ from the New York Observer last March.
Leave constitutions alone
So said J. Harvie Wilkinson III, a popular conservative judge who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, in the Washington Post. Read the whole thing. Two of my favorite passages:
The Federal Marriage Amendment has helped spread the constitutional fever to the states. State constitutional bans on same-sex marriages vary considerably in their wording, particularly with respect to civil unions. But most would repose in judges the authority to interpret such ambiguous terms as “domestic union,” “similar to marriage,” “rights, obligations, privileges and immunities of marriage,” “incidents of marriage” and so forth. Thus the irony: Those who wish to curb activist judges are vesting judges with unprecedented interpretative authority whose constitutional nature makes it all but impervious to legislative change. [...]
I do not argue that same-sex marriage is a good or desirable phenomenon, only that constitutional bans on same-sex unions carry terrible costs. Partisans see only one side of a profound controversy when in fact there are two. It is not wrong for gay citizens to wish to share fully in the life of this country, to partake of its most basic and sacred institution, and to experience the intimacy, bonding and devotion to another that only an institution such as marriage can bring. To embrace this view one need not believe that sexual infidelities will disappear but only that many gay couples will make good on their vows and lead fuller, richer and more productive lives as a result.
My kind of conservative.