JWR Jeff JacobyBen WattenbergRoger Simon
Mona CharenLinda Chavez

Paul Greenberg Larry ElderJonathan S. Tobin
Thomas SowellClarence PageWalter Williams
Don FederCal Thomas
Political Cartoons
Left, Right & Center

Jewish World Review / August 12, 1998 / 20 Menachem-Av, 5758

Don Feder

Don Feder With Bubba in the sexual privacy zone

LIKE SGT. SCHULTZ, the German guard at the POW camp in "Hogan's Heroes," when it comes to our pubescent president's escapades, the American people prefer to know nothing. The culture has done its work well.

As the Lewinsky scandal accelerates, a plaintive bleating is heard from the public: It's just sex. What they did in private is their business. We don't want to hear about it. We don't want to know about it.

This is the ultimate triumph of '60s culture, which -- through its megaphones in Hollywood, the news media and education -- tells us sex is purely private. Because the right to sexual privacy includes freedom from responsibility, we are not allowed to pass moral judgment on these matters.

There's a spillover effect. The sexual privacy zone legitimizes other immoral acts committed in its defense. Thus, lying is wrong, unless it's done to shield intimate behavior.

If the president had lied about taking drugs or a bribe in the Oval Office, that would be contemptible. That he presumably fibbed to cover up his adulterous relationship with a pathetic woman half his age is condoned, because he was defending his sexual privacy.

The zone has become a trump card in the debate over abortion and gay rights, the most contentious issues of our age. In the name of sexual privacy, our society has permitted the killing of 30 million unborn children.

Accepting the privacy principle, the American people have passively allowed the bestowal of government-protected minority status on individuals whose only common characteristic is their bedroom behavior.

It's no coincidence that abortion and gay rights are the issues on which our president (a living embodiment of '60s ethos) is most passionately committed. He respects the sexual privacy of others as he insists on his own.

Besides pleading the inherent privacy of sex, the culture seeks to desensitize us through non-stop bombardment. From something mysterious and sacred, sex is reduced to just another thing, a matter of small significance.

"The Simpsons" (how quaint that we once found this naughty) gives way to "Beavis and Butt-head," which in its turn surrenders the spotlight to "South Park."

This Comedy Central show has an average audience of 5.2 million. Advertisers like Calvin Klein, AT&T and Snapple pay $80,000 for 30-second spots on "South Park," an episode of which is charmingly titled, "Cartman's Mom Is a Dirty Slut."

But "South Park" has competition. In June, Howard Stern began a Saturday night television talk show on a number of CBS-affiliate stations. "We'll have sex and nudity and lesbians," Stern promised at a press conference. We expect nothing less.

Network shows and cable TV have become so sex-saturated -- "Dawson's Creek," "Sex and the City" -- that comedian Steve Allen, yesterday's Al Franken, is leading a decency crusade called "A Parent's Appeal to TV Sponsors."

An article in the Jan. 5 Newsweek ("Lick Me, Flog Me, Buy Me") leeringly reports on the "mainstreaming" of "S&M -- or B&D, for bondage and discipline."

A print ad for Bass Ale shows a prostrate man licking a woman's hip-high boot (no, it's not Dick Morris). La Nouvelle Justine, Manhattan's latest theme restaurant, offers spankings and flagellation along with food and a full wine service.

Between the indoctrination and saturation, we have been trained to treat sex, including its kinkiest manifestations, with a shrug.

Consider the beautiful sex offenders who were rehabilitated after a few months in celebrity Siberia -- Hollywood john Hugh Grant, cinematic pedophile Woody Allen, Pee-Wee (public indecency) Herman and sportscaster Marv Albert, who wonders where Monica got her dress.

Our sense of shame got lost somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle of sexual privacy. Last month, the Census Bureau reported that the number of couples shacking up hit a record 4.13 million in 1997, more than double the number in 1986.

Sex is private and none of our business -- except sexually transmitted diseases and sexual assaults are rampant.

Sex is a privacy issue -- but one in two marriages ends in divorce, nearly 40 percent of children are growing up in households without fathers and parents have to shoo their kids out of the room when news of the search for the president's DNA comes on the tube.

That hallowed sexual privacy zone increasingly looks like ground zero in the detonation of our civilization.


8/10/98: The truth won't set Clinton free
8/06/98: Truth about Hiroshima is incontrovertible
8/04/98: Clinton not the first hollow president
7/30/98: "Small Soldiers" -- a fractured Vietnam allegory
7/27/98: Crime wave hits hometown
7/22/98: Love in an Internet fishbowl
7/20/98: Ads bring ex-gay movement out of closet
7/15/98: Brian and Amy -- the children of Roe
7/13/98: Why are we scared of obnoxious 'activists?'
7/6/98: Fonda still resists reality
7/1/98: New York blesses domestic partnerships
6/29/98: Teddy and Calvin stood for virtue
6/24/98: Will Clinton betray Taiwan?
6/22/98: Big tobacco? What about big casinos?
6/15/98: Religion -- God for what ails you
6/10/98: Planning Clinton's China itinery
6/8/98: Republicans' Custer offers advice
6/4/98: Oh, Dems Christian-bashers!
6/2/98: Goldwater did conservatives more harm than good
5/27/98: A Clinton-hater confesses
5/15/98: Giuliani's assault on marriage
5/13/98: Hillary knows what's best for everyone
5/11/98: To honor her would not be honorable
5/6/98: Conservative chasm: pragmatism vs. worship of marketplace
5/4/98: Anglo-saxon me
4/29/98: Needle exchange programs are assisted-suicide
4/27/98: Chretien's mission of mercy to Fidel
4/22/98: School-choice is a religious freedom issue
4/20/98: Corporate execs deliver body parts to Beijing
4/14/98: National sales tax --- looks better all the time
4/13/98: The U.N. sinister? Hey, where did that idea come from?
4/8/98: Unions fight workers rights in 226 campaign
3/30/98: Africa's leaders should apologize
3/25/98: GOP shouldn't look to media for advice
3/22/98: You should care about Clinton's 'private life'
3/19/98: Color-coded reading, product of obsessive minds
3/16/98: Amendment will end exile of G-d from our public lives
3/9/98: Havana will break your heart
3/2/98: Vouchers Terrify Teachers' Union
2/25/98: Presidential politics starts at a resort hotel
2/23/98: Hillary's support comes at a price
2/18/98: How many times must we say "no" to gay rights?
2/16/98: Enoch Powell spoke the truth on immigration
2/11/98: Bubba behaving badly
2/9/98: A conservative dissent on the flag-burning amendment
2/5/98: We get the leaders we deserve
2/2/98: Send a signal that could penetrate boardroom doors
1/27/98: State of the president: hollow rhetoric
1/25/98: For Monica's playmate, we have no one to blame but ourselves
1/22/98: At Yale, bet on yarmulke over gown
1/19/98: Commission tackles America's fastest-growing addiction, gambling
1/15/98: Capital punishment and the hard case: no exceptions for Karla Faye Tucker
1/12/98: Partial-birth abortion and the GOP's future: the "big tent" meets truth in advertising
1/8/98: IOLTA: the Left's latest scam to crawl into our pockets
1/5/98: Connect the dots to create a terrorist state
1/1/98: The Unacceptables of 1997: Long may they rave
12/28/97: Hypocrisy is a liberal survival mechanism
12/23/97: Chanukah is no laughing matter
12/22/97: No merry Christmas for persecuted Christians around the world
12/18/97: Bosnia, Haiti, and how not to conduct a foreign policy

©1998, Boston Herald; distributed by Creators Syndicate, Inc.