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Jewish World Review March 8, 2004/ 15 Adar, 5764

Suzanne Fields

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Taking aim at the arms suppliers in the culture war | You could almost think that Rosie O'Donnell is an angry heterosexual on a selfless mission. That photograph of her kissing her new "wife" inflicted more damage on the same-sex marriage movement than a dozen sermons. In-your-face exhibitionism doesn't sell well in the cheap seats.

The effects of Rosie's wet kiss was just one straw in a freshening wind. Culture critics focus on the divisions - right vs. left, conservative vs. liberal, the faithful vs. secularists, red states vs. blue - but common decency, common sense and common concerns may be expanding in an engaged and moderate middle, all supporting the home team.

The stunning box office success of Mel Gibson's movie, "The Passion of the Christ," all but guarantees that Hollywood, where Gibson was on his way to pariahhood only a fortnight ago, will soon be on a frantic search for scripts with religious themes. The collection plate runneth over.

Oscar night was a revelation. Michael Moore outbursts were missing from this year's Academy Awards gala. The oh-so hip entertainers, who are not always as dumb as they sound, are beginning to understand that sneering at the public could threaten pocketbooks. Sean Penn and Tim Robbins, who have rarely passed up an opportunity to take shots at George W. Bush, were dignified rather than defiant in their speeches.

The hue and cry over Janet Jackson's decorated nipple and her primal gyrations in her dance with Justin Timberlake, the commercials during the Super Bowl telecast, demonstrated how out of touch CBS, the NFL and the entertainers are with their over-the-top raunchiness. Americans are a tolerant lot, and we've put up with a lot of licentiousness, but most of us value self-restraint and self-reliance over self-indulgence and sensationalism. (Cable TV just hasn't yet got the message.) Most of us value family, faith, liberty, financial opportunity, fairness and responsibility. We take seriously the common core of ideas, the "self-evident truths" articulated by the founding fathers.

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But some of us don't. The biggest suppliers of arms and ammunition for the left's guerrilla fighters are pamphleteers like Noam Chomsky and Gore Vidal, the politically correct professors on college campuses and the stars of the silver screen whose hypocrisy surely deserves a medal, preferably cast of brass.

Hollywood glitteries who live the good life, making millions railing against the capitalist system that delivers their good life, are richly exposed as "bloviating bleeding hearts" in a new book, "Hollywood Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon — The Case Against Celebrity," by Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.). "The Hollywood wings of the vast loony conspiracy have feathered their nests with capitalistic spoils," the authors write. "They live more opulently than royalty ... yet put a microphone in front of their faces and they channel the spirit of Che Guevara."

College professors wet-nursing the rising generation suffer a similar virus. They've become so soft and flabby in the luxury of a cosseted existence that "diversity," a label prized on campus, becomes a euphemism worthy of George Orwell. A recent study reported by New Criterion magazine examined voter registration of professors at several of our most expensive universities and (surprise) found landslide majorities registered by parties of the left. At Brown, one of our most expensive schools, professors who taught economics registered left (i.e., mostly Democratic) over right (i.e., Republican) by a margin of 5 to 1. The margin in the literature ranks was 10 to 1, 7 to 0 in political science, 8 to 0 in sociology and 17 to 0 in history. The magazine cited similar results on other famous campuses.

This lack of diversity translates into a rank of tenured ideologues whose arrogant conformity goes largely unquestioned. The university that was once the repository of ideas that had stood the test of time has become a shredding machine for great ideas. Professors who ought to be preparing their students to explore the seas on the other side of utopia instead content themselves with splashing deep in the shallows of the wading pool.

What can such a professor know of the entrepreneurial spirit? What kind of rigorous thinker emerges from courses drenched in Marxist, radical feminist and queer studies theory? What kind of creative writer will emerge from campuses so out of touch and ignorant of the way most Americans live?

The front pages and newscasts reflect a growing dissatisfaction with the tantrums of the pampered among us, insulting ancient values, encouraging unelected judges to legislate what we the people have not decided. When Congress inevitably cracks down they have no one but themselves to thank. They will be roughly taught what the rest of us instinctively know already, that money, not the medium, is the message. The culture war is about you and me.

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