May 16 2005
BEYOND THE NEWSWEEK STORY: There's been a lot of well
deserved outrage over Newsweek's semi-apology for its
story alleging the desecration of a Koran at Guantanamo Bay. The
details are still murky and the truth of the allegation remains
in doubt. It may well be that Newsweek and its reporters delivered
a terrible blow to their credibility and provided yet another
example of the mainstream media rushing a poorly-sourced story
to print with serious - in fact deadly - ramifications.
I haven't seen, however, is any condemnation of the rioters themselves.
The dismissive tone of most of the press reports I've read convey
the impression that the rioting is understandable. Almost as if
the alleged affront to the Koran somehow justifies the death of
15 people and the wounding of many more. As un-politically correct
as it might be to say, let's stay focused on the truth: Newsweek's
story did not kill people. Muslim mobs killed people.
ALERT: Results from a recent
survey of journalists by the University of Connecticut Department
of Public Policy:
- 68% voted
for Kerry in 2004, one in four voted for Bush.
- 83% of
journalists say they've used blogs, and about half that number
say they read blogs at least once a week.
- 55% of
journalists who use blogs do so to support their news gathering
- 85% believe
bloggers should enjoy First Amendment protections
bloggers are not real journalists because they don't adhere
to "commonly held ethical standards."
PRIDE: I had no idea my alma mater, Princeton University,
hosted the first annual "All-Ivy
Drag Competition" back on April 16. More surprising still
is that the president of the university, Shirley
M. Tilghman, agreed to judge the event. Below is a picture
that ran in our alumni magazine showing Tilghman watching the
performance of the eventual winner:
Click here to see larger
image with caption
to Debbie Bazarsky, head of Princeton's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual
& Transgender (LGBT) Student Services, the goal of the event
was to make "drag very visible on campus." Mission accomplished.
I don't really
have a problem with the competition itself. Most people understand
there are spoofs, skits, and shows of the most bizarre and absurd
variety being put on by all sorts of different groups on every
campus (Full disclosure: While at Princeton I once took part in
Nude Olympics, one of the silliest heathen rituals ever devised
by the warped college brain).
however, is whether the All-Ivy Drag Competition is a fitting
event for the president of the university to attend. Is raising
the profile of cross-dressing at Princeton really an appropriate
use of Tilghman's time and the stature of her office?
event, which according to news reports included two strip-teases,
a lap dance, and a comedy routine about genitalia so vulgar it
left some in the audience "stunned," President Tilghman
went backstage and congratulated the contestants: "Everyone's
a winner. There are no losers." I'll bet there are more than
a few Princeton alumni who beg to differ. - T. Bevan 8:15am
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