The Liberal Media 6.9
In These Times readers need no convincing that our news
conglomerates are ethically compromised. It is fascinating nonetheless
to glimpse corporate wussiness in action. Roll Call, the trade journal
of Capitol Hill, reports that Walter Isaacson, the new chief of
CNN, recently met with Republican heavies to discuss his network's
unpopularity with conservative TV watchers.
It's not clear what wisdom Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, House
GOP Conference Chairman J.C. Watts, and Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska
might have offered. But an aide to one of the Republicans present
had this to say about Isaacson: "He is panicked that he's losing
conservative viewers. ... He said, 'Give us some guidance on how
to attract conservatives.' He said he 'wanted to change the culture'
at CNN. I think he perceived that they have a problem, and they
do have a problem."
The problem in question is the burgeoning audience for CNN's main
rival, the transparently right-wing Fox News Channel. CNN has suffered
much high-profile abuse from GOP zealots (such as House Majority
Whip Tom DeLay, who likes to call CNN the "Communist News Network").
Isaacson--who in 1997 infamously chided participants at the lefty
Media and Democracy Congress for being elitist and out of touch--seems
to be getting the message.
Horsley's List 9.3
Neal Horsley of Carrollton, Georgia cares so deeply about the right
to life that a few years ago he and some pals got together and published
a hit list of abortion practitioners around the country. Dubbed
the "Nuremberg Files," the list appeared on the Christian Gallery,
a Web site Horsley has run since 1995. When one of the abortionists
on the list was wounded in an attack, his name appeared in gray.
If he was killed, his name was crossed out.
Now, according to a report by Inside.com, Horsley is taking his
anti-abortion campaign to a new level with a venture called Abortioncams.com.
This new site features video and photographs of abortion patients,
doctors and clinic employees. He intends to compile these images
into television programs that he is encouraging fellow travelers
to insert on public access cable channels across the country.
Horsley's dirty tricks might appear to constitute a threat of violence,
or at least an invasion of privacy. But not according to an appeals
court reversal of a $107.9 million judgment against the American
Coalition of Life Activists, Horsley's collaborators on the Nuremberg
Files. The ruling, handed down in March, is all Horsley needs for
a go-ahead. He's even spoiling for a legal challenge from pro-choice
advocates. Or, as he charmingly put it to Inside.com, "We're laying
in wait for their sorry asses."
Just Say Um 5.4
In a depressing field report on the inner void of the upper bourgeoisie,
the New York
Times describes a new kind of therapy for overly assertive
female executives. Bully Broads, a program run by Jean Hollands of
the Growth and Leadership Center in Mountainview, California, takes
brassy, outspoken strivers (usually sent by their bosses, who find
them a little too much to handle) and teaches them to hem and haw,
blubber and just shut up. The results can be impressive. "Some of
the, um, modifications Jean suggested have helped me," an ex-corporate
shrew told the Times. "I just said 'um.' I never used to say