Exhibit A: The Baltimore Sun reported that a "right-wing leader" was shot to death in the Netherlands. The New York Times referred to the slain politician as a "rightist"; the Austin American-Statesman called him "far-right." The story concerned "an openly gay former sociology professor," Pim Fortuyn, who opposed immigration and was poised in his race for the Dutch presidency to gain up to one-third of the vote.
The story seemed underreported, because gay candidates are most often on the left. Was Fortuyn right-wing because he "talked with the confident bombast of other European far-right politicians"? (Far-left politicians also score high on the bombast aptitude test.) Or was he right-wing because he criticized Muslim immigrants? Yes, that's it: anti-immigrant = far right. But wait: The reason he fought immigration was because the newcomers were opposed to homosexuality and feminism.
Journalists in the United States have long had a labeling problem. Wasn't it strange that Russian Communists in the 1990s were called "conservatives"? But the problem will grow more severe, as the assumption by American leftists that Third World voices are on their side no longer holds up.
Exhibit B: Liberals generally sneer at abstinence-only programs in schools and support distribution of condoms, but note what Janet K. Museveni, wife of Uganda's president, said at the United Nations earlier this month: "The young person who has been trained to be disciplined will, in the final analysis, survive better than the one who has been instructed to wear a piece of rubber and continues with 'business as usual.'"
Mrs. Museveni said, "When we fail to teach our young that there are some moral absolutes and they must reckon with them or perish, then we do grievous harm to the future of the human race." Her plea that the UN should stop tossing condoms to kids is backed up by Uganda's experience: Since the AIDS-ravaged African nation left the rubber plantation and began aggressively advocating abstinence in 1995, the rate of new HIV infection has dropped by two-thirds.