Dispatches > The Buzz


Issue: "Sciavo: Saved by the bill," Nov. 1, 2003

Eye on CBS, cont.

The Home School Legal Defense Association pointed out last month CBS's "shameless attempt to smear an entire community of committed, dedicated parents" (see WORLD, Oct. 25), and bloggers have also responded to the Oct. 13-14 CBS "Eye on America" report on "The Dark Side of Home Schooling." Education blogger Joanne Jacobs (joannejacobs.com), after describing the situation of the boy who killed two siblings and himself, commented on the CBS "theory that it's easy for weirdos to hide their weirdness if the kids don't have to face official scrutiny at school. Perhaps CBS will follow with 'A Dark Side To Public Schooling' about the 12-year-old Connecticut boy who killed himself in response to months of bullying at school. His mother [Judith Scruggs], convicted of 'risking injury to a minor' by maintaining a filthy home, worked as an aide at her son's school."

Ms. Jacobs was not a lone critic. George Wallace (foolintheforest .blogspot.com) wrote, "I am still spouting the occasional puff of steam from my ears over the incredibly irresponsible bit of reporting É to hear CBS tell it, it's not poverty, deprivation, or terrible and abusive parenting. No, sir: it's the direct result of homeschooling." Kim Du Toit (mrsdutoit.com) noted that "parents who homeschool give up a lot-many give up a second income, their free time, etc., to home educate their kids (I know, I'm one of them). Parents involved with their children's education in this way are less likely to ignore their children's needs. Their kids and families come first. Hardly the definition of potential abusers."

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Bogging down the warbloggers

"Warbloggers" like Instapundit (instapundit .com), Vodkapundit (vodkapundit.com), Little Green Footballs (lgf.com/weblogs), and others who supported the liberation of Iraq have been hit by hack attacks that have led to the shutdown of the sites for various periods of times. The attacks may be coming from Malaysian websites affiliated with al-Qaeda. To cope with the problems some bloggers are setting up backup sites like Glenn Reynolds's InstaBackup (instabackup.blogspot.com).

Blogger Gregg Easterbrook (tnr.com/easterbrook.mhtml) came under a different type of attack when he criticized Jewish movie executives who produced Quentin Tarantino's action-thriller Kill Bill. Mr. Easterbrook wrote that "there are plenty of Christian and other Hollywood executives who worship money above all else, promoting for profit the adulation of violence. Does that make it right for Jewish executives to worship money above all else, by promoting for profit the adulation of violence?" Meryl Yourish (yourish.com) responded by pointing out that "back in the 1930s, people were blaming Jews for being money-grubbing worshippers of the almighty deutschmark at the expense of the Fatherland's more moral Germans."

Mr. Easterbrook quickly apologized: "I noted that many Christian executives adore money above all else ... but accusing a Christian of adoring money above all else does not engage any history of ugly stereotypes. Accuse a Jewish person of this and you invoke a thousand years of stereotypes about that which Jews have specific historical reasons to fear. What I wrote here was simply wrong, and for being wrong, I apologize." The damage had already been done: ESPN, which hosts Mr. Easterbrook's very popular Tuesday Morning Quarterback football column, fired Mr. Easterbrook and removed all trace of his column from its website.

Crazy about Kucinich

Those looking for proof of hallucinogenic use among liberals could examine The New Republic staff's blog (tnr.com/etc.mhtml) and its description of the Dennis Kucinich campaign. With news that the Lieberman and Clark campaigns are pulling out of Iowa, TNR prophesied that "were Kucinich to start picking up some more antiwar protest votes in Iowa, and Lieberman and Clark to remain stuck in neutral, it's entirely possible that the Ohio congressman-cum-fringe-candidate could finish ahead of them."

What does need more attention is the rebuilding of Iraq-and Healing Iraq (healingiraq.blogspot.com) provides useful insights into politics there. A sample from blogger Zayed: "I truly hope that living under 50 years of tyranny hasn't turned us all into potential tyrants. I worry constantly when I see some of the newly appointed Iraqi officials and controversial politico-religious figures just too eager to rule and assume power in the country.... I would rather have President Bremer (Allah preserve him) ruling us than any of them." Zayed also desires freedom of speech and freedom of holding hands: "I want to be able to walk with my girlfriend in the street while holding hands together without people glaring at me. Is this TOO MUCH to ask?"


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