Inside the Beltway

By McCaslin, John | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), December 9, 1998 | Go to article overview

Inside the Beltway


McCaslin, John, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


CNN CENSORSHIP?

Lou Waters, CNN anchor: "It's a critical day at the White House. Spokesman Joe Lockhart is having his afternoon briefing."

(CNN goes live to the Monday afternoon briefing already in progress)

Reporter: "In view of last week's American Social Health Association report of 5 million new cases of human papilloma virus, 3 million new cases of chlamydia, 650,000 new cases of gonorrhea and 1 million new cases of herpes, has the Secret Service . . .

Mr. Lockhart: "Wolf [Blitzer of CNN], are you sure you want to take this live anymore?"

Mr. Blitzer (unaware CNN viewers were watching): "We're not taking this live."

Mr. Lockhart: "OK, good."

Reporter: " . . . has the Secret Service in their obligation to protect the president asked that Monica Lewinsky be tested?"

Mr. Lockhart: "Next."

Reporter: "Doesn't the Secret Service have an obligation . . . "

Mr. Waters: "All right, Joe Lockhart suggested we may not want to take this live anymore . . ."

IMPEACHING DICKENS

Staying Inside the Beltway, we visit Annandale High School, where the performing-arts department has been forbidden from performing a play adapted from Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."

Seems the P.C. Grinches have deemed the play too "Eurocentric."

We pick up a recent issue of "The A-Blast," the school newspaper, which says "a number of indirect complaints from the administration, a few parents, and a few AHS students arose. Those opposing [a production of "A Christmas Carol"] felt that performing a play based on this story seemed too Eurocentric for the diverse population of AHS.

" `A Christmas Carol' does emphasize Christianity and other aspects of [W]estern culture."

The article added that the drama department teacher would embark on a "personal dialogue" with critics to see if "A Christmas Carol" can somehow pass muster for sometime in the future.

One parent of an Annandale student, who asked not to be identified for fear the Grinches would steal the remainder of his child's Christmas, says: "I always thought the message of good will and personal moral reform in `A Christmas Carol' was timeless and universal, knowing no ethnic or cultural boundaries.

"That's in part why it's so popular worldwide and has been that way for over a century. Scrooge could've been a Muslim, Hindu or atheist, for all the difference it makes. The setting could be Atlanta, Tokyo or Timbuktu. The fundamental lessons remain the same.

"Well, I guess all we Tiny Tim fans have been wrong for all these many years, and are in need of political re-education and self-criticism for our oppressive bourgeois views. …

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