Saturday, August 6

CAN MORAL HIGH GROUND BECOME COMMON GROUND?

Ellen Goodman's column of August 4th, entitled Defending Sex and Violence?, is to her credit a call for the Democratic Party to disavow its long-standing, abject love affair with a Hollywood that feels "unashamed" and to embrace the GOP's "counterculture" that loathes the "clink of Hollywood dollars" and the excesses of sex, violence, and raw language that the film industry (and television, too) recklessly, but purposefully perpetrates upon this country. It's the deleterious impact of the media on children that most concerns Ellen and she argues that this concern is shared by both liberals and conservatives alike. Accordingly, she makes a cogent case for Democrats finding "common ground" with Republicans in pushing back against a media largely unconstrained and patently indifferent to the effects of the "media mayhem."

Wites Ellen:

The problem is not one ad for ``Amityville.'' Nor is it about one toddler at the Heffalump stage of pop culture. It's about a world in which families are trying to shape their children's values, while Hollywood feels unashamed. Today, the right creates a counterculture as a wildly successful recruitment tool and the left remains inhibited by cries of censorship and the clink of Hollywood dollars.

This is a time when Democrats keep talking about finding common ground. Take it from one family entering its third generation. The most crowded piece of common ground is right under your nose.


Having recently enjoyed a two-week visit by my 6-year old grandson, Ellen's column resonates with me. I kept the remote control in my hand while he was here ever vigilant and determined that the ubiquitous Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis commercials would not assault his little boy world and appropriate naivette. Indeed, sometimes the programming pales against the in-your-face excesses of the commercials.

John Kerry, in his 2004 presidential bid, embraced Whoopi Goldberg and other Hollywood celebrities of her ilk and characterized as "the heart and soul of our country" the "media mayhem" Ellen decries. So getting the Dems to scale the moral high ground as a Party may be as difficult as it is to make Ted Kennedy understand that you don't abandon a drowning female colleague or Bill Clinton that you don't have sex with a White House intern in the Oval Office.


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