In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 30, 2008 / 30 Elul 5768

Some things are no laughing matter

By Kathryn Lopez

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The fall — and, specifically, the 2008 election season — cannot continue a moment longer without reflecting on incest and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran. No, I'm not accusing him of that heinous crime. He has enough evil to his name. But more about him in a moment.

What has me shaken is that I recently laughed at a joke about incest. It was one of those cultural indicators that made me realize with a jolt just how far we've fallen. The joke, in case you have already blocked it out, occurred on the second episode of the new season of "Saturday Night Live." During a skit that portrayed a pointedly liberal and clueless staff of reporters from The New York Times readying themselves to cover Alaska and its governor, Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, one of the cast members makes use of a certain pernicious backwoods stereotype in reference to Palin's husband and his relationship with their daughters.

And since I have suffered through some of the more despicable posts on the Internet about Palin and her family — which supposedly reputable reporters have taken seriously — the joke seemed less outrageously offensive and more a ridiculous amplification of prevailing winds. (All of this stems from murky and outrageous rumors regarding the circumstances surrounding Palin's infant son and her pregnant teenage daughter.) Never mind laughing about this stuff, I actually felt relieved that a nonconservative entity — some writer for a typically liberal sketch show — also saw how absurdly offensive to common decency some of the media coverage of Palin has been.

But it's no wonder I'm developing an immunity to evil. Did you notice who CNN thought would make a fine interviewer for President Ahmadinejad of Iran, who wants death to Israel and America, and announced this year in a speech before the United Nations that Israel is a "cesspool" and the Great Satan languishes in her last days?

CNN awarded this terrorist sympathizer a softball conversation with Larry King, usually seen wasting perfectly good cable time nightly with gossipy, frequently whiny celebrity interviews. It would be laughable if it weren't so serious — if our nation wasn't at war, and all.

And the interview proved to be the joke anyone with a passing knowledge of King's show could have predicted it would be. Larry asked Ahmadinejad what he thought of Palin. After all, as King went out of his way to remind us, Palin and King's distinguished guest were both former mayors.

Perhaps somewhere a CNN producer regrets he does not make programming decisions at "Entertainment Tonight." Mary Hart could do a fascinating interview with this enigmatic Iranian celebrity and ask him what he thinks of the People cover story about Clay Aiken's sexuality. Perhaps that cute, adorable Mahmoud, the one who wants to eliminate Jews, can tell us Aiken would turn straight if he moved to Iran. You'll recall when Columbia University hosted a discussion with this tyrant, he was asked why homosexuals are executed in his country. Rather than answer the question, he denied the existence of any gay people in his homeland. "In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who's told you that we have it." (He only recently stated that there might be "a few" homosexuals in his country.)

It's as if, instead of dealing with awful things, shining a light on them and doing what we can to combat and right wrongs, we yearn to abandon all attempts at seriousness. As we all debated whether or not there should be a debate over the first scheduled presidential debate, how many news outlets focused on the fact that Ahmadinejad blamed the whole thing on the Jews? They are a people with a "deceitful, complex and furtive manner" who have a hold on Western leaders, he said, in front of diplomats from 190 U.N. member states. It was an outrage — an outrage of which King seemed to have no clue. An outrage most of us have yet to fathom. An outrage much of the media didn't cover.

Incest should not be a laughing matter. Ahmadinejad should not be wined and dined in the Big Apple, and his hateful views — reminiscent of the horrifying Protocol of the Elders of Zion "blood libel" against Jews — are not opportunities for discussion.

We must stop and consider this moment. And we must always notice who's taking things seriously and who's whistling past the graveyard. Americans believe in common decency and constant vigilance. If our leaders don't — whether they be media moguls who book cartoonish interviews and write outlandish things, or politicians who would have gotten in line to sit down right after Larry — we must take notes and insist on new ones.

Comment by clicking here.


© 2008, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.