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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 Feb. 23, 2007 / 5 Adar, 5767

Tortured ‘24’ politics

By Jonah Goldberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The New Yorker reported this week that the dean of West Point took it upon himself to help put an end to abusive — i.e. torturous — interrogation techniques. He and some leading interrogation experts and instructors flew to La-La Land to talk to the producers of Fox's hit show, "24." Brig. Gen. Patrick Finnegan told the show's creative team that his students were learning terrible lessons about the utility of brutal violence in interrogations. "The kids see it," Finnegan complained to the article's author, "and say, 'If torture is wrong, what about "24"?'"


It didn't take long for the predictable mockery to start. "This controversy is perhaps the most off-the-wall example of the 'power of television' we've ever heard," chortled the editors of Broadcasting & Cable.


Jumping in from the other side were human rights organizations critical of Hollywood's increasing fondness for torture. The numbers seem to back them up. From 1996 to 2001, there were 102 torture scenes on TV, the Parents Television Council estimates. From 2002 to 2005, there were 624, and the torturers were increasingly heroes rather than villains.


This is a bit of a reversal from the pre-9/11 kulturkampf. Complaints about the coarsening of the culture used to come mostly from the right. Bob Dole even staked much of his 1996 presidential bid on the promise to eradicate the "nightmares of depravity" parading across the nation's screens.


In response to such criticism, Hollywood liberals threw up clouds of rhetorical fog. One retort was that movies and TV shows can't really influence people that much. This strikes me as a bizarre position for an industry that makes so much money from advertising and product placements and whose self-described artists see themselves as "raising awareness" about everything from AIDS to the snail darter.


Another response — favored by former Motion Picture Association of America President Jack Valenti — was populist dudgeon. "Who are you to tell America what's good for them?" they'd squeal, making fun of the prudes and scolds. We saw some of this after Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction." "You've never seen a breast before?" they'd titter.


Yet the most effective response from Hollywood was to raise the specter of censorship. "Censorship" is arguably the second-most-powerful scare word in the nation today, after "racism."


But the joke's on all of us because we're all in favor of censorship; we just get clever about what we call censorship. For example, unless you think profanity, violence and hard-core sex should be legal on broadcast television during the after-school time slot, you're for censorship. We're also all for criticizing bad behavior, bad language and the rest. But because we don't want to think of ourselves as scolds or censors, we make ourselves feel better by calling our positions "common sense."


The problem is that the definition of "common sense" is a moving target. What was once verboten is now commonplace and vice versa.


Marc Cherry, the creator of ABC's "Desperate Housewives," told an interesting story to a gathering of TV critics recently. Cherry had screened a scene for a network censor in which the character played by Eva Longoria beds her 17-year-old gardener. Afterward, she enjoys a post-coital cigarette. Cherry said the censor asked, "Does she have to smoke?" To which Cherry replied: "So you're good with the statutory rape thing?"


And the answer is "yes." Hollywood is good with the statutory rape thing. But it's not good with the smoking thing. If I were to criticize Hollywood for the statutory rape thing, the Hollywood crowd would whine about how I'm a prude and, ultimately, a censorious enemy of free expression. If I were to complain about the cigarette? They'd say, "Good for you."


What's fascinating about the "24" controversy is how it highlights that there is one permanent exception to the rule: success. Joel Surnow, co-creator of "24," has jokingly described himself as a "right-wing nut job." The critics complaining that Hollywood is dangerously influencing behavior are from the left. And folks like Rush Limbaugh are saying: "It's just a television show! Get a grip." Needless to say, this is not the typical conservative position when Hollywood mocks Jesus or promotes the "gay lifestyle." Meanwhile, "24" gets lavished with Emmys and praise. Why?


Because one of the reasons Hollywood resorts to "nightmares of depravity" is that it's in a constant race to the bottom to keep our attention. Anybody who figures out how to do that is a hero in Hollywood. "Right now, they have to be nice to me," Surnow told the New Yorker, speaking of his liberal colleagues. "But if the show tanks, I'm sure they'll kill me."


That's Hollywood common sense for you.

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