Jewish World Review May 6, 2002 / 23 Iyar, 5762

Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reiley
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Consumer Reports

Hide the children | This is a bad time to be a kid in America. We've got war, terrorism, priests who prey on young people, and powerful cardinals who cover up sexual assaults against children. We've got moral relativism in the public schools, hooligan entertainers as role models, and parents trying to be friends with their kids. As Alice Cooper might say: "Welcome to My Nightmare."

Slurring four-letter words in front of his own teenagers, Ozzy Osbourne rides the ratings wave to a multi-million dollar contract on MTV. "The Osbournes" have replaced the Nelsons of four decades ago. Only the Osbournes don't offer you cake when you enter the house -- they offer you some off-color language and a sea of tattoos. Ozzie Nelson would have a heart attack if he knew Ozzy Osbourne had replaced him as the uber-dad.

What are children to make of all this? Well, those with responsible parents will most likely make it through OK. But the millions of American children with little supervision are now being exposed to a menu of adult behavior that is stunning in its irresponsibility.

The University of Minnesota is publishing a book that puts forth that not all sexual contact between an adult and a child is necessarily bad. Dr. Joycelyn Elders, the former surgeon general of the United States, has endorsed the book. I scolded Dr. Elders on my TV program.

Professor Harris Mirkin of the University of Missouri wrote an article for the Journal of Homosexuality that suggests the United Sates might consider adopting the liberal attitudes of Denmark in thinking about child sex. Denmark has one of the most permissive attitudes in the world about children engaging in sex with adults. According to Interpol, that socialistic paradise is one of the main distributors of worldwide Internet child pornography because there is little stigma to producing it and law enforcement is incredibly lax.

The Missouri legislature was so outraged by Professor Mirkin's article that it voted to cut $100,000 in funding from the university. In response, the faculty senate passed a resolution supporting Mirkin's "right to hold unpopular views." The general counsel of the American Council on Education, Sheldon Steinbach, said this about Mirkin: "The appropriate place to debate the legitimacy of a professor's thought is the marketplace of ideas. Today's heresy often becomes tomorrow's orthodoxy."

How profound. Let's all hope adult-child sex becomes more acceptable, right, Mr. Steinbach? How PC. I wonder if that faculty senate would be passing a resolution if Mirkin had championed the Nazi cause. I wonder if old Sheldon Steinbach would be shopping in "the marketplace of ideas" if the Supreme Court banned abortion. Somehow I doubt it.

This is America, so we have to accept the opinions of destructive people because, constitutionally, they have a right to spout them. But we don't have to be quiet about it. Pinhead professors and adults who seek to harm kids must be challenged at every step -- and scorned for their lack of judgment and character.

And make no mistake about it. Seeking a more libertine attitude toward adult-child sex is dangerous for kids. It makes it easier for perverts to rationalize their behavior.

So this is not a great time for kids in America. I feel for them. We adults have let them down. On many different levels, children are not being protected from harm in this country. And in the marketplace of ideas, that is one tragic development.

JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of the new book, "The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America" Comments by clicking here.


04/29/02: 'Paul, Paul, Paul!'
04/22/02: Barbarians in the Church
04/15/02: Pray for peace, polish the weapons
03/11/02: Do no harm? Time to spank "Dr. Phil"
03/04/02: Promoting the general welfare
02/25/02: Who's responsible?
02/19/02: Lay it on them
02/11/02: Buy dope, fund terror
02/04/02: Back room deals
01/28/02: From boom to bust
01/21/02: The Fairness Doctrine
01/14/02: Hey, Paula, take it to the bank and hush up
01/07/02: And justice for none
12/31/01: All that's left
12/24/01: Santa is appalled
12/17/01: Fight the power
12/10/01: The black challenge
12/03/01: How things have changed
11/26/01: Waiting in the Bushes
11/19/01: The sign of the Cross
11/09/01: Hollyweird strikes back
11/06/01: The fear factor
10/26/01: Show me the money
10/22/01: See no evil
10/15/01: Peace, but no quiet
10/08/01: The air war
10/01/01: I don't understand
09/24/01: We are all soldiers, and we have a job to do
09/14/01: Evil on display
09/11/01: Family matters!
09/04/01: End of summer blues
08/27/01: Summertime -- and the livin' ain't easy
08/20/01: The rap on rap
08/13/01: The truth hurts
08/06/01: Amnesty for illegals: Bush's political investment
07/30/01: The big picture on Condit-Levy
07/24/01: Silence of the Shams
07/16/01: Condit, Kennedy and cable news
07/09/01: Heather needs a childhood: The unnecessary loss of innocence
07/02/01: What would have happened if Steven Spielberg had recut "Schindler's List" for German audiences so they wouldn't be confronted with "emotional issues"?
06/25/01: Freak dancing
06/18/01: Work or die
06/11/01: Soundbite nation
06/04/01: Paying through the nose
05/29/01: Graduation Day 2001
05/21/01: Accepting the unacceptable
05/14/01: The Clinton legacy
05/07/01: Kerrey's ordeal
04/27/01: Is the party over?
04/20/01: Racism in public education
04/16/01: The fleecing of America
04/10/01: People who need perspective
04/03/01: Dubya's bottom line --- and ours
03/27/01: Don't tell, don't ask
03/20/01: Greenspan with envy
03/13/01: Clinton and Jackson
03/07/01: All that's left in America
02/27/01: The Letterman experience
02/20/01: Bread and circuses
02/06/01: How the Clintons do it
01/30/01: The Bush dilemma
01/24/01: I have been investigating Jackson's finances for the past two years
01/17/01: Sifting Ashcroft's record

© 2001 Creators Syndicate