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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 Nov. 23, 2006 / 2 Kislev, 5767

Crossed what line?

By Cal Thomas


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Even more bizarre than the prospect of O.J. Simpson "confessing" to the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in a book and TV show and getting a few million for it (proving crime can pay) was the cancellation of both by Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corporation. The most often heard indictment of this project was that the deal had "crossed the line."


Given what passes for entertainment on TV these days, I am relieved to know some people believe there is a line to cross. I just wish they would tell me where it is and what happens when it's violated. Some thought the line was crossed in that fraction of a second that Janet Jackson's breast was exposed during a Super Bowl halftime show. The Federal Communications Commission did and slapped CBS with a big fine.


Certain words are supposed to cross the line, but apparently only if they begin with the letter "F" (and we're not talking "Sesame Street" here). Words that begin with "B" apparently do not cross the line. One rhymes with "custard" and the other rhymes with "witch." One frequently hears those words on network TV.


Male bodily fluids are regularly discussed on "CSI" and other crime shows. Most of those mentioning such fluids are women. Apparently, the writers think such things turn some men on.


Corpses get to display more flesh than living people. A bare breast on a dead woman is allowed, but a bare breast on a living woman crosses "the line." Perhaps that is because Nielsen does not (yet) measure the necrophilia demographic.


Since former FCC Chairman Newton Minow described broadcast television as a "vast wasteland" in 1961, TV has headed south — first toward the gutter, it now reaches the sewer. Like the Cold War in light of the current international mess, some people may be nostalgic for the vast wasteland days over contemporary TV fare.


On Tuesday, NBC revived the old variety show format familiar to many people over the age of 40. "Tony Bennett: An American Classic" honored Tony Bennett on his 80th birthday, along with the kind of music that will last forever. It was music about love, not lust, and real relationships, not "hooking up." Such shows once defined entertainment and they left viewers, including children, with good feelings. Because it doesn't appeal to the youth-obsessed advertisers, this type of show is a dinosaur and I'm surprised NBC broadcast it.


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Filmmaker Steven Spielberg recently addressed the International Emmys board of directors in Los Angeles. He urged TV networks to be mindful of what they show on the air because of the effect it might have on children. Spielberg said programs like "CSI" and "Heroes" were too gruesome.


"Today we are needing to be as responsible as we can possibly be, not just thinking of our own children but our friends' and neighbors' children," Spielberg said. He decried on-air promotions for television shows like "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" that shows "blood and people being dissected." He also said that when his favorite TV show of the new season, NBC's "Heroes," showed someone cut in half in the 9 p.m. hour, he sent his younger children out of the room. "I'm a parent who is very concerned," Spielberg said.


Many other parents have been very concerned but, as they expressed themselves individually and through various advocacy groups over the years, they were told not to interfere with "artistic expression." When they persisted, they were disparaged as censors and bigots who were attempting to impose their morality on the country (as opposed to networks imposing their immorality on the country). And yet the crudities, lack of modesty and self-restraint on TV have been major contributors to antisocial behavior and loss of respect for women and almost everything else. The debate continues over whether TV violence encourages real violence, but TV violence certainly doesn't help.


Ultimately, O.J. Simpson getting millions to spill his guts after being convicted in a civil case and in the public consciousness of spilling the blood of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman should not surprise anyone. It is what happens, not when a line is crossed, but when a line has been erased.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Cal Thomas is the author of, among others, The Wit and Wisdom of Cal Thomas Comment by clicking here.


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© 2006, Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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