Media Watch

Bush Hedges on Homosexual Marriage

THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, Dec. 18 — President Bush on Dec. 16 offered only tentative support to a proposed constitutional amendment to protect the heterosexual nature of legal marriage, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

Bush told ABC correspondent Diane Sawyer it should be left to each of the states to regulate “legal arrangements” between couples.

“The position of this administration is that whatever legal arrangements people want to make, they're allowed to make, so long as it'd embraced by the state or start at the state level,” the president said.

However, Bush seemed to draw a dotted line between civil unions (such as those in Vermont and California) and legal marriage.

“If necessary, I will support a constitutional amendment that would honor marriage between a man and a woman, codify that,” he said.

Analysts described his remarks as an attempt to satisfy religious conservatives without infuriating liberals. Bush admitted the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, designed to prevent the creeping acceptance of “homosexual marriage,” might already have been vitiated by recent Supreme Court decisions. If that proves to be the case, he said, a constitutional amendment might be necessary.

Lingerie Bowl Flushed

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Dec. 17 — At the time, it seemed like a good idea to organizers: Two teams of sexy models would play football outdoors in January wearing only lingerie as a half-time pay-per-view stunt at the Super Bowl.

The antagonists, Team Dream and Team Euphoria, were to include former Playboy centerfold girls, and the whole event would be sponsored by Dodge and DaimlerChrysler.

But the companies behind the chilly spectacle were blind-sided by the wave of angry criticism that arose from female customers — who registered their protests with local Dodge dealers, threatening a boycott if the underwear event took place.

At a Midwestern meeting, Dodge dealers swapped stories of the negative feedback they'd gotten from soccer moms over the event and notified the parent company, DaimlerChrysler.

After a fumbled attempt at compromise that entailed “form-fitting boy shorts and sports bras for the models, along with helmets, shoulder pads and mouthpieces,” the whole event was ruled out of bounds by DaimlerChrysler, the Associated Press reported.

Admitted Child Abuser Beaten to Death

THE NEW YORK POST, Dec. 8 — Another tragic, sordid story has run its course.

A retired priest and admitted child molester, Joseph Pilger, 78, was found beaten to death at his home in Lexington, Ky., Dec. 5, according to The New York Post.

After an autopsy, police declared the death a homicide and launched an investigation.

In 1995, Pilger had confessed to molesting three altar boys between 1968 and 1969, when he served as their pastor in Morganfield, Ky. He was sentenced to five years probation.

Pilger had lived alone until the last month of his life, when a young man moved in with him. That man, who was not named, is gone, along with Pilger'd car.

Pilger'd death came four months after the prison killing of former priest John Geoghan in Massachusetts.