Media Watch

Democrats Need More Faith in Faith, Some Say

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Nov. 17 — Some Democrats are advocating a wider and more visible embrace of religion in the aftermath of the Nov. 2 election, The New York Times reported. “We need to be more explicit and more public about our convictions and our beliefs,” said Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, who has led Democratic efforts to reach religious voters.

Democrats are also increasing efforts to gain the support of churches and religious groups that lean toward party positions. Abortion poses a special challenge. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, told the newspaper that in the all-important Midwestern states, the party's apparent unbending proabortion stance hurt its candidates. Ryan supports abortion rights, but believes Democrats should be less rigid on related measures, such as the partial-birth abortion ban and parental notification laws.

He asked, “In middle America, how do you argue that killing a pregnant woman is not a double homicide?”

Mel Gibson Shows Passion for Integrity

REUTERS, Nov. 19 — Mel Gibson will not be part of the growing, multimillion-dollar trend by film companies that use paid advertising, publicity campaigns and parties before Oscar night to increase the chances of their films getting an Academy Award, Reuters reported.

The competition for the coveted Oscar has become negative in past years — so much so that last year Academy officials formed a committee to tighten guidelines governing the promotion of eligible films.

Bruce Davey, Gibson's Icon Productions partner, was quoted as saying that The Passion of the Christ should be “judged on its artistic merit, not on who spends more money for advertising. That's really what the academy was meant to be and to celebrate.”

Frank Pierson, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, praised Gibson for working to restore the Oscars as a “celebration and appreciation of excellence” and for resisting the “crass commercialism that was threatening the integrity of the award.”

‘Monday Night Football’ Crosses Line

INDIANAPOLIS STAR, Nov. 18 — NFL coaches Tony Dungy of the Indianapolis Colts and Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears have much in common: a love of football, coaching, friendship, fatherhood and, most recently, anger and repulsion at a sexually suggestive ad presented by ABC before a recent “Monday Night Football” game.

The two were interviewed by The Indianapolis Star about the promo, which included a towel-dropping incident featuring “Desperate Housewives” co-star Nicollette Sheridan. “I thought it was uncalled for,” Dungy told the Star. “I thought it was in really bad taste.”

Smith was “shocked, just like most other people were at the time. It should not have happened, and I can't believe it did happen.”

Many viewers and fans were upset that the spot aired at 9 p.m., when many children are watching television, according to the newspaper. Commenting about ABC, which is owned by the Walt Disney Co., Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell said two days after the incident, “I wonder if Walt Disney would be proud.”

The Earth is Not Our Mother

“The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate.”—G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy