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Update: Preaching To The Converted

Why is Accuracy in Media paying NewsMax to link to its articles? Plus: Debbie Schussel's sports-as-war fetish, and a columnist rants about something he can't prove exists.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 10/6/2001

One axiom of advertising is that you don't waste money trying to attract people who are already in the fold. So why is Accuracy in Media paying to link its website and articles on NewsMax?

It began during the summer with a link among the news-story part of NewsMax's front page to a Reed Irvine article, prefaced with the same "Adv." notice NewsMax uses to plug things like hair growth formulas, opposite-sex-attracting elixirs and financial seminars, housed at NewsMax but (mostly) formatted as if it were at the AIM site. This was followed in August by another paid link, again housed at NewsMax but looking completely like AIM. This ad ran until Sept. 11, when NewsMax temporarily jettisoned its ads after the terrorist attacks.

When the ads returned, there was a new AIM ad, which remains as of this writing, only this time the link takes the reader directly to the AIM site (though the story promoted at NewsMax has long since moved off the AIM front page).

AIM does this despite the fact that NewsMax already features Irvine's columns, and two of the articles promoted in the ad links were Irvine columns.

That's right: Irvine's already listed in the top right of NewsMax's front page as a featured columnist, promotion that Irvine gets for free, if not actual money for, yet he spends money (since AIM is Irvine's group, we'll presume he's signing the checks for this endeavor) promoting something that already gets promoted for free to the very same audience. Most people would call this a waste of money.

Hey, it's his money -- well, actually, it's someone else's money; AIM is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and donations are tax-deductible.

* * *

Remember Debbie Schlussel? The columnist who went bashed college-football-coach-turned-congressman Tom Osborne, then went into a paranoid rage when he dared to attempt to have a conversation with her about it?

Her brain has swerved again. Having attacked Osborne's "win-at-all-costs mentality," she goes after women for, well, not being man enough to coach football, starting off her Aug. 21 WorldNetDaily column with an anecdote about a woman who won a discrimination lawsuit for not being hired to coach a high school football team.

"Leave it to women like these to lack comprehension of the dynamics of men's sports and what it takes to make men win," Schlussel writes. "It's a fight – a war – and estrogen is an unwanted ingredient."

She carries the war analogy further after noting that a woman was hired as an assistant coach for a minor-league men's basketball team: "How will a woman be able to motivate and discipline players in what's supposed to be a paramilitary professional sports operation?"

Hmmmm. So sports are "a fight – a war" and "paramilitary." And "young, high-school-aged boys need a male coach. They need a father figure on the sidelines – a man to show them how to be a man. That's what they learn both on and off the court and field when they play competitive sports. Those are the real rules of the game." And because women are trying to elbow their way into football, "there are few places left where boys can be boys and learn how to be men."

She laments: "Where once boys high-school and men's collegiate sports teams were the last bastion for masculine values – learned through a male coach in brutish male-against-male competition – that, too, has come to pass." But Schlussel, in eviscerating Osborne for trying to get federal funding for a mentoring program, complained: "College athletes ... mentoring kids about social ills! Is there a bigger joke?"

So, what exactly is Schlussel trying to say? She clearly worships the sports-as-war analogy, yet she's surprised and appalled that the occasional player would take it off the field. That happens in real wars, too, and nobody was running around blaming the generals for it. In fact, author Victor Davis Hanson claims in his book "Carnage and Culture" that, as one reviewer describes it, "a uniquely Western ruthlessness, spawned by uniquely Western cultural values, has led to a world in which Western military forces reign supreme." Hanson argues that the whole concept of "civilized warfare" -- the idea that certain forms or targets of military violence are unthinkable or immoral -- is a convenient mythology that not incidentally permits Western military strengths full rein.

Schlussel might want to rethink her sports-as-war fetish.

She lambastes Osborne for giving wayward players extra chances they perhaps didn't deserve, but we suspect that the number of wayward players under Osborne is no better or worse than college football as a whole, and that their coaches offered the same number of second chances that Osborne did. Schlussel certainly won't provide (or even research) that context.

* * *

From the logical-fallacy department: In a column titled "No More Pencils. No More Books. School is Full of Commie Crooks" that appeared Aug. 16 on CNS, Fredrick Meekins of the Free Congress Foundation decries the concept of "confiscatory redistribution" of school supplies:

No longer will little Johnnie be allowed to march into the first day of class with his new shiny pencil box or glossy notebook tucked happily under his arm. Instead, Johnnie is to supply a pencil box purchased by Mommy and Daddy to be surrendered to credentialed pedagogues to be dispensed with as they see fit. For example, a student could end up bringing a really cool "Star Wars" or "Gundam Wing" notebook only to have it snatched and replaced with one sporting an insignia promoting some asinine leftwing cause such as recycling or nuclear disarmament.

The problem: Meekins never cites a single example of where this is taking place, which suggests that it probably isn't taking place anywhere other than his head. He's spent an entire column ranting about something he can't prove even exists. (Though he does get a bonus point for recognizing the coolness of "Gundam Wing.")

* * *

Somebody didn't get the memo from Roger Ailes demanding that people refrain from portraying the Fox News Channel as conservative.

Accuracy in Media's Reed Irvine and Joe Jablonski bid good riddance to Paula Zahn, who made an abrupt jump from Fox to CNN, in a Sept. 26 "Media Monitor." They call Zahn "a retread from the liberal networks" and and go on to list examples of alleged liberal bias. Then they note that "Even at Fox, Zahn didn’t sound conservative" and conclude by saying, "It didn’t sound like Paula Zahn was ever a conservative on a right-wing news channel."

Whoops! Ailes' cover gets blown again, and by one of his own fellow conservatives, too.

* * *

"'But for Mr. Bush, as for school children everywhere, the fun is over,' warned ABC’s Terry Moran on Tuesday’s Good Morning America as he drew a less than respectful analogy between school kids and the President."

-- Media Research Center's Brent Baker, last seen making lame sexual jokes about Bill Clinton, in the Sept. 5 CyberAlert demonstrating sudden concern about showing respect for a president.

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