Volume 56, Number 6
The Agony of Deceit:
Ladies' Night at the NBC Olympics
by Katherine Mayberry, Margaret
Proctor, and Rosalind Srb
In order to boost the ratings of the 1996 Olympic
Games, NBC developed a programming strategy to appeal to women
viewers—or so the network executives believed. But the resulting
hodgepodge of sentimentality, jingoism, and crass manipulation
managed instead to insult the intelligence of everyone.
Cover Story: Religion's Impact
on American Politics
Church, State, and the 1996
by Albert J. Menendez
In the forthcoming presidential election, church-state
issues play a critical role. A review of the platforms adopted at the
Republican and Democratic national conventions reveal striking
differences on such issues as abortion, "family values," and taxpayer
support of private schools.
The Vatican Connection:
How the Catholic Church Influences the Republican Party
by John M. Swomley
The influence of the Christian Coalition on the
Republican Party is well known. But the influence of the Roman
Catholic Church is perhaps even more significant and extends back as
far as the Reagan administration's secret deals with the Vatican.
The Myth of the Middle Class
by Lynn H. Ehrle
The spate of articles on the continuing decline of
America's middle class misses one startling fact: current economic
statistics reveal that the middle class has already ceased to exist!
Thanks to media myopia, however, the myth of the middle class
continues to distort our economic debates.
Brownlash: The New Environmental
by Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H.
By a wide margin, American citizens support
environmental protection—but that doesn't mean they're going to get
it. Adopting a strategy biologists call "aggressive mimicry,"
anti-environmental groups with their pseudoscientific arguments have
made significant inroads into the public debate.
Bashing the Disabled: The
Right-Wing Attack on the ADA
by Fred Pelka
The Americans with Disabilities Act was one of the
most significant pieces of civil-rights legislation ever to emerge
from Congress. But despite its overwhelmingly positive impact, the
ADA has now become a useful election-year punching bag.
Ordinary People: Why the Disabled
Aren't So Different
by Kathi Wolfe
For those who are disabled, the biggest obstacle to
achieving a fulfilling life is society's own ignorant and bigoted
attitudes toward them. A review of media representations of the
disabled—from Dumb and Dumber to The Hunchback of Notre
Dame—shows how pernicious and long-standing these popular