The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 8, 1996 · Page 7
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 7

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, October 8, 1996
Page 7
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THE SALINA JOURNAL LIFE TUESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 1996 A7 T ACTION FIGURE T ETHICS IN JOURNALISM Rumor mill grinds with talk of sexuality The Associated Press The new line of G.I. Joe figures features a woman — a U.S. Army helicopter pilot outfitted in combat gear and sldearm ready to airlift the wounded out of battlefield areas. Female pilot joins 1997 G.L Joe line Hasbro responds to requests from doll collectors By IKE FLORES The Associated Press CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — G.I. Joe is no longer just for boys. The new line of G.L Joe figures unveiled Friday at the Kennedy Space Center features a woman — a U.S. Army helicopter pilot dressed in combat gear and armed, ready to airlift the wounded out of battlefield areas. It's not the first time that the Hasbro Toy Group has come out with a woman, but the first female toy — a G.I. nurse brought out in 1967 — was a marketing fizzle. Boys didn't want to play with a "girl toy," and there were few, if any, collectors back then, company officials said. .Today, there are an estimated 500,000 G.I. Joe collectors. "And this female is in direct response to consumer requests," said G.I. Joe Marketing Director Karen Lehman. 1 ".We feel that this is a natural, and we predict it will be extremely popular and a big seller." The new line of 1997 figures (retailing from $25 to $45) also pays tribute to the fighter pilots and B- 25 Bomber pilots from Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, the first units of black pilots in the American military. • • The new figures will be a sure hit, predicted Mike Herz, organizer of a collectors' convention that attracted several thousand people tp the space center last weekend. !• "Joe graduated to being an American icon like the Barbie Doll at about the time of his 30th anniversary in 1994," said Herz. . "As a result of the tremendous publicity generated by the an- tyiversary, all of a sudden everyone was going to his attic or his o'loset and digging up the toys they Had as kids," he said. "People are 1'atching onto a piece of their childhood. It's a nostalgia thing, b'ut it can also be a big business." G.I. nurse brings big bucks I The G.I. nurse that didn't do well in the stores now fetches $2,500 to $5,000 among collectors because it is so rare, Herz noted. But any comparison to Barbie stops there, Hasbro officials say. "I definitely think people are going to try to compare the G.I. Joe helicopter pilot to Barbie," said Hasbro's Holly Ingram. "But we are not marketing it as a fashion doll — with interchangeable outfits and things like that." The series also includes Mercury and Space Shuttle astronauts, and a historical commanders assortment that includes Gens. Dwight D. Eisenhower and George Patton. " The G.I. Joe action figures were U'/ a inches tall from 1964 to 1978, when anti-war sentiment and posts of production forced the company to quit marketing them. The company reintroduced a new 3%-inch size in 1982. The first 12- inch figure came out in 1991. Speculation about public figures' sexuality now fair game for mainstream media By PATRICIA RODRIGUEZ Fort Worth Star-Telegram The long-standing rumor, sports journalist Skip Bayless writes in his latest book, is that Troy Aikman is gay. Never mind that Bayless doesn't have a shred of proof to back up this rumor, admits as much, and that Aikman himself says it isn't true. There it is anyway, splashed over five pages in what has become the most-talked-about passage in Bayless' Cowboys expose, "Hell-Bent" (Harper- Collins, $23). And this unsubstantiated rumor, attributed to the book, has since been reported on TV, radio and newspapers throughout Texas, along with Aikman's denial. Nearly a decade after gay journalists pioneered the practice of publicly naming prominent figures known or suspected of being gay, this is what "outing" has wrought: Rumors and hearsay about a public figure's sexuality are now fair game for discussion in the mainstream media. Many publications still have fairly conservative policies regarding the initial disclosure of people's homosexuality without their consent. At the same time, public discussion of sexual identification — especially that of entertainers, politicians and sports figures — has surged. Internet users speculate on the sexuality of celebrities in chat rooms and message boards. Major magazines such as Vanity Fair regularly bring up the question of sexual identity in celebrity interviews, such as pieces on Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves, both of whom have been rumored to be gay but have always denied it. Grocery-store tabloids such as the Star consistently run stories "outing" this or that star; most recently, Rosie O'Donnell was the target. And, as was the case with the Aikman rumor, mass-market newspapers and radio and TV broadcasters will often pick up a story after it has run in a more specialized publication. T DAY CARE BUFEALQJi !AT Retail and wholesale customers welcome >Z MEATS Salina, KS (East of checkered water tower on Scanlan at the Airport) (913)823-7474 800-435-6328 Outing was first pushed by gay activists a decade ago as a way of forcing homosexuality into the mainstream, especially when the people in question were somehow betraying gay interests. Although very few public figures have been "outed" by mainstream media, the practice has gradually changed the double standard regarding homosexuality. Michelangelo Signorile, the Out magazine columnist who is credited with popularizing "outing" in the now-defunct Out- week in the late '80s, says more journalists are beginning to treat gay relationships in the same manner as heterosexual ones. "Remember when even asking was a terrible thing?" Signorile asks. "Now asking has entered the realm of celebrity journalism. I think it parallels other things we never talked about in the past — out-of-wedlock pregnancy, for example. You once would never print that; now it's no big deal." Relevant to the story? Most news organizations have adopted some sort of formal or informal policy regarding outing. The New York Times has a philosophy that "it's not our role to reveal the private aspects of a person's sexual life unless it's relevant to the story," said Nancy Nielsen, a Times vice president and spokeswoman. The Associated Press handles sexual-orientation references in the same manner as racial references, said Darrell Christian, managing editor of the news cooperative. In other words, sexual identity is mentioned only when it is relevant to the subject matter, he said. "In most cases it would not be," he said. "If you were writing about homosexual advocacy, for instance, it might be relevant." In most cases, the AP would not intentionally out someone on its own, although it might follow up on a. story previously published or aired by other media, Christian said. "I think everyone would like to have a one-liner on outing — yes, it's good, or no it's bad — but fortunately or unfortunately, it's much more complicated than that," said Sarah Pettit, editor of Out magazine. "With the Dick Morris scandal, in retro- spect, it does become more difficult. Why are there such rigid boundaries about discussing sex when homosexuality is involved, if people are willing to go into such detail about" heterosexual affairs? Indeed, outing is still a controversial issue, even among gays and lesbians. Shawn Moore, co-editor of the Alliance News, the monthly paper published by the Tarrant County Lesbian and Gay Alliance, said she is offended by the practice. People have reasons for not coming out, and they should be respected and honored, she said. "It's not just a matter about what the public might think," said Moore, who is also the gay alliance president. "You can cost people jobs. You can cost people their family. It can cause them a lot of emotional stress. ... You can destroy a human being if they're not able to deal with the repercussions." The public is beginning to have more tolerance for discussion of homosexuality. "You can chart it by the various public figures who have been outed, and how the media proceeded, and how the public reacted," Signorile said. In 1989, when Signorile outed publisher Malcolm Forbes in Outweek, there was an immediate public and media outcry — even though Forbes was deceased. Most major media, including the AP and The New York Times, did not print the story. This year — in a sign of how times have changed — the outing of Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner was covered widely by the mainstream media. When Wenner left his wife of many years to move in with a male ex-model, the coverage included a front-page article in The Wall Street Journal that discussed Wenner's marital status in the context of his business arrangement with his wife. There has been little in the news since, and Wenner's publishing empire apparently has been unaffected. There have been several well-publicized outings in between, as well as several prominent people who came out because of the threat of an outing. Among them are U.S. Rep. Steve Gunderson, R-Wis., singers Melissa Etheridge and k.d. lang, and U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz. froy Aikman Rumors on TV, radio and in newspapers continue to persist about Aikman's sexual preference. He has emphatically denied he is gay. Melissa Etheridge Etheridge and singer k.d. lang admitted they are lesbians after activists pressured them to do so. Ellen DeGeneres TV Guide reported that DeGeneres' sit-com character may come out of the closet this season. Degeneres herself has long been rumored to bo gay. Keanu Reeves Vanity Fair, and other major magazines, bring up the question of sexual identity in interviews. Reeves has always denied the r 7 rumors. Regie O'Donnell Grocery-store tabloids such as the Star consistently run stories "outing" celebrities; O'Donnell was the latest. Tea party a lesson in math, too Use tea cups, mugs to show difference in size, shape and amounts The Inscrutable Tea Party. Inscrutable? Of course. It's inexplicable why the mere mention' of a tea party delights children, creating $ for them a joyous JUDY fantasy world. LYDEN It's unfath- omaWe why teas are better than birthday parties. It's incomprehensible why teas are more fun than swimming and better than a field trip. But the truth is, for whatever reason, children love tea parties. At our day care, we have a tea party every week with a standing invitation for parents, grandparents and special guests. It's Friday's bon voyage — afternoon snack time plus. It's a reward for a whole week's time together that we want to celebrate and share with those we love. Tea parties are a wonderful way of getting parents and grandparents involved in day care. It says teachers and providers care about V HOUSEHOLD HINTS the whole family, and that's vital when working with very young children. Tea parties don't have to be a lot of trouble. They can be as simple as making afternoon snack a little more elaborate than usual — putting cookies on a big plate and filling the tea pot with something warm and cozy: warm juice, decaffeinated tea, cocoa, cider or anything else the children like. A Friday tea party can also be the culmination of a week's preparation. During circle time the week of the tea, there can be discussions about tea, tea parties, manners, parties in general; tea things like pots, cups, cloth napkins and lump sugar, and food like filled cookies, multilayered cakes and candy. Pictures and big picture books help. During math class, using tea cups and mugs, children can see the difference in size, shape and amounts. Measuring the ingredients for tea cookies, baking and food fractions are all math fun. History, social studies and geography are made real with pictures of tea parties, a story about tea, pictures of tea farms and the different ways tea is served. Science class is a breeze with experiments with tea leaves. Children can make sun tea as well as hot water tea and instant tea. Have them taste the differences and time the results. Story time is a delight with the most famous tea party in children's literature: "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." Focus on the white rabbit, his intent to get to his tea party and then laugh with the children about the all the fun when Alice finds the party. Is that what we will do at our party? Music is especially fun if the group learns a song to share at the tea party. It's a good way of getting children to do a group activity for parents and grandparents. During art class, children can make place mats or invitations if there is a guest list, and can cut and paste paper flowers for decorations for the table. These can be taken home or re-used. The most important thing to remember about having tea parties is to let the children help. Letting children help bake, clean up and arrange for adult visitors, makes the tea party their event. Lyden is a licensed day-care provider. ME Mi Fin Cimnln BENNETT AUTOPLEX, INC. 9] 3-823-6372 or 1-800-569-5653 651 S. Ohio. Salina Large Selection Used furnitures Appliances TED AUGUSTINE'S FURNITURE WAREHOUSE •SrallesWestofSalina on Highway 140 > Mon.,Tues.\Wed.,Frl.9-6 Thurs. 9-8,'Sat. 9:30-5 823-6792 1 -800-563-1831 Saliw Appliance Showroom 740 N. Ninth, Salina • (913) 827-1420 Place '(tie *%WM, Mon.-Sat. 6 am-2 pin Breakfast Specials Lunch Specials The Only Downtown Restaurant with.... 158 S. Santa Fe L BUILDINGS... Him m ceutruetion! • Dictir Bleb • Hay Barns • UnstiEkBaras • Riding Arenas • Mi-plan Hangers • Industrial Buildings IMiTMIIUiH —^uamass*""- ——— • MiBl WlftDOUieS 207 N. Cedar Abilene 913-2B3-20B4 Child's play leads to burned finger Dear Heloise: I would like to remind parents that curious children may play with the cigarette lighters in the A back seats of cars and injure themselves. My 3-year-old, who is now beyond the car-seat stage, has more mobility in the car and got into the ashtray. Curiosity got the best of her, and after playing with the lighter * button she pulled it out and touched it to her finger when she saw the'red color. I never thought to remove the HELOISE King Features lighters from the rear-seat area of my car. I dread to think what would have happened had she tried to taste the "red thing." The auto companies that sell family-oriented vehicles such as minivans should consider bagging the lighters in the glove compartment for the owners to install on their own, should they desire them in place. I understand that interior lighters are fast becoming an accessory that fewer people have in- terest in these days anyway. I am sure my child is not the only one injured in this manner and I am grateful the damage was minor. It is my hope that if this letter is printed, other children may be spared from a burn. — Shelly Schenkel, Huntington, Ind. Dear Shelly: I'm glad your little girl is OK. I'm sure every mom and dad will go out to their vehicle right now and take those lighters out of the back and front of the car. — Heloise PORK TENDERLOIN Small Fries & Small Drink onlyi &Kirwin 823-8066 RA1PH WEIGH Bonds - Insurance Phone 827-2906 115 East Iron Visit our new location! 833 E. Crawford, Salina 913-827-1100 Real People. Real Deals. Early Fall Sale 25to33 % Selected Coordinated Groups Choose from a selection of early fall coordinates in misses, petite and women's sizes. * No other discounts apply. * Fall and winter merchandise arrives daily. Stop in and see the new coats, sportswear, coordinates, dresses, sleepwear and accessories in stock now! Tlaza Style Shop Ducks Unlimited Banquet Oct. 8th Holidome Social Hour 5:30 pm iro

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