Mon, Nov 15, 2004 - Page 7 News List

Conservatives go on the cultural offensive in the US

THE OBSERVER , NEW YORK

The ceasefire did not last long. Even as political leaders made noises about uniting a divided nation, America's "values warriors" lost no time in heading back to the front line of the culture wars.

Last week it was the familiar battleground of sex in the entertainment media. At the forefront was the runaway success of "Desperate Housewives," a sexy drama about four suburban women. The show's launch was the biggest ratings hit since "Friends" started in 1994.

The drama has upset a conservative lobby group, the American Family Association, which has rallied tens of thousands of supporters to bombard with protests the firms that advertise during the show. So far five companies, including Kelloggs, have withdrawn their ads, a trend that is expected to continue.

Emboldened by the re-election of President George W. Bush, the group is stepping up its policing of the airwaves. "The election has awakened a sleeping giant," said AFA president Tim Wildmon.

America is also braced for major protests over the release of "Kinsey," a film starring Liam Neeson about the pioneering sex researcher credited by many with starting the sexual revolution.

To some Alfred Kinsey is a hero, but one conservative group has likened him to a Nazi. "Instead of being lionized, Kinsey's proper place is with Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele or your average Hollywood horror-flick mad scientist," said Robert Knight, director of the Concerned Women of America's Culture and Family Institute.cast earlier this year.

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