Bob Wright’s Wrong Move

A few weeks ago, Robert

Wright, the head of the NBC television network, engaged in the kind of

furtive, sleazy practice that might turn up on hidden camera on one of his own network’s TV shows. During two

private meetings, he tried to bully New

York City Council members into voting against a bill which endorses a federal

order that General Electric, NBC’s parent company, spend a half billion dollars

to clean up the Hudson River. Of course, Mr. Wright probably never actually

said, “If you don’t vote against this bill, NBC’s local news broadcasts will

give you the cold shoulder for the next five years,” but he didn’t have to: His

very presence in the offices of elected officials was indication enough that

this was no ordinary house call. As Council member Gifford Miller told The New York Times , “[I]t is not often

the chief executive officer of a major network comes to see you.”

Mr. Wright, who also just happens to be G.E.’s vice

chairman, and NBC both claim there was no conflict of interest in his visit.

Who are they kidding? The irony is, the City Council’s eventual decision will

have zero effect: The Environmental Protection Agency has already demanded that

G.E. dredge the river. But the NBC boss apparently sees nothing wrong with

staining his network’s name in an attempt to win a toothless City Council

thumbs-up for G.E.

This is but the latest chapter in G.E.’s pathetic attempt to

escape responsibility for its past dumping of tons of carcinogenic

polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s) into one of

the state’s most majestic natural attractions. Three panels of independent

scientists have confirmed the health risks of eating fish from the river, and

the E.P.A. has even found some cancer risk for those who merely wade in the

river. It is appalling that a company which made almost $11 billion in profits

last year still refuses to be a decent corporate citizen.

Mr. Wright and G.E. chairman Jack Welch should spend their

time-of which Mr. Wright apparently has plenty-making sure the Hudson gets

cleaned up as soon as possible. Trying to use his power at NBC to strong-arm

the City Council suggests that Mr. Wright

has been watching too many episodes of The

Sopra nos -and that show is

on HBO.

Roar of the Tiger

In the spectacular setting of the Augusta National in

Georgia, where the dusty odor of history

mixes with the scent of magnolias, Tiger Woods became immortal at age

25. His victory at the 2001 Masters championship was one for the ages. He is now the reigning champion in all four of

professional golf’s major championships. It is a feat without precedent.

As the victor in last year’s U.S. and British Opens and

P.G.A. Championship, Mr. Woods came to Augusta this year seeking a version of

golf’s fabled Grand Slam, for a victory at the Masters would give him four

major victories in a row. Technically, the

Grand Slam question was moot, for the keepers of golf mythology insist

that one must win all four majors in the same year. Bobby Jones did it in 1930,

when he won the U.S. Amateur and Open, and the British Amateur and Open. But

nobody has won the professional Grand Slam. And, technically, Tiger Woods

hasn’t won it yet, either.

Nevertheless, Mr. Woods’ achievement is extraordinary. How

appropriate it was that Mr. Woods should make history on a golf course that

reveres its former champions. The course and tournament are legacies of Mr.

Jones, the greatest golfer of his day. A plaque commemorates Arnold Palmer, who

won four Masters titles in the late 50’s and early 60’s; Gene Sarazan, who

double-eagled No. 15 in 1935, has a footbridge named for him.

Mr. Woods, by the time he is through, very likely will

overshadow those revered giants. What made his most recent Masters triumph so

memorable was the competitive drama between

himself and two worthy challengers, David Duval and Phil Mickelson. It

is interesting to note that in golf, the winner’s margin of victory is often less than 1 percent. The world’s

best, such as Mr. Woods, are separated from the pack by the tiniest of

margins.

No one can question Tiger Woods’ standing as the world’s

greatest golfer. The question is, where does he go from here?

The Hidden Side of

Sex

Sex has always been complicated-a source of great joy,

anxiety, obsession and repression-and new research is revealing that one reason

for all the drama may be that our true

sexual orientation has very little to do with how we actually live our

lives. While we may consider ourselves “straight” or “gay,” and make life

decisions accordingly, psychologists are finding that each of us has an “erotic

personality” as unique as our fingerprints, and which bears little resemblance to our traditional concepts about ourselves. As

reported in the American Psychological Association’s Monitor, Linda Garnets, a Ph.D. researcher

at the University of California at Los Angeles, looked at the results of

hundreds of studies to conclude that no one is “100 percent heterosexual 100

percent of the time.” Science is showing that sexual orientation exists along a

spectrum, and where one falls on that spectrum is not fixed but rather can vary

widely, depending on one’s current emotional attachments, erotic fantasies and

relationship status.

Ms. Garnets found that our sexual selves rarely if ever

behave according to accepted norms: There

are women who identify themselves as bisexual but never feel strong lust

for a man; there are heterosexual men who have homosexual fantasies while

having sex with their female partners. Research also indicates that people’s

attraction toward men and women can change over time-that women who desired men

in their youth may come to be more attracted to women later in life, for example. Studies also show that

women are more likely to accept sexuality’s changing nature than are

men.

So the next time you’re having sexual tensions with your

partner, it might help to remember that no one knows who they really are. Bob Wright’s Wrong Move