Theatre reporter Jesse Green's "Not Everybody Loves Patricia" is about actress Patricia Heaton, the former co-star of the sitcom "Everyone Loves Raymond" who is currently appearing in "The Scene," an off-Broadway play. Heaton is also nearly unique in Hollywood for being an outspoken pro-lifer, which explains the slightly mean-spirited Times headline.
"It isn't so much her views that cause her trouble as her unwillingness to finesse them for public consumption. She is compulsively honest, though she feels that's not so much a virtue as 'an illness, like Tourette's.' Even her more extreme positions are stated without hedging: If it were up to her, she said, there would be no abortion for any reason. But she offers such thoughts with a sense of helplessness, as if she were trapped by the implications of her core principles."
Green's piece is a mixed but mostly positive view of Heaton and her lonely stance in liberal Hollywood, and details some of the vituperation she gets from leftists. But why is Heaton's opposition to abortion "extreme"?
Has the Times ever used "extreme" to describe the wackily leftist or paranoid anti-Bush views of entertainers like Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Alec Baldwin,or Harry Belafonte? Aren't their commentson Bush, Iraq, and Hugo Chavez far more extreme than Heaton's pro-life beliefs?