brucekluger.com

    The New York Times, August 9, 2003

    Editorial Desk: Op-Ed
    What a Tangled Web We Weave  

    By Bruce Kluger


    This week's historic election of the Rev. V. Gene
    Robinson as the first openly gay Episcopal bishop almost
    didn't happen. The day before his scheduled vote, critics
    launched a last-minute campaign to discredit him, in part
    by pointing out that he helped start an organization for
    young gay people whose Web site linked to pornography.
    An investigation found that Bishop-elect Robinson had
    nothing to do with the group's site, and his nomination
    was approved the next day.

    But was such an inquiry necessary? Not really. As anyone who has ever clicked a
    mouse knows, on the Internet, everything links to everything. To find out just how
    close those connections are, here are the results of another investigationmy own:

    Web site of: Association of Carmelite Nuns in Great Britain. "Welcome!" reads the
    home page. ''The nuns promise prayers for you and your needs, whoever you may
    be.''
    Linked to: Order form for an erotic DVD, "Advanced Sexual Techniques." One
    consumer raves, ''very helpful...[a] must for anyone who enjoys sex."
    Total number of clicks: 6

    Web site of: Martha Stewart. The domestic diva's online home base provides tips
    on everything from crafts to cooking.
    Linked to: The British Columbia Wild Killer Whale Adoption Program. Visitors to the
    Vancouver Aquarium's Web site are encouraged to take a dangerous but
    misunderstood orca under their wing.
    Total number of clicks: 6

    Web site of: The 14th Dalai Lama. The home page says, "For as long as space
    endures, and for as long as living beings remain, until then may I, too, abide to
    dispel the misery of the world."
    Linked to: The Three Stooges Online. The site includes a summary of the hilarious
    episode "Sing a Song of Six Pants" and a special section devoted to "The Curly
    Years."
    Total number of clicks: 5

    Web site of: The Fox News program The O'Reilly Factor. The pugnacious host, Bill
    O'Reilly, offers his signature brand of "fair and balanced" reporting.
    Linked to: The press room for the STAR television network, based in Asia. Among
    the top stories: a poll that "reveals 9 out of 10 people in Asia believe aliens exist
    and approximately half of the people surveyed believe in alien abduction."
    Total number of clicks: 4

    Web site of: The White House. The informative site features behind-the-portico
    peeks at the government in action, the first family and a history of the executive
    mansion.
    Linked to: SpongeBob's Ka-Rah-Tay Contest. The Nickelodeon superstar
    SpongeBob SquarePants squares off against his squirrel pal, Sandy Cheeks, in this
    "kooky karate game."
    Total number of clicks: 5

    Web site of: The Internet Movie Database listing for Gigli.
    Linked to: The Internet Movie Database listing for Ishtar.
    Total number of clicks: 2