May 10, 2014
Long Islander of the Week: dr Kevin Tracey (Scroll Down to see article)
Featuring: Dr. Kevin J. Tracey, president of the Feinstein Institute
Do the Benham twins really need to be kept off HGTV?
I don't happen to share Jason and David's old-timey views on marriage and abortion. But that doesn't mean the brothers' conservative outlook makes them unfit to host "Flip It Forward," a new home-repair show just yanked even before it reached air. Oh, come on! It's not like the Benhams came out in favor of asbestos roofing tile or purple velvet wallpaper!
The well-scrubbed duo, bless their hearts, are just the latest roadkill of Outrage Inc., a roving ideological hit squad that seeks to root out disagreeable opinions wherever they may lurk. The Benhams were targeted by Right Wing Watch, a dogged blog on Outrage's left flank. But the right flank stays just as busy unloading on Bill Maher, Michael Moore and, lately, Stephen Colbert.
Whichever side is pretending to be offended, the contention is always the same: Those loudmouths are haters! They must be silenced! Now!
HGTV's jumpy defenders make the usual arguments as well. There is no First Amendment right to host a TV program. A profit-making network must guard its brand jealously. If the Benhams weren't booted, sensitive viewers and employees would be offended for sure.
Well, here's something even more offensive than a disagreeable opinion. The day when that opinion can never be uttered out loud.
THAT OFFENDS ME
1. Your opinion
2. Your argument
3. Your analogy
4. Your appearance
5. Your failure to just be quiet and let me talk
ASKED AND UNANSWERED: How free is free? Will tipping be permitted if not required when "Free Valet Parking" arrives in Huntington Village? . . . How can Barry Rosenstein possibly afford his new $147 million spread on East Hampton's Further Lane? Forbes says the Jana Partners hedge-funder scraped by last year on $140 mil . . . John Cardinal O'Connor, kosher butcher's grandson? If it weren't for Renee Steinig of Dix Hills, past president of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island, who woulda known that the late New York archbishop's zayde might have been a rabbi, too? . . . How thrilled are we supposed to be over Northrop Grumman's rah-rah expansion -- 1,800 new jobs! a $500 million Manned Aircraft Design Center! -- on Florida's Space Coast? Wasn't that an LI operation until last year? Do we need a zippy name too? The Galactic Expressway? . . . Now that Metro-North has mothballed its final bar cars, is it time to revive the beloved rolling saloon on the LIRR? Would today's smartphone commuters even look up for a beer? . . . Is that a 33-foot bronze statue of the Virgin Mary -- oh, she's also pregnant -- on a real estate mogul's lawn in elegant Old Westbury? Did Aby Rosen think no one would notice?
THE NEWS IN SONG: Get knocked down, come back stronger: "Riot on the Rooftops" by Our Innocence Lost, tinyurl.com/roofriot
LONG ISLANDER OF THE WEEK: DR. KEVIN TRACEY
Most brain surgeons stay brain surgeons. But Kevin Tracey grew convinced he could start saving people more than one at a time. After the painful loss of an infant patient (recounted in his book, "Fatal Sequence"), he finally made the leap, devoting himself to research. Now a global leader in immunology, neuroscience and what he calls "the real revolution in patient care," bioelectronic medicine, he is CEO of the Manhasset-based Feinstein Institute for Medical Research at North Shore-LIJ Health System. There, he and his team are battling everything from rheumatoid arthritis to inflammatory bowel disease to sepsis and making real progress, he believes. He still brings his surgeon's urgency to the cause. "We are going straight from the bench to the bedside," Tracey says. "People can't wait anymore."
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