Watching 'The Sopranos'
Newsday, October 3, 2002
used by permission

    If any more evidence is needed to document how institutionalized the degradation of Italian-American culture is, one need only to read the Gellman-Hartman column " 'Sopranos' a Tool for Teaching" [Part II, Sept. 28].

    Known as the "God Squad," these men of the cloth (a rabbi and a priest) advise readers that HBO's "The Sopranos" is fine fare for teenagers. They recommend watching it as a family so that parents can point out to their impressionable offspring that degrading women and Italian-Americans are some of the many options in life. I suppose that such a discourse can take place during one episode, allowing the family to enjoy the rest of the series and three years of reruns without further moralizing.

    The Italian-American now has the dubious honor of being the point man in the entertainment industry's battle for America's soul. That industry has managed to protect its decades-old defamation of this ethnic group under the First Amendment. It has won over the journalistic and artistic communitites by fleshing out classic stereotypes and calling them "complex characters." Now, it has the godly imprimatur of Rabbi Marc Gellman and Msgr. Thomas Hartman.

    For those of us trying to preserve a magnificent heritage, as well as inspire new generations, heaven, as well as earth, is now arrayed against us.

John Mancini
Bellerose Terrace

    Editor's Note: The writer is chairman of the Italic Institute of America of Floral Park.



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