What others are saying

January 09, 2007

The voracious hunger of the Internet for information is like nothing else in history. It sustains itself in part on titillation, sucking up huge quantities of text and images and displaying them for the use and entertainment of the public. All this has been aided by the development of inexpensive, portable cell phones that can record sounds and images and post them immediately, on the World Wide Web. ...

Video recording can serve a useful purpose in some instances. But there also can be a dark side. At the same time many people have worried about preserving individual privacy in the face of government snooping, private-sector snooping has exposed itself as the more immediate concern. ...

A Nevada beauty queen loses her title when photos show up on the Internet showing her engaged in indiscreet behavior at a party. A young mother in California is appalled, and files a lawsuit, upon learning that a professional pornography company is marketing a snapshot showing her, at a beach resort, partially disrobed.

Political candidates are shadowed by camera-wielding operatives dispatched by their political opponents in hopes of catching misstatements or displays of bad judgment.

This is not to excuse politicians' foolish behavior or a private individual's public nudity. But it is also true that it is a rare life that fails to contain deeply embarrassing moments. ...

Not too long ago, such virtues as modesty, integrity and self-control were passed along for their own sake. Now there's an additional reason to govern one's life with discretion: self-preservation.

- The Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald

The University of Alabama, once the football school of football schools, might have spent $30 million-plus to hire on a few Nobel laureates to boost its academic reputation. Instead, it reportedly spent that much on Nick Saban, coach of the Miami Dolphins pro team, to lead the Crimson Tide back to glory. ... Yes, indeed, there's a fine example of priorities to set for the student body.

The only humor in this disgraceful episode is to be found in the commentary from Miami. Consider a radio and television commentator who used to play for the Dolphins: "Wayne Huizenga (Dolphins owner) was in the garbage business for years. Nick Saban may be the biggest piece of trash he's ever collected." Mercy. Sounds like everybody's a little tense.

At the price fetched by Mr. Saban, fans of UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State, where new coaches are in the $2 million range, might think they've scored bargains.

Well, at least the sports vs. academics debate creates a stir hereabouts, wherein raising fortunes for coaches does not go unnoticed by faculty, alumni and taxpayers and prompts open debate. One would hope a similar dialogue will be engaged at the University of Alabama, which now has reached to new heights in landing a football coach. Or is "heights" the right word?

- The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

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