What others are saying

March 01, 2007

Wash your hands before you eat. It's a directive practically everybody heard growing up, at home and at school.

It's obviously important for good hygiene. But do we really need a law mandating it?

State Rep. Mary Flowers, that Democratic do-gooder from Chicago, thinks so. She introduced House Bill 382, which requires the Chicago public schools to make students wash their hands with antiseptic soap before eating. (Don't downstate kids need the law held over their head to get them to wash, or doesn't Ms. Flowers care if germs make them sick?)

Apparently most of her colleagues ... think it's a worthy proposal. They passed the bill 100-14. ... Gee, maybe now we'll get that kind of bipartisan cooperation on other equally pressing issues, such as how to adequately fund state pensions and rein in out-of-control state spending.

- Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat

Which came first? Couch potatoes who actively seek out "breaking news" of Anna Nicole Smith or networks force-feeding voyeuristic drivel to America?

Whose fault is it that the breaking news America evidently wants to hear is about rich, stupid, youthful, train-wreck lives, like those led by Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Anna Nicole Smith, etc.? Why do the first five weeks of American Idol give us only the painful sideshows of performers with a severe lack of talent? Is it because that's what America wants? Or that's what the advertisers know America wants? Or that's what the networks want to give us?

Follow the money. Advertisers are looking for ways to stay in front of viewers, and networks try to give advertisers vehicles to reach those people by serving viewers the equivalent of television junk food.

What started out as an effort to give viewers a little light news as a break from the serious nature of the world has turned around 180 degrees. It appears that giving viewers a concoction of 90 percent brain-numbing fluff sprinkled with an occasional story of importance now is the norm.

It makes you want to stick your head out the window and shout, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

- Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World

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