NEWS YOU DIDN'T SEE ON TV
A commentary by Patricia Nell Warren
WEIRD THINGS I'VE NOTICED ABOUT THE ELECTION
With a month to go, major media are giving less space to the Presidential
election. Despite early fanfares from both candidates about the "moral
future of America," public interest is fading too. Bob and Jack and Bill and
Al are having to share major air time with Ellen, Boris and O.J. -- to
say nothing of bombings, the Olympics, Mideast war, and a 7-year-old
suspended from school for kissing another tot on the cheek.
How seriously can one take a campaign where the Secret Service lets Bob
take an unseemly tumble off the platform in view of the cameras?
Why does the White House contest have vanishing credibility in these
desperate times? Were there conspiracies to downplay in the no-smoking
conference rooms of media moguls? Or are many Americans finally reaching
the nadir of disgust with politicians? Is there a feeling out there that
positive change will not come from the Oval Office, no matter who
Come to think of it, maybe that's why the media have shifted focus. Even
last night's high-profile debate was just the same-old, same-old from both
Bob and Bill. Urgent problems are out there, grabbing headlines away from
political charades that breed more and more rage, contempt and apathy in
our citizens. The handwriting is on the wall, big as the HOLLYWOOD sign.
But are Bob and Bill -- and their handlers -- ready to read it?
- While Bob and Bill censored Ross out of the debates, controversies about
censorship are becoming a daily reality in many schools, libraries,
- No sooner has Bob sermonized about drugs, than we learn our federal
government is the biggest crack dealer of them all.
- Bill will let NASA spend billions on a Mars shot -- which will probably
wipe out any budget cuts he got by "ending welfare".
- Even as Bob and Bill are agreeing to quash same-sex marriage, convicted
serial killer Richard (Ramirez) and murderer Eric (Menendez) get to celebrate
high-profile heterosexual marriages behind bars.
- Bill might as well give up on gun control -- some genius in L.A.has
figured out a way to shatter windshields and terrorize people on the freeways
without even using bullets.
- Neither Bill nor Bob have much to say about affirmative action, though the
country is coming to a boil about it.
- Here in California, Pete just signed a bill outlawing the import of goods
made by slave labor abroad. Meanwhile, our wonderful U.S. penal system is
fast being subcontracted to private enterprise...which has a vested interest
in large prison populations working for a few cents an hour.
- Morality aside, Americans won't worry long about low-fat diet if both
parties go on saying nothing about falling food production. A recent
statistic from the WorldWatch Institute reveals that, since 1985, grain
yields are falling behind population growth. Erosion, vanishing aquifers,
development have degraded 25 percent of U.S. farmland. Those well-stocked
grocery shelves in New York City and Peoria are a mirage -- heavy on imports.
Are Bob or Bill worried about the future of eating? I wonder.
Patricia Nell Warren is author of "The Front Runner" and other bestselling
books, as well as a widely published commentator. Her publisher is Wildcat
Press. Copyright (c) 1996 by Patricia Nell Warren.
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