Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tuesdays with Paulie 9/5/06

My apologies to everyone for not posting my weekly Shabbat blog this past weekend. Between Labor day weekend, fantasy football analysis and a touch of the flu, I was not able to offer my brilliant insight to my readers. Again, my apologies.

Good News for Judy

With Labor day behind us it's now time for the 2006 political campaign bombardment to begin. A recent poll by the St. Louis Dispatch found that Governor Blagojevich is leading Judy Baar Topinka by eight percentage points. What makes this current poll very significant is that Blago is still under 50% and he has not increased his lead after a recent campaign media blitz. Topinka still has an uphill battle against the future cell-mate of George Ryan. However, she hasn't spent any money and has been a sitting duck against the Blago war chest. Luckily his efforts have not had any success and now it's her turn. This one will go down to the wire, unless Blago gets indicted, which remains a real possibility.

Congrats to Jerry and the kids

Jerry Lewis' annual Labor Day telethon raised a record $61 million for muscular dystrophy. If you ever need a reminder of why the United States is the greatest country in the world and it's citizen the most generous, no other example may be better than the generosity displayed year after year during this charitable event.

Recently it has come to my attention that there are disabled people who believe that Lewis and his telethon portray the handicapped as pitiful instead of empowering. These individuals believe that the telethon should promote accessibility for the disabled as well as housing and employment opportunities instead of focusing on fundraising to find a cure.

I cannot think of anything more despicable than criticizing Jerry Lewis after his 40 plus years of dedication to fighting Muscular Dystrophy. The idea of the Labor day telethon is not to be a political force, but a fundraising tool to help find treatments and a cure for MD. Political correctness has become a plague on American society. I myself am handicapped, disabled, physically challenged, crippled or whatever term you decide to use. Regardless of what you label me, it doesn't change the fact that I do not have a right arm. More importantly nothing changes the fact that I have never allowed my loss of a limb to ever stop me from living my life on my terms. That's empowering!

Unfortunately critics of Lewis and their allies the PC police have decided to work against Lewis. If they want to be advocates for the disabled, all the power to them. Fight for accessibility, housing and employment, but don't shun those who want to find a cure. It may sound crazy, but many people don't want to be cured. They have orchestrated their entire life around the ailment they suffer from. In a warped sense, they view science and technology as an enemy trying to force change upon them. The very notion that they are no longer disabled or no longer "special" is their worst nightmare. It may sound absurd, but it's very real and I guarantee a major force in the criticism of Lewis.

CBS Evening News with Katie

Newly designed newsroom, theme music composed by an academy award winner James Horner and a taped introduction by Walter Cronkite, Katie Couric is all set to make her debut as the new primetime anchorwoman for the CBS Evening News. Undoubtedly CBS has put a lot of time, money and effort into improving the ratings of their evening network news program. My question is, what changes have been made to improve your credibility as a news organization?

When Dan Rather left and was replaced by Bob Schieffer, the credibility was back in the anchor chair. Replacing a dignified veteran news journalist with Katie Couric doesn't help in the credibility department. Couric has conducted some of the greatest softball and biased interviews in history during her time on the NBC "Today" show. The network that has become Communication for Barbarians Service and is often comparable to Al-Jezeera and CNN International in their bias anti-American reporting, should be more concerned about journalism than cosmetics.

Nevertheless, Couric is in the big chair and deserves a chance to prove herself as well as the news organization she now serves as managing editor. The ball is in your court Katie, your news organization has bottomed out and can only go up. By the way, I won't be watching. I'll stick with Brit Hume and Charlie Gibson.

Paulie

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