William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 10:45 P.M. ET:

NATIONAL DECLINE – Venezuela used to be a major contender in international beauty contests.  This year's Venezuelan entry in the Miss Universe contest was asked, "If you could make a new law, what would it be?"  This was her reply:  "I think that any leys there are in Constitution or in life, are already made. I think that we should have, uh, a straight way to go in our similar, or, eh, in our lives as is this. For example, I'm a surfer, and I think that the best wave that I can take is the wave that I wait for it. So please do our only, eh, law that we can do. Thank you Vegas!"  She did not become Miss Universe.  Don't cry for her, Venezuela.

GOODBYE – Newsweek is now publishing its last print edition.  Once a staple of American journalism, it was considered the more straight-and-narrow alternative to TIME, which many considered too opinionated.  One of Newsweek's slogans was, "Newsweek separates fact from opinion."  But the magazine, in recent years, began drifting more and more into TIME territory, leading some wags to say that "Newsweek separates fact from opinion, and prints the opinion."  It became another predictable member of the liberal media.  I dropped my own subscription after 40 years.  But the excuses for its demise very rarely mention reader discontent.  The MSM lives in a world of denial.

OKAY FOR ME, BUT NOT FOR THEE – Several journalists are noting that some of the loudest voices against proposals to put armed guards in schools belong to people who are themselves very well protected, thank you very much.  Members of Congress have heavy armed security around the Capitol, with even troops available from nearby military installations.  And, indeed, many journalists work in buildings with heavy security.  Then there are the "celebrities," Hollywood airheads who hire private bodyguards...with guns.  I guess it's okay for all these worthies to be protected, but not okay for our kids to be protected.  I suspect many others will soon notice the hypocrisy that is flowing in the "gun" debate.

December 23,  2012