Clinton mess pales to Middle East problem

In Opinion
1998 Archive Correspondent zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

My attitude has changed, though. Through studying journalism and political science at this wonderful institute of higher learning, I have gained a higher appreciation of our system of government. Actually, what I should say is that I have gained a healthy respect for the integrity of the philosophy of our system of government.

That is why I have been particularly disturbed by the recent "scandal" in the White House. The press coverage of this non-event is the culmination of the demise of faith in government that will someday break this country apart.

Strangely, it was our own Associated Students that inspired this streak of nostalgia for the sentiments of the country's founding fathers. When our wonderful president Heith Rothman proposed a $150 fee increase to build a new fitness and recreation complex that, realistically, no on will use, suddenly I realizes how much politics really does matter. If this proposal passes, it will greatly affect every student on this campus.

At a later date I will rant about this proposed complex that will supposedly bolster school spirit, but for now the point is that it evoked strong feelings in me regarding our democratic process. It scared me to think that a small portion of the student body who participate and vote might impose this fee on the entire student body. That got me thinking: if voting on such a small scale can make such an impact, what about the national scene? Every year we hear about how few people show up to the polls and I always hear young people complain about how the political system is useless and does not work for them and is corrupt, etc., etc., and so in protest they don't vote. The more I thought about it, the more pissed off I got.

I got so worked up about it that I found myself getting into a heated argument about political apathy with someone who had been my friend for many years. And though we didn't go to blows, it definitely got my blood hot. She told me she didn't vote because she felt she couldn't get reliable information on the candidates she was supposed to be voting for-a statement which hit home considering the purpose of my profession.

I tried to convince her that she was wrong and that reliable information is out there and that since democracy is an active process, she can't sit around and wait for it to come and bite her in the nose. Realistically speaking, though, I know people have a life to worry about. But most of all I was concerned with her distrust of news sources. During the conversation, the topic of (surprise!) the Lewinsky scandal came up. Which epitomizes the most serious problem facing politics and the American people today. People don't trust or have faith in politics because the press, which is supposed to be as important as any branch of government, doesn't give the people any reason to have faith in the process. At the same time, people's thirst for smut and their desire not to be informed with important information but to be entertained has lowered the press to the level of greedy capitalist. Both are to blame and both need to change.

People need to learn to separate their entertainment from their news. There is subject matter suitable for entertainment and subject matter that is serious. They must demand their dosage of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll from Melrose Place and 90210 and demand their important-to-democracy news from newspapers and TV. Getting important, accurate information is vital to the survival of the American way of life and people need to know specific information for that way of life to survive.

Members of the press, at the same time, need to compensate for people who do not have the time to be actively democratic. As a result, the press has to be more responsible in its selection of news content. It is an elitist attitude, but we have reached a point where the press needs to tell people what they need to know. America didn”t need to know about that capitol slut Monica Lewinsky. I would rather have seen in-depth coverage of the impacts of attacking Iraq than stories about the escapades of the presidential penis.

As a member of the press, and as a bit of a young idealist, it is important to me to provide people with news that will be of importance to people's lives. In the scheme of things, Bill Clinton's sexual encounters will not matter nearly as much as if he decided to bomb another country. If people really think White House blowjobs are that important, maybe this country needs to burn in the flames of its own mixed-up priorities.

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