Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Small Thoughts

Sometimes a news item just gives me a sour feeling. That was the case this morning with the article in The New York Times about the "reverent" send-off given to John Ashcroft as he ended his tenure as Attorney General. It is difficult for me to be anything except disgusted that any respect was shown toward a man who I believe has done as much as anyone in our history to erode civil liberties and respect for the principles of our constitution.
Mr. Ashcroft symbolizes the Bush administration's disregard for our rights to free speech, protest and due process of law. He should have been drummed out of public life, not toasted.


There are degrees of disgusting, and far more serious than Mr. Ashcroft's going-away party was an item about a radio station in New York that featured a song mocking the victims of the Asian tsunami. The sample of lyrics printed were truly, astoundingly shocking. Could anyone really be this unfeeling?
The disk jockey who put together this atrocity, someone named Miss Jones, evidently has agreed -- along with her staff -- to donate a week's salary to tsunami relief. Sorry. It's not enough. The public -- although not the law -- should demand that she never disgrace the airwaves again.
This is one of those cases that tries the souls of civil libertarians. Yes, Miss Jones has the right to air her distasteful words. But the rest of us have the duty to turn a deaf ear to them.


I really couldn't care less about Janet Jackson's nipple being exposed in prime time, but I do care about the sensibilities of my family being offended. It's why I don't allow shows like The Simple Life or Jackass to be aired in my presence. Can't we just exercise enough self-control to turn it off?