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Sort 263 In the News.

by Dear Jon
April 27, 2004

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ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

What are the best news sources (among TV programs, newspapers, magazines, internet, etc.)?

-News Junkie
 
Dear Junk,
 
The best news source is e-mail. Specifically, e-mail with a subject line that begins fw: fw: fw: fw: and has been sent to you by an acquaintance who has included you in a list of seventy-five other best friends, in-laws and sales leads. The e-mail originates by someone who has taken the pains to write out the experiences of their cousin’s employer, who swears that the story is all true.
 
From this kind of e-mail we have learned such important news items as that Congress plans to tax e-mail, and that a boy in England needs a liver transplant, and that Microsoft Inc. is giving away free trips to Disney World. You can also take heart and DO something about these issues. For example, thanks to e-mail, you can boycott British Petroleum®, Taco Bell®, McDonalds®, Nike®, and Universal Studios®.
 
If it weren’t for you being so conscientious as to pass this important news and information along to your mass e-mail lists, some people who live in remote areas might never hear about it. Because, of course, you cannot trust the “traditional” news outlets with all of their corporate interests to spread these facts.
 
It is true that all of this has been debunked a zillion times. Key words such as “Urban Legends” will bring you to internet sites that burst these hoaxes apart. You might think that Dear Jon is just joining the chorus of sarcasm. Think no more! “They” don’t want you to know the TRUTH. So keep spamming. Your friends, whom you do not otherwise see except at class reunions, will one day thank you for it. Or they will admit to you that you were right all along.
 
In my experience, the only statements more trustworthy than what I read in my e-mail, are the press releases put out by Yassir Arafat’s compound. Now there is an objective view of the facts. Not in 20 years, since the USSR announced their premier had the flu but was strong as an ox, have we gotten such information as what originates with various public leaders in the region. News from Hamas, news from Al Qaeda, it all reeks of the same integrity.
 
I’m waiting for someone from the Palestinian Authority to tell us that Arafat has the flu but is healthy as a horse. I should live so long.
 
Otherwise, watch the “Weather Channel,” “C-Span” and CNN. This way you will be up to speed on air temperature, the spin being put on the facts by the major political alternatives in the nation’s capital, and a “typical American” point of view. To stretch yourself, also tune in to BBC broadcasts. They are in English, so you can understand  them, but they are NOT American. Occasionally they raise perspectives that do not occur to anyone on the US channels.

 
Dear Jon,
 
What do you do when you are trying to milk an idea, but the milk runs dry?
 
Sincerely,
Bored with this News Thread
 
Dear News,
 
I try to find another angle on it. For example, I invent another question I can answer in order to put a new spin on the subject.

 
Dear Jon,
 
What do you do when you run out of comedic angles on an idea, and you get a case of the flop sweats while you’re typing, which is, like, really pathetic?
 
Sincerely,
Need a Shower
 
Dear Shower,
 
I give up and sleep on it. But when I sleep on it the night of a deadline, what I have written I have written.

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